Ball Watch Company
Baume et Mercier
Bell & Ross
One of the most world renowned and prestigious Swiss watch companies ever to exist, was started by two Polish migrant watchmakers, Antoni Norbert de Patek and Franciszek Czapek, in 1839. The end was the begining for Antoine de Pradwdzic, in 1832, when he fleed his country after an abortive revolt of the Polish army against Russian Czar Nicholas I, he found his way to Geneva. He took Swiss nationality and changed his name to Patek. Antoni and Franciszek business relationship would end in 1844. A venture into a second partnership would emerge for Antoni Patek when he met a French watchmaker, Jean Adrien Philippe and the two formed Patek Philippe & Co in 1851. Mr. Philippe was the inventor of the keyless winding mechanism. This thirst for innovation has continued throughout their history.
In 1867, Patek Philippe created the first wristwatch. It was a woman's wristwatch with a silk ribbon for a band. Queen Victoria of England, Pope Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII, Christian IX and Princess Louise of Denmark, Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, and Hussein Kamel are some of the historic royalty known to wear Patek Philippe timepieces.
Patek Philippe & Co was purchased by Charles and Jean Stern in 1932. The Stern family still owns the company to this day, with Mr. Thierry Stern, the 4th generation of family leadership, holding the position of president.
Patek Philippe has been known for producing some of the most expensive timepieces known. In 1999, Sotheby's sold "the Supercomplication" pocket watch for $11,000,000 US. In 2008, their "Ref. 5002P Sky Moon Toubillon" wristwatch sold for $1,490,000 US. In 2010, a 1943 Patek Philippe perpetual calander and moonphase sold for $5,5000,000 US.