Antoni Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva, along with his fellow Polish migrant Franciszek Czapek. They separated in 1844, and in 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the keyless winding mechanism. In 1851, Patek Philippe & Co was founded.

In 1868, Patek Philippe made their first wristwatch. They have also pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph and minute repeater in watches. The company has produced quartz watches in the past and even a digital wrist watch, the Ref. 3414.

[edit] Most Expensive
Patek Philippe produced an ultra-complicated (with 24 functions) pocket-watch for Henry Graves, Jr., who entered into a friendly horological competition with James Ward Packard, which resulted in the production of the watch sold to Mr. Graves in 1933. After his death, the watch was auctioned at Sotheby's in December 1999 for USD$11,000,000, at that time the most expensive timepiece ever sold.[1]

[edit] Owned by Kings and Queens
Patek Philippe watches have enjoyed great demand among discerning collectors and watch connoisseurs of a high social status and wealth. Since Queen Victoria’s reign, monarchs, popes, political leaders and rulers have purchased timepieces manufactured by the brand either for their personal use or as a precious gift to be presented to an important guest, or in recognition of someone's remarkable bravery and loyalty.

In 1851, Patek Philippe started supplying its watches to Queen Victoria and her consort. Timepieces of the Genevan manufacture immediately attracted attention of all the royal courts of Europe. Queen Victoria acquired a key-wound Patek Philippe watch created in a pendant style in November 1851 during the Great Exhibition of London. Queen Victoria owned one more exclusive Patek Philippe timepiece to be worn pinned to clothing. The watch suspended from a diamond and enamel brooch.

The list of Patek Philippe noble clientele also highlights Pope Pius IX, Christian IX and Louise (the king and queen of Denmark), Victor-Emanuel III (king of Italy and Duke of Savoy), and Hussein Kamal ( prince of Egypt).[2]