For See-through Case Backs
Checking the serial number of a Patek Philippe timepiece is easy—especially if it has a sapphire crystal case back or if it's simply see-through. On the inside, you'll find the serial number engraved. Also, you'll likewise find the reference number there too.
For Solid Non-See-through Case
Backs To find the serial number of a Patek Philippe timepiece with a solid case back—that is not see through, you will have to submit the timepiece to a trustworthy service center (watch dealers might be applicable). They will help remove the case back and inside, you'll find the serial number engraved.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut was created in 1997 and it gained fame due to its young, modern, and unexpected design/arrival. The AQUANAUT is heavily influenced by the Nautilus which was released in 1976. Hence, its (AQUANAUT) roots can be traced to Gérald Genta who is known as the Godfather of watch designers. Regardless, we digress, the 5167/1A AQUANAUT, for example, is a 40 mm steel-cased timepiece with a design that's mildly inspired by a ship's pothole—or better yet, the case takes the shape of a rounded octagon.
The bezels are made of brushed steel and the dials are immaculately set to provide accurate time at a glance. On the part of power, the timepiece is powered by the automatic Caliber 324SC which has a power reserve of 45 hours. Now, onto the price of the 5167/1A AQUANAUT—the timepiece has a price that hovers around $20,000. This price can be considered mild since the price of the 5068R-010 AQUANAUT is more than double at around $44,000.
Regardless, the flagship of this collection is the 5167/1A AQUANAUT which as mentioned above, costs around $20,000.
Patek Philippe is a Swiss timepiece maker that lives up to their motto: "You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation." Patek Philippe watches are among the most complicated and valuable watches that exist today.
The motto is a representative of their lifespan which began in 1839 when Antoni Norbert de Patek, then a polish immigrant—pocket watchmaker started making watches with Franciszek Czapek. Their partnership lasted until 1844 when Czapek withdrew from the company. That empty position was then occupied by a Frenchman called Adrien Philippe in 1845. The result, as you well know is the Patek Philippe of this time whose prestige ensures they're the business to invest in. An example of the latter is that a Patek Philippe Calatrava, if acquired by you in the 1950s for $300 (you can not command a Patek Philippe at that price nowadays), can currently be sold by you for more than $20,000.
The Motto Itself
Nonetheless, their motto means you're not particularly the owner of the timepiece. You're only a single piece of the puzzle wherein the/your next generation completes you, the puzzle—when you pass it down to them. This continues constantly from one generation to the other with the timepiece staying impeccable. In that regard, the watch satisfies the hidden meaning of the statement; your timepiece will outlast the effects of time. Essentially, a Patek Philippe watch entails an exquisite, timeless design which is future-proof in terms of investment. By that evaluation—then yes, a Patek Philippe timepiece is very much worth the money.
Any competent resistant timepiece can be subjected to pressure and still not budge. For this to work though, the resistant timepiece (this is where competency comes in) must be made from high-quality materials. Patek Philippe watches are leading examples of such timepieces. The 5167R AQUANAUT is a luxury sports watch from Patek Philippe that has an elegant design based off of a ship's porthole. It's also the only timepiece from Patek that features a rubber strap. Regardless, for this purpose, the 5167R AQUANAUT is water resistant up to 120m (meters). At that depth, you can swim for extended periods of time.
The water resistant capabilities of Patek Philippe watches, in general, is maintained with seals that protect the watches from moisture and dust. Still, a visit to an authorized Service Center will help to more adequately maintain the watch. Also, this particular check takes only a few minutes.
Patek Philippe as a brand can be called the 'fathers of horology'. The one major benefit that this implies is in the (pardon the pun) area of time. The timepieces made by Patek Philippe are made from precious materials which ensure the highest of quality. This extends to all parts of the machine; from the case and the case back to the crown and the dials themselves. Due to that kind of artistic makeup, Patek Philippe watches are made for several lifetimes. During which, the value increases in peak proportions. This makes each and every Patek Philippe watch an excellent financial investment. An ideal example is the 2499/100 fourth series which is currently sold for $50,000 upwards. A stark contrast to its price in the 1970s which was around $3,000.
Patek Philippe is pronounced as
Step 1: Pronounce Pa as in “path,” and tek as in "tech"—making it Pa’-tek.
Step 2: Pronounce Philippe as Phil-eep’
Patek Philippe is coined from the names of the two men Antoine Norbert de Patek and Jean Adrienne Philippe. Antoine Norbert de Patek was a polish immigrant with a talent for making pocket watches at the time (1839). On the other hand, Jean Adrienne Philippe is the contributor of the second name of the brand and he was a Frenchman who had previously invented the keyless winding mechanism. Their union gave rise to what is now officially known as Patek Philippe & Co.
Buying a Patek Philippe timepiece depends on:
There's no doubt that Patek Philippe timepieces are aesthetically sound. So, you can very much investigate different timepieces from Patek Philippe like the Nautilus (5712R) or in the grand complications collection, the 5208P. Regardless of the watch, their looks can be classified as vintage and modern. The vintage is the Calatrava 2430 (example) which was made in 1949. This timepiece is simple but still modern—which ensures that it's still fashionable. On the other hand, a modern timepiece like the Aquanaut (introduced in 1997) is an excellent choice nowadays but will it stand properly in the investment market.
As an Investment
Yes, the Aquanaut will stand properly in the Investment market. Still, you can't compare it to the likes of the vintage Calatrava or Annular which are constantly sought after. If you want a watch that will serve as an investment (with long lifespan), a better choice between the two will be the vintage Calatrava. On the other hand, you could as well mix luxury and investment together and invest in a timepiece like the Nautilus 3800 (made in 1981).
Buying a Patek Philippe timepiece is not as simple as going to their website or an independent watch dealer and just picking any watch that catches your eye. You have to take your time to properly select the timepiece that will fit all tastes and not yours alone. Why? The answer is simple. A Patek Philippe timepiece is meant for several lifetimes. Still, it can be sold for a small fortune at any time. In regards to that, there are Patek Philippe timepieces that are future-proof and there are those that are not. Picking a Patek watch that is current is definitely more future-proof/stylish than one that was made in the 60s. So, depending on your wish, you can pick a watch that will be impressively worn by many generations (an investment) or you can pick one that'll remain a classic. On that front, classics become antiques (a better investment) after some time.
The most important aspect of any exchange of funds is the price. If funds are not an issue, buying a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater is recommended due to its complications and class. Still, if you want a budget-friendly Patek Philippe timepiece, you can go with the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119R. At the end of it all, the funds you're willing to expend will influence your choice in timepieces.
All Patek Philippe watches are handmade. To go in-depth, Patek goes through the labor of making and hand-polishing all of the intricate and minute components that make up the watch movement. A single dial you see on a Patek Philippe watch takes up to four months or in other terms, requires 150 processes (or even more).
They encrust the stones and crystals of their timepieces and even engrave (by hand) the renowned "Patek Philippe Geneve" onto the dial. One of their timepieces which is a good player for this question is the Patek Minute Repeater. It takes up to two years to craft the timepiece. This is opposed to watches that can be made by machines within months.
The Patek Philippe Platinum World Time was sold at an auction in 2002 for $4 million. The Patek Philippe Supercomplication or otherwise known as the 'Holy Grail' costs more than $11 million dollars. These watches are expensive because of the materials used and the time it takes to make them by hand.
On the part of the materials, Patek uses white gold, platinum, titanium, rose gold, etca to make their famed timepieces. Platinum as an example costs $29 per gram with a kilo being $29,000. Due to that price and Patek Philippe's unwillingness to ever cut back on cost (to ensure the best quality)—you get Patek watches that require a significant investment.
Handcrafted and Time
On the other hand, Patek Philippe watches are handcrafted—which is a process that is time-consuming. Working with gold and precious stones, for example, take more than a year and the result are exquisite Patek Philippe timepieces. Also, substitute that gold for titanium (extremely hard to work with) and it might take up to two years before you get a masterpiece.
Now, factor in the fees of employees who work the materials into the form of Patek timepieces and you have a labor force that must be well kept financially. This is the opposite of using machines wherein the work will be hassle-free. Still, machines cannot replicate the same kind of ingenuity (attention to detail) that a trained Patek Philippe watchmaker possesses. Likewise, can machine-made watches not demand the same kind of respect that a—timepiece from a specially trained watchmaker can.
The Patek Philippe Minute Repeater is a representation of precision mechanical engineering. Wherein, the most important aspect of the watch is called the repeater (a complication). This is the feature that chimes (a hammer beating a tuned gong) the time through the use of a push or a slide-piece. Now, there are different types of repeaters—from the quarter-repeater to the Minute Repeater.
As an example, the quarter-repeater allow users to know the time down to the hours and quarter-hours. The limitation of this particular repeater is that you won't know the time to the exact minute.
The Minute Repeater
The minute repeater, on the other hand, is a superior complication to the quarter-repeater. It allows users to measure/hear the time down to the minutes. In other words, you will hear the hours, quarter-hours, and minutes if you have a watch with this complication/feature.
A Patek Philippe Minute Repeater
A Patek Philippe Minute Repeater uses the Minute Repeater to inform users of the time. If the time is 4:33 (an example), the Minute Repeater will sound 4 low tones representing 4 hours, 2 sequence tones representing 30 minutes, and 3 high tones representing 3 minutes. So, that means a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater will produce/chime the time from hours to the quarter-hours, and then, down to the minutes. An ideal example of a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater is the 5539G-001. The timepiece is the simplest minute repeating watch (with a black dial and a case made of 18K white gold) in the collection.
You'll find the features of both Rolex and Patek Philippe below.
Why is Rolex better?
Why is Patek Philippe better?