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Nothing Complicated About It: The Stephen S. Palmer Grand Complication Watch Sells for $2.25 Million

Nothing Complicated About It: The Stephen S. Palmer Grand Complication Watch Sells for $2.25 Million

Luxury watches aren’t cheap, but most can’t boast a million-plus price tag, no matter how fabulously detailed, high-tech or ancient they are. But, The Stephen S. Palmer Patek Phillipe Grand Complication not only sold well over it’s expected $1.5 million bid, garnering instead $2.25 million, but also it broke every record for a purchased watch in the history of Christie’s New York Auction. And, it doesn’t even come with a band.

The Beauty of the Grand Complication

You may not find it so surprising that this watch managed such a sum from a clever and wealthy investor. The watch is, in a word, gorgeous. Formed from 18-karat pink gold that’s carefully detailed with the monogram of the company, the watch is a perfect juxtaposition of delicacy and technology. The face is colored in classic white, blue and gold.

A History Shrouded in Mystery

The selling price wasn’t the only shocker about this timepiece. Many didn’t even know it existed until very recently. The Grand Complication continually surprises, and even experts admit that sometimes they overlook a piece or two. As a result, this watch, from 1898, is a unique and surprising bonus for horology enthusiasts, who thought Grand Complications weren’t manufactured until 1910.

The new owner must be especially excited that the watch comes with all the original packaging, including the certificate of sale and the presentation box. It’s always all about the accessories.

The Technology

Though old, the watch has some impressive machinery inside its little gold box. It features the lunar moon cycle phases, a Grand and Petite Sonnerie, a Perpetual Calendar and Split Seconds Chronograph. Other mechanisms are debated by the experts, but all can agree, this watch can take a licking and keep on ticking.

Christie’s New York is, of course, delighted with the sum the Grand Complication has commanded at auction, the largest in its history. Though the total lot brought in $8 million, this beautiful pocket watch was definitely the most exciting, and luxurious, piece in the pot.


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