L’élegance of time

pp13003  Founded in 1839 by watchmaker Antoine Norbert de Patek (Jean Adrien Philippe joint as partner in 1845) today is on the last family-owned independent Swiss watchmakers. The 100% of Patek Philippe is owned by the Stern family with Thierry Stern (4th generation, succeeded his father in 2009 ) at the helm.

  • it’s revenues are estimated to be $1,2 billion (with a “B”!)
  • a new Patek can start at $25.000
  • holds the record of a watch sold in an auction ($11 million in 1999)
  • production is deliberately limited to 55.000 time-pieces a year (Rolex manufactures 1,4 million)
  • to produce a single dial takes 4 months and requires 150 different processes. It takes 1.200 steps to build a single timepiece. Each one is hand-finished.
  • Queen Victoria owned an enamel-and-diamond pendant model (the first with a keyless winding stem).
  • Pope Pius IX owned several.
  • Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Andy Warhol all owned Pateks.
  • Eric Clapton is a collector
  • a perpetual calendar model peeks out from under the cuff of Vladimir Putin (which could explain his perpetual hope of turning the geopolitical clock back to the Soviet era).

source: Fortune mag, No 8/20014