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[Tidbits] The Horologists


His name was Antoni and he was born on May 14, 1811 near Lublin,
Poland. He moved to Warsaw in 1821. In 1845 he got together with a
French watchmaker named Adrien and together–in 1851 (in Geneva
Switzerland)-- they founded what was to become one of the most famous
watch companies in the world.

The company they formed was responsible for the keyless winding
mechanism, the perpetual calendar, the split second hand, and the
chronograph among other things. For the most part. they manufactured
mechanical movements. They are notable–and I believe this makes them
rather unique in the annals of watchmakers–for manufacturing their
own watch components.

Let us segue to clever for a moment. They recorded high prices at
auctions worldwide. Why is that, you may well ask. Superior
craftsmanship? Yes. Surely that. Beauty of product? Mais oui.
Absolument. But there was something else. something only the slyest
of sly foxes could think of. You see. Antoni and Adrien would bid for
their own watches at their own auctions in order–they say–to add to
their own museum. And if as a side effect that drove up the price. ah
well. that is war is it not?

In 2010 their company produced 40,000 watches. In 2012 they numbers
went up to 50,000 watches. That’s a lot of wrists folks. As to the
prices of their watches. Watch out. I do hope you all like puns. In
1999 one of their watches sold as Sotheby’s for $11,000,000 USD.

So who owned these watches you might well wonder. Well. there was
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. There was Christian IX and Princess
Louise–king and queen of Denmark. There was Victor Emmanuel III of
Italy. There was Hussein Kamel–Sultan of Egypt. Alas. there seems to
be no mention of Benjamin Mark. There are things–dear readers–that
defy the very core of my understanding. Could it be that I just don’t
have enough money. Well. if piddling details like that are going to
interfere with my owning a watch made by Antoni Patek and Adrien
Philippe. then let them keep their timepieces I say.

Ah. but the company’s peak is yet to come as we now we rush to bring
the past to the present. Patek Philippe is about to let Sotheby’s
re-auction The Patek Philippe Supercompilation. the most expensive
pocket watch ever. Its expected sale price–I do hope you’re all
sitting down–is $16.8 million. Holy moly. I could buy a planet for
that kind of dough. But I’ll tell you what. I have an image of that
watch for all to see who have not already done so. And underneath
that image. I have an image of a Patek Philippe movement which is NOT
related to the pocket watch. but is there to show you the innards of
one of their other watches and the workings thereof.

The successes of this company brings pallor to one’s cheeks. Blood
pressures drop. People are fainting in the streets. Readers of
Tidbits will soon be heard yowling under the light of a crescent
moon. Electricity will not be needed for a few microseconds of time
as the energy produced by racing electrons trying to escape the
feverish pitch of humanity’s excitement will be enough to light all
the street lamps of the world. not to mention the nuclear

All right all right. Who wants to see a picture of that watch? Hmm.
No trampling over each other now. You know where. Go. Run. Don’t stop
for a hot dog. Look. Enjoy. Home page.
Scroll down. Left side. [Tidbits]. Click.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark