Patek Philippe wristwatch raises over £24m at charity auction

Melanie May | 12 November 2019 | News

A Patek Philippe watch has become the most expensive watch in the world, raising £24.2m at a charity auction.
The 8th Only Watch auction was hosted by Christie’s on Saturday 9 November in Geneva and in the presence of Prince Albert of Monaco, offering 50 rare watches. A biennial charity auction, it has been taking place every two years since 2005 to raise money for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Founded by Luc Pettavino whose son had the disorder, the proceeds go to the Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies AMM).
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime in steel (pictured) was created for Only Watch 2019 and sold for CHF 31 million, fetching the highest price in the auction, and the highest amount ever for a watch. The watch is the first and only Grandmaster Chime in steel: a very rare metal in the Genevan manufacture’s collection and particularly uncommon for a watch with so many complications (special functions).
Launched in 2014 for the company’s 175th anniversary, the Grandmaster Chime became part of the manufacture’s regular collection in a white-gold version in 2016. The most complex Patek Philippe wristwatch there is, the one off auctioned by Only Watch has a reversible steel case with golden opaline and ebony-black dials as well as the inscription “The Only One” on the subsidiary alarm time dial at 12 o’clock. It also features 20 complications, including five acoustic functions, two of which are patented global firsts: an alarm that strikes the pre-programmed alarm time and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand.
The watch had only been expected to sell for 2.5-3m Swiss Francs, and was bought by a private telephone bidder. Overall, the auction raised over £30m for the charity.
Image: Patek Philippe

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