Of course, for watch enthusiasts, the brand, founded in 1839, is not a new discovery; it has long been the pre-eminent mark of luxury.
"For many, Patek Philippe is religion," says John Reardon, international head of watches at Christie's. "Patek Philippe represents the finest watches humankind ... can make or has made or will make, but actually represents the best of the best whether it was 150 years ago or today."
The brand has set itself apart with a unique combination of craftsmanship and utility, featuring some of the most complicated functions found in mechanical watches, such as perpetual calendars and double chronographs.
But with a sterling reputation also comes an eye-catching price tag. At the Tiffany & Co. flagship store off New York's Fifth Avenue, the Patek Philippe 5271p Grand Complications will set you back $260,825 — before taxes. Historic pieces often set records. A 1930 Patek Philippe pocket watch sold at auction in 2014 with a final price tag of $24 million and was hailed by Sotheby's as the most expensive watch ever sold at auction at the time.