Patek Allegedly Meant for Putin Fetches $1.2 Million in Auction

  • Timepiece sold to Asian buyer; price includes buyer’s premium
  • Watch went under the hammer after 15-minute bidding battle

A Patek Philippe timepiece allegedly meant for Russian President Vladimir Putin was sold for 1.05 million euros ($1.2 million) in a Monaco auction.

The Patek Philippe timepiece.

Source: Monaco Legend Group

The timepiece sold to an unidentified Asian buyer after a 15-minute bidding battle between three parties over the phone and internet, Monaco Legend Group said by phone on Thursday. It didn’t disclose the seller. The platinum-cased Patek Philippe Ref. 5208 was estimated to be worth as much as 1.15 million euros by the auction house, which held the sale with partner Antiquorum. The timepiece retails for about $1 million but is sold only by invitation.

The watch, which features a self-winding perpetual calendar and can chime out the time, was bought as a gift for the Russian president at a shop in London in December 2015 by an unidentified buyer, the auctioneer said. The store recorded “Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin” -- the leader’s full name -- as the owner on the certificate of origin. The Kremlin denied the timepiece was presented to Putin.

Patek Philippe watches are particularly coveted at auctions and often fetch more than $1 million. In May, Christie’s sold one that used to belong to Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie for $2.9 million.

— With assistance by Ilya Arkhipov

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