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Most Expensive Watches Ever Sold
With the global economy, still on life-support to a large extent, many are diversifying away from traditional investments of property, land and stocks to collectibles. Over the last five year, the collectible market has sky rocketed, with art, cars and jewellery all achieving record prices at auction.
While some may have sold off and abandoned traditional watches in favour for a smart watch as the craze grows. Classic timepieces, however, continue to sell well and many brands relentlessly push the envelope of what is possible with new creations.
Since May 2012, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, two of the major players in the watch auction market, have sold six watches for more than $2 million apiece.
Included in our list of 24 most expensive watches ever sold at auction are brands that are well know, like Patek Philippe who account for 20 of the timepieces featured. The other 4 watches on the list, are from either historic figures, like number 24 – a timepiece which belonged to Gandi. Or Swiss watch brands of long standing, like Vacheron Constantin or master craftsmen, like number 23, who creator, George Daniels is well known in the watch world, for amongst other things, his inventions and his end to end method of production. This process is detailed in his Book – “Watchmaking”.
These are the most expensive watches ever sold at auction, as of May 2013.
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THE 24 MOST EXPENSIVE WATCHES EVER SOLD AT AUCTION
- In November 2009, Antiquorum sold a pocket watch that belonged to Gandhi, along with other objects that belonged to him for $2.096 million.
- An 18-karat yellow gold chronograph by George Daniels sold for $2.1 million at sotheby’s auction in London in November 2012.
- Sothby’s sold this extra large single button chronograph wristwatch for $2.24 million in 2008.
- A 1944 stainless steel watch, water-resistant perpetual calendar Patek Phillippe wristwatch sold for $2.26 million to a private Swiss museum at Christie’s in November 2007.
- This Patek Philippe pink gold, perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch sold for $2.28 million at Christie’s in May 2007.
- In November 2011, Antiquorum sold a full 24-hour repeating Patek Philippe pocket watch for $2.29 million.
- Patek Philippe’s Gradowski clockwatch sold at Antiquorum in June 2002 for $2.48 million.
- A Patek Philippe 18-carat pink gold wristwatch with a blue enamel dial from 1953 sold for $2.7 million at Christie’s in November 2010.
- This 1942 Patek Philippe calendar wristwatch, which shows the moon phases, sold for $2.77 million at Christie’s in November 2009.
- The King Fouad clockwatch by Vacheron Constantin sold at Antiquorum in April 2005 for $2.77 million.
- A Patek Philippe in pink gold with a perpetual calendar and moon phases sold for $2.78 million at Christie’s in Geneva in May 2012.
- The Breguet Museum paid $2.78 million for this Breguet timepiece at Christie’s in Geneva in May 2012.
- The Patek Philippe “World Time” sold in April 2006 at Antiquorum for $2.9 million.
- A Patek Philippe two-crown world time wristwatch depicting North America sold for $2.99 million at a Christie’s auction in Geneva in May 2012.
- A 18-karat Patek Philippe Henry Graves Jr. watch engraved with the Graves family coat of arms sold for $2.99 million at a Sotheby’s auction in June 2012.
- This 1954 Patek Philippe platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch, with sweep centre seconds and a moon phase dial, sold for $3.1 million at Christie’s in May 2008.
- This 1928 Patek Philippe 18-carat, white gold, cushion-shaped, single button chronograph wristwatch sold for $3.6 million at Christie’s in May 2011.
- Antiquorum sold a Patek Philippe World Time Ref 1415 in April 2002 for $4.03 million.
- This 1949 Patek Philippe stainless steel perpetual calendar wristwatch with Arabic numerals sold for $4.1 million at Christie’s in May 2008.
- A Breguet & Fils chronograph with two movements from 1814 sold at Christie’s in Geneva for $4.7 million in May 2012.
- This white gold Calibre 89 by Patek Philippe sold for $5 million at Antiquorum in 2004.
- The Yellow Gold Calibre 89, made by Patek Phillipe in 1989, sold for $5.2 million at Antiquorum in Geneva in 2009.
- This Patek Philippe 18-carat gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and a tonneau-shaped case sold for $5.7 million at Christie’s in May 2010.
- The Henry Graves “supercomplication” also by Patek Philippe, sold for $11 million at Sotheby’s in December 1999. It’s the most complicated watch ever created.