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The Henry Graves Supercomplication watch is expected to sell for more than $17.9 m
The Henry Graves Supercomplication watch is expected to sell for more than $17.9 m
 









World’s most complicated watch up for auction

More than a decade after breaking the world auction record for any timepiece, a watch dubbed the “most complicated watch ever made completely by human hand” will again be available for sale.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication gold pocketwatch, created by Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe in 1933, will form part of Sotheby’s Important Watches sale in November.

Taking three years to research and another five to produce, the timepiece comprises more than 900 parts and 24 different horological complications – features that serve a purpose other than telling the time.

Some of these functions include a perpetual calendar, moon phases, sidereal time, power reserve, and indications for time of sunset and sunrise and the night sky of New York City.

This last feature is a nod to the watch’s first owner, New York financier Henry Graves Junior, who originally commissioned Philippe to produce the timepiece.

In December 1999, Sotheby’s auctioned the Henry Graves Supercomplication for the first time as part of a sale of 81 timepieces from the Illinois-based Time Museum. The watch was originally offered for between US$3 million and US$5 million (AU$3.2 m and AU$5.3 m), but was eventually sold for more than twice as much at US$11 million (AU$11.7 m).

Sotheby’s will again be auctioning what it describes as “the world’s most famous watch” at its watch sale in Geneva; however, this time it is expected to fetch in excess of CHF 15 million (AU$17.9 m).

The sale has been scheduled to coincide with Philippe’s 175th anniversary celebrations, and, according to Sotheby’s, “will be a fitting tribute to the genius of the Swiss manufacturer”.

Sotheby’s worldwide head of watches Tim Bourne referred to the watch as “indisputably the ‘holy grail’ of watches”.

“The Henry Graves Supercomplication combines the Renaissance ideal of the unity of beauty and craftsmanship with the apogee of science,” he said. “Our offering of this horological work of art in 1999 was unquestionably the highlight of our professional careers and set a world record, which has held until today. We are extremely privileged to be offering it once again.”










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Tuesday, 12 November, 2019 08:08pm
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