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The world’s most expensive pocket watch ever sold

by Michael Weare
29 September, 2010
1 Comment | Discuss this article

About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

patek-philippe-supercomplication

In every area of endeavour there are those who will settle for nothing but the biggest, the best, or the most expensive.

In the world of pocket watches, the most expensive pocketwatch ever sold was a 1933 gold Patek Philippe with 24 complications.

Weighing half a kilo it was too heavy to fit in anyone’s pocket.

The watch was the product of a game of highly competitive, (not to say expensive) one-upmanship played out throughout the 1920s between New York financier Henry Graves Jr. and automotive innovator James Ward Packard.

Each successively commissioned more than a dozen timepieces, with increasingly complex complications. Each pocket watch outdid the other until Graves commissioned the ultimate watch feasible at that time from legendary watchmakers Patek Philippe. It was a pocket watch that took three years to design and five years to produce.

The Patek Philippe Supercomplication

patek philippe super complication expensive pocketwatch

Called the Super Complication, only one of its kind was ever built. And according to Forbes magazine, “When completed in 1933, the watch had a different horological function for each hour of the day and included a chart of the nighttime sky over Graves’ home in New York.”

This remarkable achievement required 430 screws, 110 wheels, 120 various movable parts, and 70 jewels.

The watch was eventually sold by the Graves family at auction by Sothebys in 1999. The anonymous winning bidder paid US $11,003,500, and it is currently installed at the Patek Philippe museum.

In 1989, to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the company, Patek Philippe created the world’s most complicated timepiece, the Calibre 89. A pocket watch similar to the Graves and the Packard, the Calibre 89 has 33 complications and 1,728 unique parts. Its complications include the date of Easter, sidereal time and a celestial chart with 2,800 stars.

See more of this watch at http://www.newluxuryitems.com/most-expensive-watch-in-the-world-1.html

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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  1. Famous Swiss watch brands: Patek Philippe | Click Tempus

    […] of course, Patek Philippe is responsible for the most expensive pocket watch ever sold […]

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