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Ethiopian Emperor's Patek Philippe Pulled From Christie's Sale

  • Wristwatch owned by Haile Selassie removed from Swiss auction
  • Rare Patek Philippe was estimated to be worth up to $1 million
The Patek Philippe watch formerly owned by Haile Selassie Photogrpaher: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

The Patek Philippe watch formerly owned by Haile Selassie Photogrpaher: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Christie’s halted the sale of a Patek Philippe watch formerly owned by the last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, in a dispute over ownership of a timepiece that could be worth as much as $1 million.

The 18-karat gold wristwatch, with a rare black luminous military-style dial, was supposed to have been part of an auction in Geneva Monday that raised 13.4 million Swiss francs ($13.4 million), including buyer’s premiums, according to Christie’s website. A group of Ethiopian-Americans working with Selassie’s grandson are demanding that the watch be returned to the descendants of the former ruler, the Denver Post reported.