Sunday, December 21, 2008

Patek Philippe - Who?

How is it I’ve lived for over sixty years and have never heard of a Patek Philippe watch?
The company has been in existence for nearly 170 years, and produced the first crown wound pocket watch in 1839. (Crown winding, I presume, is where you wind the watch with a little round knob, rather than the old way of winding it with a key.)
They made the first wrist watch in 1868, and the first wrist watch with a perpetual calendar in 1925.
Wouldn’t you think their name would be more well-known?
Maybe it is in Europe, but even given that, you’d think that the words Patek Philippe would have somehow trickled into my consciousness through some movie, or novel.
Apparently not.
The Patek Philippe company sounds similar to the Steinway company in their heyday. There’s an element of the handcraftness about their approach. According to some information about them, each single automatic movement manufactured by the company is put through approximately 600 hours of quality control. Assembled watches are severely tested for up to a month (severely, note!) and they’re also observed. Severely tested and observed – it’s a wonder the watches don’t have complexes!

The little beauty in the picture is Patek Philippe Annual calendar watch. It'll set you back a mere $42,000 or so. US dollars, of course!
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