Saturday, July 25, 2009
Antoni Patek Philippe
Antoni Norbert Patek (born June 14, 1811 – died March 1, 1877), Polish pioneer in watchmaking and a creator of Patek Philippe & Co. one of the most famous watchmaker companies.
On May 1, 1839 in Geneva, Antoni Patek together with another Polish immigrant, the gifted Warsaw watchmaker Franciszek Czapek established their manufacture producing watches. The company was financially supported also by its first workers, among others Polish watchmakers: Wawrzyniec Gostkowski, Wincenty Gostkowski, and Władysław Bandurski. The first pocket watches were produced on individual orders. Primarily the young’s firm artistic production reflected themes from Polish history and culture, such as portraits of revolutionary heroes, X and XII centuries’ legends, and the cult of the Polish The Black Madonna of Częstochowa.
The small company Patek, Czapek & Co, which employed a half-dozen of workmen, produced approximately two hundred watches of quality per annum. The few preserved specimens make it possible to note the degree of perfection of these first watches, result of a successful union between artistic research and the technical skill.
Among the collection of The Patek Philippe Museum there are watches presenting Coat of Arms of Princess Zubów from 1845 and the portraits of Polish general Tadeusz Kościuszko, and Polish prince and marchal of France Józef Poniatowski from 1948.