10 Reasons Why Patek Philippe Watches Are SO Expensive - Exquisite Timepieces
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why are patek philippe watches so expensive

10 Reasons Why Patek Philippe Watches Are SO Expensive

It is undeniable that Patek watches are pricey and very expensive for most people. But why?
What makes them come with such a huge price tag? Are they even worth the cost? Many collectors argue that there are lots of watches from other brands that are of high quality and they sell for a fraction of most ones from Patek Philippe.

However, it is undeniable that these timepieces are one of a kind. They are made with the highest quality materials and put together by world-class craftsmen, holding an iconic history. Join me for a deep dive into the world of Patek Philippe watches to understand why they are so
highly valued.

About Patek Phillipe Watches

Owning a Patek watch would be a big accomplishment for most watch lovers as they are classified under the “holy grail of watches”.

The company has been in the business of making timepieces since 1839, and they have earned a good reputation when it comes to producing some of the best watches in the world. They are known for their unique designs and the outstanding movements that power them.

The prices of Patek watches have recently skyrocketed, and some popular watches from the company now cost a lot more than their retail prices. This is due to factors like the increasing

demand for luxury timepieces, the scarcity of original Patek watches in the market, the craftsmanship, the reliability of their models, and many other factors. Patek Philippe has been making watches for over 180 years, so it is no surprise that many collectors look at them with such high regard. The company has led several innovations in the watchmaking scene, so anyone would be proud to own a watch from a brand with such an iconic history.

History of Patek Philippe

Antoine Norbert de Patek and Francois Czapek started the company in Geneva in 1839. Their innovative and unique designs stood them out from other watchmakers, and they quickly became the favorite brand for the royal and wealthy elites.

The company revolutionized how watches were worn in 1845 by patenting the keyless winding and hand-setting system. This system caught the attention of many people because there had been nothing like it. It was now possible for customers to wind and set the time without removing it from their wrists.

Patek Philippe continued with different inventions in the years that followed. The company introduced the first wristwatch in 1868 for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary and developed a perpetual calendar mechanism for pocket watches in 1889.

The Caliber 12 was introduced by Patek in 1923, and it was the first watch movement to have a perpetual calendar. This invention helped Patek solidify its place as a wiz in the watch-making industry. Patek introduced the Caliber 89 around 1933, the watch with the most complications at that

time. It had 33 complications that included a split-second Chronograph, a minute repeater, and a calendar. The Henry Graves Supercomplication watch was sold by Patek Philippe in 1999, and it held the record of the most expensive watch ever sold at auction at that period; it cost over $24 million.

The company also introduced the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar in 2015, the caliber 5270P. It has a power reserve of 55 hours and a thickness of 3.95mm.

10 Reasons Why Patek Philippe Watches are so Expensive

The Patek Philippe brand is a name that has been equated to luxury for about two centuries, but what exactly about their watches makes them so expensive?

Brand Heritage

Since the company’s establishment in 1839, it has had an interesting and storied history. Patek Philippe has been responsible for many remarkable innovations and records in the watchmaking scene for as long as most people can remember. 

They hold records of producing some of the most outstanding watches ever made, and their timepieces are valued by most collectors worldwide. This iconic heritage gives them a status other brands can’t come close to.

Status Symbol

Not everyone wearing a Patek does so to show class or status; some people wear them just for the love of it. But that does not change the fact that Patek Philippe’s timepieces are seen as a status symbol today. 

In the early days, the company was known for making watches for royalty and well-known people; this hasn’t changed since then, as most people wear them to portray high status and wealth.


Factors like the high resale value and limited numbers of Patek watches are among the things that make most of them exclusive. The company releases a limited number of watches each year, which ensures the exclusivity of their timepieces. For example, the Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175 was released in 2014 and had only 1,300 pieces of the watch produced.

Patek watches are also popular for their high resale value. Many collectors see them as an excellent long-term investment and are always ready to break the bank to purchase one, making them more exclusive. For example, the Patek Phillipe Ref. 1518 was worth around $10,000 at retail in 1914 but sold for more than $2 million in 2017.

Design Innovation

The innovations in the design of Patek Philippe timepieces are an aspect of watchmaking that distinguishes them from others. They have watch designs from hundreds of years ago that are still unique and unbeatable. For example, the Golden Ellipse is a watch designed by Gerald Genta in 1968 based on the

principle of the golden section. It is a ratio in mathematics found in many legendary works of art and architecture, and it is still a design fancied by watch lovers worldwide. Another example is a timepiece inspired by the hull of a transatlantic ship. Gerald Genta designed the Nautilus in 1979, one of the most popular Patek Philippe models.

High-End Materials

The type of materials used in Patek watches is something I’ve adored for a long time. Using high-end materials proves the company’s dedication to quality and craftsmanship. It goes to show why most people admire their timepieces.

Patek Philippe uses the highest grades of gold, diamond, platinum, enamel, and leather in crafting their watches. Other materials like mother of pearl, crystals, and aventurine are added to the timepieces because of their durability and rarity.


Watches put together by hand are known to be more expensive than others due to the time and effort put into them, which is another reason why Patek watches come with such a price tag. A team of skilled craftsmen assembles their watches, which take many weeks to complete. Some of their timepieces, like the grandmaster chime, take years to build and produce.

The first step that goes into the watch-making process is the building of the watch components, and this is done with the best materials by Patek. They are now put together with attention to detail before undergoing serious testing to ensure each watch performs its functions accurately.


Patek Phillippe timepieces have a unique finish compared to others, and it is one attribute that makes them look exceptional. Their watches come with different types of finishing on every part.

The bezels and casing are well polished and designed with beautiful intricate patterns, while the hands and markers are often designed with precious metals and decorated with sophisticated engravings. Finishings like the Perlage, Anglage, and Côte de Genève are applied to the movement plates and bridges to make the movement smooth, wavy, and technical.


The movement of Patek watches is well known for the accuracy, craftsmanship, and finishing they possess. They use different sophisticated movements, and some popular ones include the Caliber 215 PS movement, which is found in Calatrava, and the Gondolo watches. 

The Caliber 324 CS is one of the most well-known entry-level Patek Philippe movements, and is used in the Nautilus and Aquanaut collections. On the other hand, the Caliber CH 29-535 PS Q is a very complicated movement that includes a perpetual calendar and column wheel chronograph. 

Patek Philippe also makes use of some movement from other renowned brands like the Jaeger- LeCoultre 28-255 movement.

Low Supply

Aside from being made with the finest materials and designed by very skilled watchmakers, the low market supply of Patek watches is one key factor that causes an increase in the price of their timepieces. The production capacity of the company is minimal.

They produce around 50,000 watches yearly, a tiny number compared to other luxury watches companies like Rolex and Jaeger-LeCoultre. This low production causes the demand for their timepieces to be much higher than the supply, and marketers in the secondary market use scarcity as an excuse to skyrocket the prices.

The company also distributes its timepieces to just a few authorized dealers, reducing access to most of its watches; it further increases the exclusivity and makes them much more desired by watch lovers.

High Demand

The reasons listed above have given a clear understanding as to why their watches are so expensive, and these reasons are also what makes the demand for Patek Philippe timepieces very high. The use of the finest materials, the exclusivity of their timepieces, and the fact that they are crafted to last a lifetime, and some other factors, are the reasons many Patek Philippe watch models are sold out before they hit the market. Their credibility in designing some of the finest watches in the world makes collectors go the extra mile to buy them, even if they break the bank doing so.

What is the Most Expensive Patek Phillipe Watch?

The Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A-010 is one of the most complex watches made by Patek, and it is also their most expensive timepiece based on retail. The watch is the only version produced in stainless steel, and it was made specifically for the 2019-only watch auction. It has 20 complications, and the production and design of the watch lasted about 100,000 hours. It has a retail price of $310,000.

The Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300G-010 is the most expensive Patek timepiece ever sold, and it is made of white gold. Its retail price is $275,000, but it was later sold at auction in 2019 for $31.19 million, making it the most expensive watch ever sold at that time. Patek Philippe has broken many records with other pricey timepieces like the Henry Graves Supercomplication, which sold for $24 million, and the Patek Philippe 1518, which sold for $17.7 million.

What is the Cheapest Patek Phillipe Watch?

For many people, this doesn’t sound like a very cheap watch. The Aquanaut 5167A is Patek Phillipe’s most affordable model, selling for $21,650. The watch has a stylish design, fit for everyday wear. It has a diameter of 40mm and a thickness of 12.2mm. Its case is made of stainless steel, and its rubber strap arms the watch with a sporty look.

Are Patek Phillippe Watches a Good Investment?

The value of Patek watches is rarely argued about among collectors due to the qualities the brand has held for many years. They are well known for their impeccable craftsmanship and top-notch designs, making their timepieces some of the most sought-after in the world.

Many factors affect the investment potential of Patek watches. The company has built a strong legacy in the watch-making industry over the years. It is one of the oldest and most credible watchmakers in the world, and this makes most collectors hold their watches with such high esteem.

The watches are made with the finest materials, with a guarantee of lasting a lifetime. They are cased with high-quality metals like platinum and gold, and they have very good movements compared to most watches.

The scarcity of Patek watches is also a factor in why they are a good investment. The more difficult it is to get them, the higher their prices become, and the production of most models is also discontinued after some years. Summarily, if you are looking for a timepiece that holds its value or might even appreciate over the years, Patek Philippe watches are a good investment.


Not everyone can afford a Patek Phillipe, and some do not fancy spending so much on a wristwatch. But for those who can afford a Patek and are also aspiring to get one, these watches represent luxury, class, and craftsmanship, and they are guaranteed to last a lifetime.

A Patek timepiece is a serious investment, so buy from a reputable seller to ensure you get an original watch, and watch out for the ever-growing market of fake watches.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

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