Patek Philippe Pursuing Endlessly
In 1832, the young Polish army officer Antoine Norbert de Patek (1811-1877) turned around and glanced at his country for the last time. With the sorrow derived from the loss of his country, Antoine set foot in an unfamiliar country and braced himself for the unpredictable adventures of life. In November 1831, a chaotic national revolution broke out in Poland. Antoine Patek bravely fought against Russia. Despite his brave fight and two gunshot wounds, Antoine and his army were defeated the next year due to insufficient support. Having joined the army at 16, Antoine was compelled to leave his beloved homeland and flee to France. Two years later, the French government surrendered to the Russian government. This led to Antoine and his counterparts’ fleeing to Switzerland.
Uncertain of how long it would take to return to his own country, Antoine became a wine seller and a painter. Later on, Antoine entered the industry of pocket watch-making by chance and this sparked his passion for revolution again. In 1839, Antoine and his Polish fellow watchmaker Franciszek Czapek co-founded Patek, Czapek & Co.. Later Antoine met Adrien Philippe, a Frenchman who in 1842 invented a keyless winding system. This contributed to Patek’s and Adrien’s co-founding of Patek Philippe & Co in 1851. The two partners were consistent in faith and goals and they kept improving their craft. They became ‘Patek Philippe’, a dominant brand in the watch-making industry.
On a night with roars of guns, an unyielding will came to Antoine’s mind despite his fleeing to another country. Even though he could not change his plight, his perseverance and vision made him hero and a success in creating artistic masterpieces that have lasted from generation to generation.
In spite of becoming a Swiss citizen in 1843, Antoine, with a brilliant achievement in watch-making, dedicated his whole life to striving for his own country Poland. Besides financially assisting in national revolutions in Poland, Antoine, as a catholic, was also devoted to helping the Polish refugees. So, Pope Pius IX honored Antoine as a Count. The Calatrava Cross used by Patek Philippe since 1857 has precisely shown Antoine’s real identities of a brave captain and a devout Catholic. The Calatrava Cross made up with a clergyman’s cross and a knight’s sword symbolizes solemnity and bravery, which can be derived from the Spanish crusaders driving away the Moors in 13th century. Among the different series and models of Patek Philippe watches, the series integrating perfect appearance and perfect function are named Calatrava.
The factory manufacturing Patek Philippe watches was built in 1839. The retail price of each watch costs about USD13,000 to USD20,000. This factory is one of the independent watch manufacturers in Switzerland and every production procedure is solely completed by its own staff. It takes 10 years to get a Patek Philippe watch-maker to be well-trained. In 1933, Patek Philippe tailor-made a 24 multi-functional pocket watch for the American banker Henry Graves, Jr.. It took 3 years to complete the designs and another 5 years to manufacture the watch, which involved 8 years in total. Later, this watch had been open for auction at Sotheby’s and it ended up at US$11,000,000 for the auction in December 1999. This price made it the highest price ever for the watches auctions at that time. Since the establishment of the company for more than 150 years, the total watch production is just about 600,000 watches. Patek Philippe will never shoddily manufacture a watch to ruin its hard-earned reputation and this makes every watch even more precious. There is a private workshop in the factory for the staff to handmake only one watch every year, which has become a tradition for more than one hundred years.
**no guarantee about story is completely accurate and existed difference**