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RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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The Authorized Biography: The definitive history of the legendary Swiss manufacture

Find out when the book will be released.

Written by Nicholas Foulkes, an acclaimed specialist in art and horology, and spanning over 500 pages, this work describes the evolution of the independent Genevan manufacture from its beginnings in 1839 to the present. The English edition is being released in November and will be followed by other languages as of 2018.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with the company’s owners and with staff and watchmakers past and present, as well as on hitherto unseen documents from the company’s archives, Patek Philippe: The Authorized Biography celebrates the history of a unique company.

Renowned historian, author, and editor Nicholas Foulkes traces Patek Philippe’s history from founder Antoine Norbert de Patek’s early life in Poland as a young cavalry officer fighting in a doomed uprising. He recounts Patek’s exile, his life in Geneva, his meeting with gifted watchmaker Jean Adrien Philippe, and the 1932 purchase of the company by the Stern family, whose members, over four generations, have turned it into the legend that it is today.

His vibrant narrative pays tribute not only to the creations of the Genevan manufacture but also to the gifted individuals who forged its history – especially to the many generations of watchmakers and artisans who can take credit for its success.

Among other notable anecdotes, The Authorized Biography reveals, for the first time, the story of a unique timepiece bought by Queen Victoria for her husband Prince Albert. In addition, Nicholas Foulkes was granted privileged access to interview the widow of famed Swiss jewelry designer Gerald Genta, who was responsible for the design of the first Nautilus model in 1976.

Reflecting the author’s eclectic cultural background, the richly illustrated book maps out a fascinating journey that spans the last two centuries. Its focus is on trends in art and the progression of watchmaking within a broader historic context.

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