Patek Philippe SA was founded in 1839, and is based in Canton of Geneva and the Vallée de Joux. Patek Philippe, one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers in the world, has been has been owned and operated by the Stern family since 1932.

The prestigious Manufacture has had many patrons and timepiece owners including Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Pius IX, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Pablo Picasso, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Leo Tolstoy.

In 2001 the Patek Philippe Museum opened to great fanfare in Geneva. The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication, widely known as one of the world's most complicated mechanical watches, currently holds the title of the most expensive watch ever sold at auction. The Henry Graves sold for 24 million US dollars (23,237,000 CHF) in Geneva on November 11, 2014. As of 2018 seven Patek Philippe watches are among the world's top ten most expensive watches ever sold at auction.