Is Patek Philippe A Luxury Watch Brand?
If you are among those asking, “is Patek Philippe a luxury watch brand?”, let’s dive into the Patek Philippe world to find out.
Patek Philippe: Among the best watches in the world
It’s no small feat to have been making watches and remaining in the business since 1839. This brand has worked hard, establishing itself as a reference in the watch-making industry. It is said that Patek Philippe sits alongside two top-of-the-food chain brands, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, as the holy trinity of watches.
If you know the kind of respect these watches command in the luxury watch market and watch-making industry, you’d agree that a brand cannot be in this league of watch-makers by just mere over-hype. The Patek Philippe can be said to be a discreet luxury item for those who can splash the cash but are also not about the bling or flash on their wrist. An example is the Patek Philippe Nautilus, a watch with a simple yet elegant finish with a starting price of around $40,000.
If you are a watch enthusiast, you may understand what it means to apply caution when you service your watch to keep it in good condition. That’s because the resale value is everything in the luxury watch market. In this regard, Patek Philippe is preferred in the world of timepieces collectors, especially its vintage pieces, because the value has the potential to go even higher than the original price at which it was sold.
Some Patek Philippe pieces have reportedly been sold for 100 times the price it was originally purchased. So yes, the saying that “you don’t own a Patek Philippe, but just care for it for the coming generation” stands true. In fact, all the luxury watch collectors interviewed on why they bought a Patek Philippe timepiece confirmed that they did so, knowing they would be living something of great value for their children or even the ones yet unborn.
Just how expensive are Patek Philippe’s Pieces?
The Patek Philippe Henry Graves super complication was sold for a record-chattering price of $24.4million in 2014. This Patek Philippe piece was the most expensive wristwatch sold at Sotheby’s Geneva sale at the time. Interestingly, coming in second for the most expensive watch ever sold was a timepiece from Patek Philippe, an 18k gold wristwatch sold at $5.7 million.
Make no mistake about the look of Patek Philippe’s designs. Unlike other watchmakers that adorn their pieces with diamonds or rare stones, Patek Philippe designs can look very simple on the outside, but popping up the hood will reveal a level of sophistication that makes watch collectors and enthusiasts refer to Patek Philippe pieces as one of the most complicated wrist watches in the world.
If you are not a watch person, complicated here is a good term for a watch that has so many details and rare craftsmanship. This is where the real value of the watches produced by this brand lies, as you can find a breath-taking amount of complications when you open up a Patek Philippe piece.
Furthermore, the rarity of Patek Philippe productions in a year is also worthy of mention as its scarcity in the watch market has also made it highly sought-after. The Patek Philippe is not a brand that pours hundreds of thousands of watches in a year. Call it the brand’s style or detailed planning, Patek Philippe’s rarity also makes it very expensive.
Making a Patek Philippe timepiece
Talking about rarity, a watch-making brand like Rolex sometimes rolls out nearly a million wristwatches yearly. Compared to Patek Philippe, watch enthusiasts and collectors confirmed its rarity because the brand makes just a little over fifty thousand watches in a year. Before you rush to conclusions, it’s safe to mention that you shouldn’t mistake this limited number of yearly productions for an indication that the brand cannot produce more watches.
For a brand like Patek Philippe, more important than rolling out hundreds of thousands of wristwatches every year is maintaining quality and the precision of its watches’ movements lovers of the brand have come to know them for. Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe, confessed in an interview that producing more watches in a year isn’t a problem for the company. But to not compromise the precision and quality of the complicated movement, the Patek Philippe timepieces’ productions are limited to a specific number every year.
For example, an entry-level piece, like the Calatrava Patek Philippe, is furnished with movement components that took four years to finish. Another complicated movement like the Caliber 240 HU furnished into Patek Philippe complication world time or the Patek Philippe Grand complications perpetual calendar, carrying the 240Q can take up to six years to finish.
Even though production can reach up to 53,000 a year, Patek Philippe doesn’t introduce more than 30 new models in a year. Their simplicity in design also shows that their clientele markets are largely accomplished individuals who don’t need to show off wealth by showing the world the flashy item on their wrist. Extremely popular or not, the Patek Philippe is one of the most expensive wristwatches in the world.