Matthew Ashton

Written by

Matthew Ashton

2 minute read

Updated 27th March 2024

From its inception over 150 years ago, Patek Philippe has maintained its unparalleled standing in the world of luxury watches.

With a reputation for innovation, Patek Philippe timepieces have come to symbolise the idea that painstaking craftsmanship never goes out of style, as told in their slogan, “You never really own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”

The beginning

In 1844, Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek met Adrien Philippe at the Industrial Exposition in Paris, after Philippe won an award for a timepiece that showcased a new keyless winding mechanism which he had invented.

Their subsequent partnership resulted in the creation of Patek Philippe, and soon their timepieces would become synonymous with prestige as they became a favourite of royalty and the nobility. The first Swiss wristwatch was a Patek Philippe that was made for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.[1]

Patek Philippe continued to solidify their reputation as watchmaking pioneers when in 1933, after six years of work, they crafted the world’s most complicated pocket watch, the ‘Graves Supercomplication.’[2]

In modern times

The brand’s rich and storied history has fed into Patek Philippe’s modern day philosophy as they  continue to be known for watchmaking excellence.

Today, they are Geneva’s only independent, family-owned watchmakers, and all of their timepieces are produced and hand-finished in-house. Even the most basic Patek Philippe watches take a minimum of nine months to craft, while their more complicated pieces can and do take years.

As a result, there are a scarcity of Patek Philippe watches available, a fact which has only added to their desirability. The brand estimates that fewer than one-million watches have been produced since their inception. To put this in perspective, in just one year Rolex were estimated to have produced around 800,000 watches.[3]

“You never really own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation”

The future of your Patek Philippe

You don’t want to put your watch in just anyone’s hands – and you don’t have to. At Stanhope, we provide robust insurance solutions to suit your lifestyle and protect your timepiece.

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[1] Patek Philippe | Company | History

[2] Patek Philippe | About Time | The Grandmaster Chime

[3] How Many Watches Does Rolex Make a Year? – Millenary Watches

Written by Matthew Ashton

I started working in the insurance industry in 2004. Four years later, I left to focus on theological studies, working as a youth worker and then as a ministry director in Seattle, USA. When returning to the UK, I had an opportunity to work for the late Andrew Marchington. I joined his firm as a sales advisor when it had around ten staff members. Within three years, I was Head of Ops with a staff team of over 30 people. After a chance encounter in 2019 with Rachel Living and Will Cooper, I co-started Stanhope to build a high-value home, luxury watch, and jewellery broker synonymous with trust. I love being with Donna, my wife, and four kids when not working, cramming in the odd row, or running when I can. I am fortunate to love what I do and consider it a blessing to grow the Stanhope brand.

Matthew Ashton

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