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Patek Philippe & Co

Patek Philippe & Co. is one of the most famous and expensive brands of wrist watches in the world.

website: Patek Philippe & Co was founded.

In 1868, Patek Philippe made their first wristwatch. They have also pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph and minute repeater in watches. The company has produced quartz watches in the past and even a digital wrist watch, the Ref. 3414.

The Calibre 89
Patek is also the creator of the most complicated mechanical watch ever made, the Calibre 89, created for the 150th anniversary of the company in 1989. It holds 33 complications, including the date of Easter, a thermometer, time of sunrise, equation of time, sidereal time, and many other indicators. The Calibre 89 is also able to add a day to February for leap years while leaving out the extra day for every 100 year interval.

Patek Philippe produces a number of collectible watches. In the 150 year history of the company, they have produced approximately 600,000 timepieces in total - less than the annual production of Rolex.

In 2005 the company introduced the revolutionary Silicium escapement wheel to the industry.

Antoni Norbert Patek
Antoni Norbert Patek (French:Antoine Norbert de Patek) (1811-1877) Polish pioneer in watchmaking and a creator of Patek Philippe & Co.
Antoni Patek was born in June 14, 1811 (according to some sources 1812) in Piaski Luterskie near Lublin, Poland to Anna née Piasecka and Joachim Patek of Prawdzic Coat of Arms.

Franciszek Czapek
Franciszek Czapek (Czech: František Èapek, French: François Czapek) (1811-?) was a watchmaker, the partner of Antoni Patek in Patek, Czapek & Co.
Czapek was a naturalized Pole of Czech origin. He was born on April 4, 1811 in Semonice (now part of Jaromìø), Bohemia, the son of Jan Czapek and Catherine, née Walaschek. He took part in the Polish November Uprising as a soldier of the National Guard, in Warsaw. He later emigrated and eventually settled in Geneva, Switzerland. On October 22, 1836, he married Versoix Marie, the daughter of clock and watchmaker Jonas Pierre François Gevril de Carouge.
In Geneva he formed a partnership with Antoni Patek. The small company of Patek, Czapek & Co, which only employed about six workmen, produced approximately two hundred high quality watches per annum.
After ending his partnership with Patek in 1845, Czapek, set up its own company in 1851 under the name of Czapek & Co. His former partner founded Patek & Co which later became the famous company Patek Philippe & Co.. He became renowned for his enamelled and jewelled watches made for the Polish and other markets. By 1854 he had a shop in Warsaw and in 1860 he founded a subsidiary company on Vendôme Street in Paris. But nine years later, in 1869, the business was liquidated.
Franciszek Czapek was the author of the first book on watchmaking ever published in the Polish language Remarks on the watchmaking for the use of the watchmakers and the public. The work was printed in 1850 in Leipzig.

Patek, Czapek & Co. (1839-1845)
On May 1, 1839 in Geneva, Antoni Patek together with another Polish emigrant, the gifted Warsaw watchmaker Franciszek Czapek established their manufacture producing watches. The company was financially supported also by its first workers, among others Polish watchmakers: Wawrzyniec Gostkowski, Wincenty Gostkowski, and W³adys³aw Bandurski. The first pocket watches were produced on individual orders. Primarily the young's firm artistic production reflected themes from Polish history and culture, such as portraits of revolutionary heroes, X and XII centuries' legends, and the cult of the Polish The Black Madonna of Czêstochowa.
The small company Patek, Czapek & Co, which employed a half-dozen of workmen, produced approximately two hundred watches of quality per annum. The few preserved specimens make it possible to note the degree of perfection of these first watches, result of a successful union between artistic research and the technical skill.
Among the collection of The Patek Philippe Museum there are watches presenting Coat of Arms of Princess Zubów from 1845 and the portraits of Polish general Tadeusz Koœciuszko, and Polish prince and marchal of France Józef Poniatowski from 1948.

Patek & Co. (1845-1851)
Increasing disagreement between Patek and Czapek obliged the latter to withdraw. In 1851 Czapek established Czapek & Co. where he produced watches until 1869. On May 15th, 1845 the place vacanted by Czapek was filled by 30 year old French Adrien Philippe, who in 1842 invented the key-less winding mechanism.

Jean Adrien Philippe
In 1842 Adrien Philippe invented a mechanism for watches which allowed them to be wound and set by means of crown rather than a key. His patented invention earned him a Gold Medal at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 (World's Fair). At the Exhibition Adrien Philippe first met Antoni Patek and a year later became head watchmaker at Patek & Co. in Geneva under an agreement that entitled him to one-third of all company profits.
Adrien Philippe proved to be very capable at his craft and a product innovator whose value to the firm was such that by 1851 he was made a full partner and the firm began operating as Patek Philippe & Co. In 1863 he published a book in Geneva and Paris on the workings of pocket watches titled Les montres sans clef.
His partner Antoni Patek died in 1877 and in 1891 the 76-year-old Adrien Philippe handed over the day-to-day management of the business to his son Joseph Emile Philippe and Francois Antoine Conty.
Jean Adrien Philippe died in 1894 and was buried in St-Georges Cemetery in Geneva.

Patek Philippe & Co.
On January 1st, 1851 Patek & Co. transformed into Patek Philippe & Co.. The company started mass production of pocket watches.
Both co-owners recognised perfection as their ideal, and the company gained its success thanks to principles that Antoni Patek left to his descendants:
. the quality of produced watches maintained on the highest possible level,
. the ability of implementing new inventions and constructive solutions.

"Queen Victoria" open-face keyless-winding watch was presented to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom during the Great Exhibition of London at Hyde Park (Crystal Palace), on August 18, 1851.[22]

In 1868, Patek Philippe made their first wristwatch, which was sold on November 13, 1876 to the Hungarian Countess KOSCOWICZ.[23]They have also pioneered in perpetual calendar, chronograph and minute repeater in watches.

Looking for trade contacts Patek travelled among others to England (1847), USA (1854), and Russia (1858).

Stern family
After Patek's death the company changed its owners several times; since 1929 Patek Philippe & Co. is owned by Stern family, but kept its original name. Patek Philippe & Co. issues collectible watches every year, and till today has remained a coveted luxury brand. Patek Philippe & Co. is the only Geneva watch manufacturer honoured with the Geneva Seal. Of all the movements bearing the Geneva Seal distinction 95% are Patek Philippe & Co. timepieces. The company does not cease in its efforts to innovate its products. Patek Philippe & Co. has been awarded more than 70 patents, since implementing in 1845 the stem winding system. The 20 most expensive wristwatches sold at auction are all from Patek Philippe & Co. The 'Henry Graves' supercomplication pocket watch from 1933 holds the world record for the most expensive watch - sold at auction in 1999 for more than $11 million.

The Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref 5002 is currently the world most complex complication timepiece. At present only 3 pieces are produced a year. Owners of these watches are selected by Patek Co as they are highly sough after. They are sold primary to collectors rather than traders so as to avoid the flipping of watches for profits.

Websites: GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patek_Philippe_&_Co.

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