The Gondolo origin
The Gondolo collection was named after the famous retailer in Rio de Janeiro, Gondolo & Labouriau, with whom Patek Philippe enjoyed a strong and successful business relationship between 1872 and 1927.
This bond resulted in the creation of timepieces - designed exclusively for the Brazilian retailer - named the “Chronometro Gondolo”. The collection initially consisted only of pocket watches, before the first wristwatches appeared in the 1920s.
At a time when Europe struggled with lean years and faced a World War, it was Gondolo & Labouriau alone who retailed close to a third of the entire production of Patek Philippe watches.
Sales were so spectacular that in Brazil, 'Patek' even became a substitute for the noun 'watch'; instead of buying a watch, you bought a Patek - even if it wasn’t a Patek Philippe at all.