1972 Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse ref. 3582, manual winding movement, 29 x 33.9mm. gold case.
Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva. In 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the key-less winding mechanism. Patek Philippe & Co was founded in 1851.
It designs and manufactures timepieces and movements including some of the most complicated mechanical watches. It is considered by many experts and aficionados to be one of the most prestigious watch brands along with Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Sohne.
Patek Philippe pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches.
In 2012, the company produced 50,000 watches.
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 Henry Graves Super-complication timepiece, made by the Patek Philippe in 1933 for the banker Henry Graves, was sold at Sotheby’s in Switzerland. The sale smashed the world record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, which was previously held by the same watch. In 1999, it was sold for $11 million.