World of Patek

Anecdotes, background information and insights relating to the world’s most renowned watch brand.



A conversation with Denise Schnider
Denise Schnider (1972), Deputy Sales Manager with Patek Philippe Boutique at Beyer.

What’s your favourite model? The Reference 5539G/010 in white gold is the queen of understatements: underneath the almost unimposing blue dial with Arabic numerals, there’s an automatic movement ticking with its tourbillon and minute repeater. I’m in awe every time we have a specimen delivered.

What’s your favourite complication? The chronograph; it’s much more difficult to construct than many people think. Start, stop and reset are linked in the movement, making the movement impressive to look at.

What’s your favourite interior? I love bevelling, a particularly complicated finishing method. During the so-called chamfering process, the edges of the individual parts in the movement are smoothed down so as to accentuate the lights dancing on the surface.

What her boss says about her: “Ms Schnider’s home looks a bit like our boutique: she lives and breathes the Patek Philippe lifestyle.”

The 18th of every month at 18:39

Since this spring, Patek Philippe has maintained a profile on Instagram, feeding its account on the 18th of each month at precisely 18:39. You may have guessed that it’s a (hardly) disguised reference to the year the company was founded. So it’ll come as no surprise that the photos and videos are top-quality and therefore reflect Patek Philippe’s technical expertise and aesthetic competence.

The course of time
50 years of “Ellipse d’Or”

What an icon! The shape of the cases hasn’t changed a bit in five decades. And with a good reason. This is exactly what this flat, elegant model is all about – the perfectly balanced appearance. The design of the “Ellipse” is inspired by the rules of the golden ratio invented in ancient Greece – in other words, the divine proportion between circle and rectangle. It was defined by Greek mathematicians and can be found in many of the major buildings and works of art throughout history.


No loss of friction

Patek Philippe takes the rate accuracy of mechanical watches to a whole new level, as the invention of balances, balance springs and escapements made of monocrystalline silicone allows for even greater precision and reliability. Their physical characteristics reduce friction and thereby sources of error to a hitherto unparalleled minimum.
The new parts made their début when they were built into the extra-flat Patek Philippe “Advanced Research” (ref. 5550P).


Did you know?

When he visited Germany in 1963, US President John F. Kennedy didn’t just utter that famous phrase “Ich bin ein Berliner”; he also received his very own Patek Philippe timepiece. The autonomous quartz timepiece is a ticking metaphor for the Cold War: it displays the time zones for Washington, Moscow and Berlin on its three dials. The rectangular case is attached to the square marble base with bronze plating. The Kennedy clock is thus reminiscent of a nautical instrument: it was intended to remind the President of his time in the navy. Today, the clock is on display in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.