With the staggering price of 11 million dollars, Patek Phillipe Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch holds the record as the highest paid timekeeper at an auction ever and it is going to be offered to the public once again. The watch is considered to be the most intricate piece ever which was made solely by hand and it possesses a fantastic ensemble of 24 horological complications. It was originally made in the 1930s for Henry Graves and with the specific purpose to be the most complicated watch. As for the record price it later got, it was grabbed at the Sotheby’s auction some 15 years ago. The watch was bought by a Qatari Sheikh who later had to return it to the auction house, since he was not able to pay for all the luxurious items for which he successfully bid for. After its return to the Sotheby’s, the watch will be offered at another auction in Geneva in November, so it will be very exciting to see if it is able to fetch the same record price once again or maybe even to surpass it.
Patek Philippe No.198.385 was made for a wealthy New York banker and horological aficionado Henry Graves. The famed watch collector desired to be the owner of the most intricate timepiece in the world. Patek Philippe’s team responded to the request and after extensive three years worth of work of its top watchmakers, Supercomplication timepiece saw the light of day in 1933. The end result of the efforts was quite astonishing. Patek Philippe made an open-worked timepiece with a minute repeater with Westminster chimes, a chronograph, a perpetual calendar with phases of the moon, as well as several astronomical features such as the chart of the night skies over New York and sunrise and sunset times for the Big Apple. All in all, the watch had astonishing and unparalleled multitude of 24 horological complications which made it exactly what its owner wanted it to be – the most complicated piece in the world. The watch held this title for more than half a century, which just underlines how intricate and special it is. In the watchmaking circles, Supercomplication was considered as the “holy grail” of horology. When it was finally surpassed at the list of the most intricate timekeepers of all time, it was only conditionally since the new record was set by a watch which was made with the help of modern machines. Patek Philippe Henry Gaves Supercomplication thus still holds the title as the most complex hand-made mechanical piece ever.
The Record Price of $11 M
This title is not the only one held by the watch made for Henry Graves. When it was auctioned at the Sotheby’s sale after its original owner’s death in 1999, the piece had the estimated price of between 3-5 million dollars. However, the auction proved to be a shocker since it was sold at the price that exceeded the original estimation several times. The watch was sold for $11,002,500 and secured its place as the top earner in the competition of all timekeepers throughout history. At the time, its buyer was anonymous. However, more recently the secret about his owner became public knowledge. As it turned out, the watch was actually bought by a Qatari Sheikh and a relative to the nation’s Emir. The owner of Supercomplication pocket watch also bought several other luxury items from the Sotheby’s which even he with all his vast wealth was not able to afford. Because of that, the item was returned to the auction house. The new date for the sale of the record timekeeper is now finally unveiled. Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication will be auctioned once again at the Important Watches sales in Geneva which will take place on November 11.