Over the years, Patek Philippe & Co. has manufactured various accessories to complement its line of watches. Cufflinks, rings, wristbands, and repair tools are what you'll most commonly see in stores or on auction sites. But if you dig around, you can find other, rarer items that might just capture your imagination.
A cruise through the collection at Christie's "Elements of Style" auction, which will take place on March 17 in Dubai, shows a few interesting Pateks at a reasonable price, mixed in among Montblanc pens inset with emeralds or rubies ($3,000-$5,000), a trunk from Louis Vuitton with a built-in humidor ($25,000 to $45,000), and a set of crocodile Hermès Birkin bags estimated to sell for more than $35,000.
You may admire the pink gold automatic perpetual calendar from Patek that is for sale for a suggested price of $26,000 to $36,000. The ref. 3940R-014 does, after all, have that familiar, elegant moonphase complication, applied pink gold batons, and 27 jewels. But it's not particularly expensive or rare for a Patek.
There's also a white gold-and-diamond-set ladies' watch with a mother of pearl dial. At $22,000 to $32,000, it would make a generous gift.
Still, the fun item that caught my eye in this collection of luxury objects is an tiny, elegant, little bauble, also made by Patek, that has nothing to do with watchmaking. It's a cigarette lighter, but let's say we're not going to use it for smoking. You need to burn some documents, right?
The lighter is made with 18-karat yellow gold and green enamel. The auctioneers estimate that it was developed in 1977. The 40-millimeter-wide and 57-mm-long bauble is oval in shape and has a cylindrical scrolling bar on the outer edge, which is the lighting mechanism; you'll find that other Patek lighters look like this, though it is easier to find all-gold versions. The Patek packaging gives it a reference number of 9508, just like a watch.
Who knows who used this little trinket in the past 40-odd years, or how it ended up in this auction in Dubai? You'll have to create stories to go with the watch—and it will only set you back $1,000 to $2,000 to do so.
Seems a bargain to me.