The watch has sold for a world record amount of $24.4 million, smashing the previous record that it held in 1999 when it was sold to Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani of the Qatari royal family, for $11 million.
The Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece, made by Patek Philippe in 1933 is truly a one-of-a-kind. It boasts of 24 complications, including a celestial map of the New York sky, a ‘perpetual calendar’ that adjusts for month and year, a record of the phases of the moon, and an indication of sunrise and sunset. A feat of horological engineering, it is amazing that it was produced by hand over 80 years ago. It took the watchmaker 8 years to complete the job.
The watch was produced out of a friendly competition held by the prominent banker Henry Graves, who challenged James Ward Packard, the luxury automobile manufacturer, to build the most complicated watch possible. Patek, who constructed Grave’s timepiece, beat Packard, whose timepiece only had 10 complications – a nice attempt.
This is certainly good news for all Patek owners. So who is the mysterious buyer? We don’t know. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that like many of the previous record-holding Pateks, the watch may emerge on display in a Patek Philippe museum.