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Vintage Patek Philippe Breaks Records

Although the economy is still struggling across the globe, collectors jumped at the chance to invest in a watch created by one of the oldest, family-owned watchmaking businesses in Switzerland. Christie’s International Auction sold a 1957 Patek Philippe pink-gold watch for $2.1 million dollars on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. This watch is one of only six of its kind that are known to exist.

A Rare Elegance

The Patek Philippe Reference 2499 is a superb example of the supreme quality and luxury characterizing Patek Philippe watches. The case of this watch is crafted of extravagant rose-colored gold, and the dial features the timeless style and clean lines for which Patek Philippe has become renowned. According to the experts at Christie’s, the watch is in impeccable, vintage condition. It has never been cleaned or disassembled. The face has taken on a soft ivory patina; although around the outer edge, the original cream color is apparent.

The Patek Philippe Reference 2499 watch was made in four series over a period of 35 years with a total of only 349 watches created. Most of the watches were crafted in yellow gold, so the rose-colored gold Reference 2499 was definitely a unique find. This watch is much more remarkable when you consider that through the years only nine watches annually were created and sold by Patek Philippe.

In the 2012 “Important Watches” sale by Christie’s, a similar Reference 2499 previously owned by Eric Clapton sold for $3.6 million. That watch was encased in platinum.

Why Buy a Luxury Watch?

The amounts of money that are spent on these unique collector’s watches may leave some people scratching their heads. Why would someone want to spend millions on a simple timepiece?

Are luxury watches worth the money? It depends. Any watch from a discount store may do a decent job of keeping time, at least for a few months or up to a year. If that is the whole point, then you should go out and throw down $20 for an inferior watch that will be in a landfill in, at most, five years. However, those who criticize people who buy luxury watches are missing the point.

If a collector spends millions on artwork, people are much more understanding. They understand that artwork is an aesthetically-pleasing expression of a particular artist’s view of the world. Yet, luxury watches are just as much an expression of talent, skill and art as a painting or sculpture. The mechanical perfection of a Patek Philippe watch takes master horologists up to two years to complete. Those who collect luxury watches have an appreciation for the masterful mechanical skill it takes to assemble a gorgeous timepiece out of bits of metal, many of which are smaller than a grain of rice.

Luxury watches will last a person a lifetime. They are extremely durable, crafted from the highest quality of materials. These are the kinds of watches that are handed down from generation to generation.

Wearing a watch like the Patek Philippe 2499 is more than just a status symbol. It is expressing a sense of style, appreciation for the finer things of life and a declaration that you deserve small bits of luxury every day. While many men abhor ostentatious displays of wealth characterized by flashy jewelry and loud, expensive clothes, wearing a luxury watch is an understated way of communicating good taste and quiet confidence.

While you may never have millions to spend on a Patek Philippe watch, buying another luxurious brand may be a wonderful way to indulge yourself today and have an investment for the future.

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