Today’s Design Limited Edition article is all about the most expensive watch. If you talk to the watch collectors, the sellers and the watch enthusiasts from all over the world, a brand always shines out as the “Rolls Royce of the watches”. Like the esteemed automobile manufacturer, this name is commemorated with perfection, exclusivity and the best craftsmanship. The history of Patek Philippe reflects how this matchless company run by the same family has dominated the Swiss watch industry over 160 years worshipfully.
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe is considered by collectors the world over to be the gold standard as far as expensive and designer watches are concerned. The Swiss based watch maker has designed and manufactured some of the most complicated timepieces ever sold till date. The watch for originally designed for an American banker named Henry Graves. This pocket time piece is comprised of 900 parts and took 5 years to manufacture.
The 18 carat gold watch encased within a 36 mm glass cover completely justifies its name and held the honor of being the most complicated timepiece in the world possessing the most number of complications till the year 1989. Experts considered it to be the most complicated timepiece of its time since it possessed an unmatched 24 complications. The functionality of the watch went well beyond basic timekeeping.
Frills offered by the Patek Philippe classic were interesting functions like a chart of the night time prevalent sky over New York City complete with the magnitudes of the Milky Way and the stars and a minute repeater whose chimes mirrored the same melody played out by London’s Big Ben, a perceptual calendar, a different chronological function for each hour of the day and a two faced moon phase displaying the 24 separate complications.
The end result was a stunning, never before seen classic timepiece. Graves took possession of the watch in 1933 and it remained in his possession till his death. Seth G. Atwood’s Time Museum located in Rockford, Illinois was entrusted with the responsibility of safe keeping of the coveted item after Graves passed away. The timepiece remained in the possession of the museum till 1999.
It then landed up at the New York based Sotheby’s auction house in the same year after the museum closed down where it managed to smash all records on its way to an astronomical final bid price of $11 million.