The world of watches has a new champion in terms of auction price. That’s right, after about 5 years of dominance, someone has knocked Patek Phillippe’s Henry Graves Supercomplication out of the top spot. And this new champion is—Patek Phillippe (big surprise). Touting some of the most valuable and complicated watches in the world, there always seems to be a top buyer for a Patek piece. What’s incredibly unique about this new top seller (whose specifications we’ll get to in a moment) is that it’s a wristwatch. Where a supercomplication pocket watch once stood is now an only-slightly-less complicated wrist piece—and it’s taken the top spot for most expensive wristwatch ever sold at $31million. Knocking out two top spots is quite a feat. So ahead, we’ll be checking out the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime (ref. 6300A-010).
For their 175th anniversary Patek Philippe decided to roll out a series of limited edition pieces. The ref. 6300A-010 was a part of this celebratory set of releases. Quite literally this Grandmaster Chime is a one-of-a-kind piece, which is likely a key factor in its perceived value. Adding to the fact that it’s an individual, it also boasts Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatch movement to date. It contains 20 complications including an instantaneous perpetual calendar (with a four digit year display), a second time zone, and as the name suggests—a set of chimes. This includes a minute repeater, a grande sonnerie, and a petite sonnerie. Each chime gives the sole owner hourly, quarterly, and on-demand chimes. Patek Philippe’s standout standalone piece is also reversible. It has a salmon-colored dial that reverses to a black dial with salmon-colored highlights. Both sides have a clean look, the salmon-colored dial reads “The Only One” on its top sub-dial.
Sold For A Cause
Patek Philippe’s watch was part of an Only Watch auction put on by Christie’s, in Geneva, that sought to earn money for muscular dystrophy research. F.P. Journe, Audemars Piguet, and others joined Patek Philippe for this charity event. Currently, no one knows who the purchaser of the Patek piece was—as it was bid on anonymously by the individual (perhaps a group of individuals, price and charity considered). The auction itself occured on Nov. 9th 2019 and details about the purchaser may become more available in the near future. However, Patek Philippe sold their Supercomplication nearly five years ago and the buyer in that situation has also remained anonymous. Perhaps it’s better not to know, to retain the allure of these high-end auction pieces.
Similarly, the previous “most expensive” wristwatch was sold for charity. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona was sold with charitable causes in mind. It’s pretty astounding that the latest record holder sold for as much as it did—and it’s nice to know it wasn’t just all for show. Not many people in the world could rack up a price tag that high and it’s nice to know it went somewhere helpful.
A Final Takeaway
Topping two high-price-tag records has us here at TimesTicking reeling. Patek Phillipe’s Grandmaster Chime (which honestly sounds like a Hip-Hop MC name) will likely hold that top spot for some time with its $31million price tag. It has broken records for most expensive watch and most expensive wristwatch at auction—just to reiterate. This distinction is important because the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication (sold at $23.98million) and Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona (sold at $17.7million) were heavy hitters at the auction house in their own right. Though there are a lot of highly valued watches out there, not all of them sell and are merely show pieces. Perhaps another standalone will come along and sweep away the current record holder. Surely the Grandmaster Chime will sound off to its successor when the day comes.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.