Jean-Adrien Philippe was born 1815 in Bazoche-Guet (France), the son of a watchmaker. He was selected as the second partner of Antoine Norbert Count de Patek after whose cooperation with the co-founder of the company Patek Philippe, the watchmaker Francois Czapek, had failed. (The company was then called Patek, Czapek & Co..)
Jean-Adrien Philippe had already enriched the watch history by a new revolutionary invention the crown winding, developed by him 1842. This invention earned him a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1844; it was patented 1845. On said exhibition he met Antoine Norbert Count de Patek, who recognized his talent and made him shareholder with a third of the company.
With the death of Count de Patek in 1877 Jean-Adrien Philippe took over the sole management of the company. 1889 Patek Philippe patented a mechanism for a perpetual calendar, which did not require manual correction. In January 1891, three years before his death, Philippe transferred the management of his son Joseph Emile.