Why Are Patek Philippe Watches So Expensive?

Why Are Patek Philippe Watches So Expensive?

Seven out of the ten most expensive watches ever sold, were Patek Philippe watches. Celebrities and royals alike love them, and they have become the ultimate status symbol that fit the lifestyle of the rich and famous like very few time objects have over the years.


I can list six major reasons explaining why Patek watches are so desirable and expensive. These timepieces are actually a dream for any fine watch lover or collector, whatever the model. How can it be? Read through all paragraphes!

Patek Philippe Manufacture at Plan-Les-Ouates, Switzerland

At the bottom of this article, you will find a recent study done by statisticians at Betway Casino which highlights why Patek watches are such a good investment, based on real facts.

1. Exclusivity

Patek Philippe manufactures only 50,000 watches a year. Compare this to another high-end watch brand, Rolex, who produce over 800,000 watches a year. 50,000 is a minimal amount – indeed – and that makes the brand very exclusive and very niche, for happy few, like the discreet haute-horlogerie house Girard-Perregaux can be.

2. Status

The Patek Philippe watch is the most expensive watch ever sold. That brings with it some serious street cred. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime was sold for $31.19 million in 2019.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

Many celebrities and personalities choose Patek Philippe. These include Pablo Picasso, Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Robert Downey Jr. and Brad Pitt. For anyone that has watched the acclaimed HBO drama series ‘Succession’, about a rich and famous media family, you might remember a scene when Tom spent $750,000 on a Patek Philippe watch in order to present it to his father in law Logan Roy. Later in the scene, Logan gifts the watch to a kid.

Robert Downey Jr. wearing a stunning Nautilus

Patek Philippe has had a significant impact on pop culture. The brand features in song lyrics by artists such as Cardi B, Meek Mill, Tinashe, Offset and DJ Khaled with Billboard publishing a list of twenty-five artists rapping about the Patek Philippe time piece in 2018. 

3. Design

The watches are intricate to produce, and some take more than two years to complete. The watches are Swiss-made in the Patek manufacture, and we all know that Swiss watches have long since been the best in the world. 

Patek Philippe reference 5235

The design includes intricate craftsmanship, involving enamel painting, the setting of precious stones, and delicate engraving. The concept and design stages take between three to five years. Not to mention that Patek Philippe is one of the few brands that produces ALL movement components in-house!

4. Value

Patek Philippe watches have a good resale value. They can make for a good investment as the value of the watch will most likely increase over time. At the time of writing, a 1970 Patek Philippe Nautilus was trading for more than $40,000. It started with a retail value of below $3,000.

Patek Philippe Nautilus reference 5711 in Rose Gold

This is particularly true for the Nautilus, originally designed by Gerald Genta, but not only : the Aquanaut, the iconic Ellipse, most of Calatravas… The brand itself is a great investment.

5. Artistry

Every element of their watches is handcrafted. Each timepiece consists of a minimum of 252 individual parts, and the dials go through around 200 processes. The attention to detail and the number of checks before a watch is commercialized are tremendous.

6. Legacy

Patek Philippe began in 1839 and is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world. The Stern family has been at the helm for over 80 years and is now in its fourth generation.

Patrick Stern, Patek’s CEO

This succession brings consistency in the company’s policies. Their current success is bound to continue on its current trajectory. This also makes quite a big difference from other big brands owned by conglomerates, sometimes attracted more by business value than brand identity.

Envy of most

If you are lucky enough to even try on a Patek Philippe watch, you will feel good and look good. No doubt, you will be the envy of most people, but be sure to ensure the watch and keep hold of it for as long as possible for investment and the joy of owning such a timeless timepiece.

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