Watches of many types dating back to 1835 are sold at high-end luxury auctions like Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Following is a list of the top five most expensive watches every auctioned—no surprise that the list is weighed down by high end Patek Philipe timepieces.
1. A fantastic circa 1949, Vintage Patek Philippe wristwatch donned the outskirts of the list of most expensive watches ever sold at auction. This stainless steel perpetual calendar wristwatch with Arabic numerals sold for $4.1 million at auction through Christie’s in May 2008.
2. The Yellow Gold Calibre 89, a set of 4 pocket watches made by Patek Philippe in 1989, sold for just over $5 million at Antiquorum in Geneva in 2009.
3. An outstanding Patek Philipe 18-karat gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch was one of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction. Auctioned by Christie’s in May, 2010, this gorgeous wristwatch featuring moon phases and a tonneau-shaped case sold for $5.7M.
4. The second expensive watch ever auctioned was an unconventional one: a circa 1835 Breguet Duc d’Orleans Sympathique Clock with a removable pocket watch. This watch was sold in 1999 by Sotheby’s in New York for the astronomical price of $5.78M.
5. Auctioned by Sotheby’s of New York in December of 1999 as part of the “Masterpieces of the Time” collection, the 1933 Graves Supercompilation watch was and is the most expensive watch ever sold at $11M. “[This watch] possessed 24 “complications,” or mechanical features beyond basic timekeeping, including a different chronological function for each hour of the day, a chart of the nighttime sky over New York City complete with the magnitudes of the stars and the Milky Way, and a minute repeater whose chimes played the same melody heard in London’s Big Ben. It was the most complicated watch ever created and the most expensive watch ever sold at auction—a record that has yet to be broken.”
Patek Philipe did an incredible job designing and producing this timepiece as well as all others on this fascinating list.
Alexandra H for Raymond Lee Jewelers, premiere fine jewelry and luxury watch boutique and buyer.