Lots by Patek Philippe at Sotheby's
About Patek Philippe
The last independent, family-owned watchmaker still operating in Geneva today, Patek Philippe is a lodestar of horology. Founded in 1839, the brand has led the charge in numerous watchmaking breakthroughs, including the introduction of a keyless winding system in 1845 and the first perpetual calendar in 1925. Patek Philippe’s long history of marrying technical excellence with aesthetic elegance has earned the brand bold-faced fans such as Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, and Pablo Picasso.
The Calatrava, one of the brand’s most iconic models, epitomizes the Patek Philippe style: understated, refined, timeless. The Gérald Genta-designed Nautilus, introduced in 1976, applied Patek’s DNA to a steel sports watch — an exceedingly smart everyday timepiece that remains a pillar of the brand’s collection.
While there is undoubtedly a Patek Philippe look, the brand is just as notable for the movements beating inside its timepieces. The Graves Supercomplication, commissioned by industrialist Henry Graves and completed in 1933, is one of the most complicated watches ever made, boasting 24 different functions. Sotheby’s 2014 sale of the Graves Supercomplication set and holds the record for the highest price paid for a watch at auction.
From intricately hand-painted dials to mind-baffling complications, Patek Philippe contemporary creations continue to raise the bar in watchmaking — each new model becoming an instant classic.