Patek Philippe watches

Patek Philippe is one of the most famous and sought-after names in the watches market.

Patek Philippe gold Nautilus Jumbo bracelet watch

The rarest Patek Philippe watches sell for very high prices such as this 18 carat gold Nautilus Jumbo bracelet wristwatch from 1978. With ‘light-tropical’ black sigma dial, it sold for £70,000 at Watches of Knightsbridge in November 2019.

The Swiss company dates back to 1839 when it was founded by Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek. Based near Geneva, they developed a keyless winding and hand-setting system that quickly helped its watches gain an international reputation.

Its prestigious models include the Calatrava wristwatch, launched in 1932, perpetual calendar wristwatches, which began in regular production in 1939, and the Nautilus sports watch, launched in 1976.

Today it continues to make gentlemen’s and ladies’ wristwatches and remains one of the world’s leading watch brands.

While many of the highest prices for any watches sold at auction have come for Patek Philippe watches – including multi-million-pound sales – plenty of opportunities to buy more affordable examples at prices well below retail value can be found on

Desirable because…

Owning a Patek Philippe is often regarded as a sign of sophistication and taste – but the item itself has inherent quality as a fine piece of Swiss manufacturing.

But it is not so easy to get your hands on a new one. For some of the new ranges that are coming out there is a waiting list and the high price of a brand new Patek Philippe can deter many.

However, there is a thriving market in good quality, affordable pre-owned Patek Philippe watches, putting one within reach for most people who wish to own a watch made by this highly desirable brand. Prices are rising so buying one now could also prove to be a shrewd investment.

Buying at auction

Some auction houses hold regular specialist watch sales or watches and jewellery sales while many others include a selection of watches within a bigger auction, making it easy to find plenty of Patek Philippe watches to choose from.

With so many examples on offer you will find plenty to suit your budget.

Price range

Model, age, condition and rarity determine the prices Patek Philippe watches will sell for at auction.

A standard 10 year-old Patek Philippe watch in good condition might attract bids in the low thousands whereas the rarest and older examples such as some of the Nautilus wristwatches can sell for 10 or 20 times that amount.

A watch’s value can also be enhanced if it was owned by a celebrity or has an interesting backstory.

What to look out for

Check the auction house’s lot description. It will typically state whether the Patek Philippe watch you desire is in working order or needs repair. Some examples may have been repaired in the past in which case the hands, for example, may not be the originals. That would make it less desirable for a specialist collector and thus more affordable for you.

The lot description will also usually detail condition issues such as any scratches. These may often be typical wear and tear for a watch that was worn every day by its previous owner or they may be more severe.

You can request a condition report from the auctioneer if it is not already in the lot description. Attending a viewing in person will also enable you to try on the Patek Philippe watch you are considering bidding for and inspect it for yourself close up.

Auction houses with a watches department will employ a specialist you can contact to discuss your requirements and answer your questions.

What to do next

Decide how much you’d like to spend and use the search facility on to find Patek Philippe watches coming up for sale. You can filter your search by, among other things, price and by location of the auction house to narrow down your selection.

To research recent prices at auction so you can see how much each type of Rolex sold for you can also try out the Price Guide.

If you are new to bidding check out our guides to buying at auction – it’s easy once you know how.

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