A must have and a must read. Patek Philippe: The Authorized Biography is the definitive history of the legendary Swiss manufacture written by Nicholas Foulkes, an acclaimed specialist in art and horology. Spanning over 500 pages and more than 600 images, this work describes the evolution of the independent Genevan manufacture from its beginnings in 1839 to the present. The English edition is being released in November and will be followed by other languages as of 2018. Drawing on exclusive interviews with the company’s owners and with staff and watchmakers past and present, as well as on hitherto unseen documents from the company’s archives, Patek Philippe: The Authorized Biography celebrates the history of a unique company. Renowned historian, author, and editor Nicholas Foulkes traces Patek Philippe’s history from founder Antoine Norbert de Patek’s early life in Poland as a young cavalry officer fighting in a doomed uprising. He recounts Patek’s exile, his life in Geneva, his meeting with gifted watchmaker Jean Adrien Philippe and the 1932 purchase of the company by the Stern family, whose members, over four generations, have turned it into the legend that it is today.
His vibrant narrative pays tribute not only to the creations of the Genevan manufacture but also to the gifted individuals who forged its history – especially to the many generations of watchmakers and artisans who can take credit for its success. Among other notable anecdotes, The Authorized Biography reveals, for the first time, the story of a unique timepiece bought by Queen Victoria for her husband Prince Albert. In addition, Nicholas Foulkes was granted privileged access to interview the widow of famed Swiss jewelry designer Gerald Genta, who was responsible for the design of the first Nautilus model in 1976. Reflecting the author’s eclectic cultural background, the richly illustrated book maps out a fascinating journey that spans the last two centuries. Its focus is on trends in art and the progression of watchmaking within a broader historic context. In the words of Mr. Philippe Stern: “I am very pleased to see the history of my family’s company come to life in this excellent volume. This is the first time that the Patek Philippe archive has been accessed and brought to life in a factual and definitive work. Nicholas Foulkes has perfectly recreated the atmosphere and details of our 175-year journey.”
The 544-page book contains over 600 images, including specially commissioned photography by Andy Barter, Richard Foster, Jonas Marguet, and Jennifer Niederhauser Schlup divided in 25 chapters, including a 40-page watch reference appendix and picture notes. The book measures roughly 12' x 12' and will be available in a print run of 10,000 copies published in English. Other language versions to follow as of 2018. The book can be ordered via Patek's website as of now and starting in December 2016, the Patek Philippe: The Authorized Biography will also be available for purchase at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, the Patek Philippe Salons in Geneva, London and Paris, and from local authorized Patek Philippe retailers.
Sticker Price CHF 220 Swiss Francs —approximately $225 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.