Most Expensive Patek to Return to Auction at Sotheby’sCorinne Gretler
A Patek Philippe pocket watch that holds the record for the most expensive timepiece sold in an auction will go on sale again at Sotheby’s, which estimates it’s worth more than 15 million Swiss francs ($17 million).
The Henry Graves Supercomplication will be put on the block Nov. 14 in a Geneva auction, coinciding with the brand’s 175th anniversary, Sotheby’s said in a statement today. Sotheby’s sold it in 1999 for $11 million to an anonymous buyer.
Patek Philippe finished the timepiece in 1933 for Henry Graves Jr., a U.S. banker and collector who had commissioned the brand to make the world’s most complicated watch. It held the title for 56 years until production with computer-assisted machines. The timepiece has 24 functions, including the ability to play the melody of the bells at the Palace of Westminster in London.
Catherine Allen, a spokeswoman for Sotheby’s, said the consignor of the watch wants to remain anonymous.
The Supercomplication was pledged by a member of the Qatari royal family along with other collectibles to Sotheby’s in 2012 to cover debts owed to the auction house. Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, a cousin of the Emir of Qatar, pledged collectibles valued at almost $83 million to Sotheby’s, according to court documents released at the time.
In May, Christie’s International sold a 1927 Patek Philippe that was one of more than 30 watches Graves had ordered from the Swiss watchmaker for 1.2 million francs.