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Polish watchmaker 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. Patek Philippe & Co was founded in 1851.

Patek Philippe made their first wrist-watch in 1868. They pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches.

Like other Swiss manufacturers, the company produces mostly mechanical movements of the automatic and manual wind variety, but has produced quartz watches in the past, and a digital wrist watch, the Ref. 3414. PP is notable for manufacturing its own watch components.

Patek Philippe timepieces have recorded high prices in auctions worldwide. A large part of the demand for auction pieces is driven by Patek Philippe themselves, as they are often purchasing in the auction market to add to the collection of the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.  The company is owned by the Stern family, led by Philippe Stern and his son Thierry Stern.

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