Patek Philippe Wristwatch Library
by Edward Heliosz 2001 ©
As I have previously done with The
Ultimate Rolex Library & The
Essential Omega Library , I would like to put together a collection
of Patek Philippe reading material which I think is essential to the collector
and the enthusiast. Although, Patek Philippe has a long history
of watch making, I would like to focus on the reading and reference material
relating to their wristwatches. Any additions or recommendations
The first and foremost book one should have is Patek Philippe Geneve - Wristwatches written by Martin Huber and Alan Banbery. Without doubt this is a significant work and I believe the template on how books on watches should be done. The books you see here are Volume 2 first edition published in 1989 and the book on the right is the second edition published in 1998. Volume 1 in the series relates to pocket watches put out by Patek Philippe and both volumes originate from the first publication Patek Philippe Geneve in 1982. The second edition is described by Patek Philippe themselves as "A must-have for anyone who owns, or intends to acquire, a Patek Philippe wristwatch. This 372-page volume is an indispensable reference, covering the history of Patek Philippe from its beginnings. Beautifully produced, it has 264 pages of illustrations and is bound in Iris canvas with a gilded top edge and ribbon page marker." Not much more I can add. The text is French, German, Italian and English. The illustrations, diagrams and photographs are superb. All model and movement numbers are listed as are the reference numbers. This makes it easy to identify and date your timepiece. I must stress that these books are not for Patek Philippe owners or admirers alone, they are for all enthusiasts of wristwatches. The latest edition is available through Patek Philippe S.A., Geneva or Antiquorum Auctioneers Geneva. Click on the high-lighted name to go to the relevant web site.
The three books you see are all related due to Osvaldo Patrizzi. I have already mentioned him in The Ultimate Rolex Library . The two Art of Patek Philippe books are in fact hard bound auction catalogues. The first Art of Patek Philippe refers to an auction at held at the Hotel des Bergues, Geneva on April 9, 1989. There 300 watches for sale. All are wonderfully photographed with a brief description of each piece. The catalogue has a brief history of the Patek Philippe Company, its major dates in history and its principal patents. It has 284 pages and was published by Habsburg, Feldman who later changed their company name to Antiquorum Auctioneers. My copy is in English and Japanese text. This book also was accompanied by another book devoted solely to famous Calibre 89 pocket watch. This probably was the first thematic watch auction held by this House, soon afterwards, there was The Art of Rolex, The Art of Cartier, The Art of Breguet and The Art of Vacheron Constantin, other auction houses later followed suit. The Art of Patek Philippe Vol. II is a catalogue for an auction at the same hotel ten and half years later. There are 231 lots with 171 lots being wristwatches. It has 239 pages.
Collecting Patek Philippe Watches by Osvaldo Patrizzi and published by Guido Mondani Editore is in the same format as its Rolex counterpart. It has 360 pages showing more than 600 watches. All three publications present the watches in a similar style. There are many rare items to be found here, some have set world records and the only way of viewing such rare watches are through these books. Not only expensive complicated wristwatches are catered for, affordable and popular models are also shown. These volumes are a must for a Patek Philippe collector or admirer. Although the two hard bound catalogues with dust jackets are out of print, they usually turn up in second hand book stores and on internet auction sites. Collecting Patek Philippe Watches can be obtained through various sources. Check out the links page.