How do you make a $1.3m wristwatch?

Patek Philippe is one of the very few family owned watchmakers in Geneva. Its engineers and designers have created some of greatest, most innovative and sought after watches in the world today.

Famous wearers include Russian president Vladimir Putin, American business magnate and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, and First Secretary of State Peter Mandelson.

And now Patek Philippe has released a video allowing watch collectors and enthusiasts to see the incredibly detailed and intricate processes behind its finest watches.

This remarkable video takes you through the entire process, from research and development to the final stamp-off on a finished watch:

The footage gives a brilliant insight into why Patek Philippe watches remain innovative and sought-after; and how the brand has continued to further its reputation in the 2009 auction market.

This year has seen a number of eye-catching releases from the Genevan master watchmakers.

On October 7, value and innovation collided when a new Patek, heralded as the 'most complicated wristwatch ever,' was introduced to the world market.

The Sky Moon Tourbillion was priced at an incredible $1.3m.

It is crafted from 18-karat yellow gold and sapphire crystals, and features a sky chart and sidereal time (sidereal is used by astronomers to angle their telescopes).

What's more, only two examples of the Sky Moon Tourbillion are crafted each year.

Elsewhere, last month saw two Pateks sell for record values at Antiquorum in New York, on September 17 - stealing the limelight from Marlon Brando's Vacheron Constantin.

In front of a packed auction house, The Ref. 5016 in platinum sold for $178,000 and the Ref. 3939, also in platinum, brought $684,000. Both sales were world records.

More recently, the Grande Complication Ref. 5104 PR has been released, priced at €645,000.

The Ref. 5104 is the first of its kind, with a totally transparent dial revealing the elaborately crafted internal sub-mechanisms within.

It reportedly takes "infinite patience and countless hours of work to create." This is probably why Patek will only be manufacturing ten each year, making it one of the most sought-after watches in the world.

However, Patek Philippe's are also accessible to newer or less wealthly collectors.

Their expertly crafted watches can be bought for as little as £6,000.

Paul Fraser. 

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