In addition to his professional responsibilities as the CEO of Heritage Management Services, Craig Duling is an antiquarian horologist. Through his website, heritagepocketwatch.com, Craig Duling shares information he has gleaned from over 40 years collecting rare timepieces. Patek Philippe crafted one of the impressive watches featured on heritagepocketwatch.com.
Patek Philippe stands as one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world, as well as the world’s oldest independently owned watch manufacturer. The company was founded in 1839 by polish immigrant Antoni Patek, who was later joined by Adrien Philippe, a talented Frenchman who invented the keyless winding mechanism.
Widely recognized for its meticulous craftsmanship, Patek Philippe continues to make some of the finest timepieces in the world. The company makes all of its own watch components according to rigorous standards. Each year, Patek Philippe only manufactures about 40,000 watches. As a result, the timepieces are highly sought after and are often sold at auction for staggering amounts.
One watch, the Sky Moon Tourbillon men’s watch, has an estimated worth of $1.45 million. Patek Philippe’s most complicated model, the watch was introduced in 2001 and features 12 complications on two dials and has over 2,800 components and 242 jewels.
In addition to leading Heritage Management Services, Inc., as CEO, Craig Duling focuses much of his efforts in the philanthropic sphere. Also an antique pocket watch collector in his leisure time, Craig Duling maintains the Heritage Pocket Watch site to share his love of classic timepieces. One piece his website highlights is the contemporary Patek Philippe men’s Sky Moon Tourbillon Model 5002P, which features a star chart and is valued at nearly $1.5 million.
The story of Patek Philippe tradition of astronomical complications begins with The Packard grand complication, which was created in 1927 at the behest of James Ward Packard, the maker of the Packard automobile. The watch comprised 10 complications, including a moon phase display, as well as sunrise and sunset times and a celestial chart calibrated to the location of Packard’s mansion in Ohio.
In 1933, Patek Philippe created the Henry Graves supercomplication for one of America’s preeminent bankers. Featuring two dozen complications, the piece still stands as the most complicated pocket watch in history. Among its complications were a Westminster chime minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, and a celestial night sky chart set to Graves’ New York City residence.
Today, the Sky Moon Tourbillon represents Patek Philippe’s most complex wristwatch and features between its two dials a dozen complications, such as retrograde date and perpetual calendar. In addition to its star chart, the watch has an elliptical sky vault that shows the real-time orientation of the visible celestial sky.