Sotheby's set to auction Patek Philippe watch for record breaking £10 million
Horological history being made
The 'Henry Graves Supercomplication' was last sold at auction for nearly £7million, over a decade ago. This time, at Sotheby's Geneva at an auction on November 11, it is likely to smash its own record, reaching upwards of £10 million, or so estimates the auction house.
Commissioned by New York banking tycoon Henry Graves in 1928, who paid CHF 66,000 (equivalent of more than £1m today). The watch took five years to make and was delivered in 1933, featuring 24 complications, 430 screws, 110 wheels, 70 jewels, two faces, nine dials and 18 pointers.
However other than the fact it is large in size (the 74mm gold case itself weighs 1lb 3oz) and clever, there are other factors to consider here... It remained the most complex watch until 1989 when Patek Philippe created the 'Calibre 89', offering nine more functions. Plus, its creation brought about an escalating rivalry between two very wealthy men. Graves was 60 when he commissioned the watch, the latest in a line of custom built Patek Philippes he had ordered, driven by a love of horology but also by his determination to outdo his friend, luxury-car manufacturer James Ward Packard at the time...