A rare watch built by the competive spirit of a banker in the early 20th-century
November, 11 2014
By James Massey
WhatSellsBest.com - A rare 1933 Philippe Patek pocket-watch was sold by Sotheby's for $24 Million (with buyer's premium) in Geneva, Switzerland. The sale set a new world record as the most expensive watch ever sold.
Born out of a fierce competion
The one-of-a-kind watch was specially designed and built for Henry Graves, Jr. (1868–1953) a wealthy American banker who lived in New York city.
Graves, a passionate watch collector was motivated by a spirited contest with James Ward Packard, the automobile manufacturer, to own the most-complicated watch in the world.
The competition was ignited when Packard placed an order with Patek Philippe to build the world's most complicated watch. According to Popular Mechanics he received the watch in 1916. The watch had 16 unique features (complications) including a star map which showed the night sky over his home in Warren, Ohio."
Not to be outdone, Graves commissioned his own watch with Patek Philippe in 1925, spending 60,000 Swiss Francs. Almost five times the price paid by Packard.
In 1933 the watch was delivered to Graves, and it was the most complicated watch ever built. Named the Patek Philippe Supercomplication. The watch had 24 unique features (complications) including a perpetual calendar with moon phases and adjustment for leap year, time of sunrise and sunset, and a celestial chart of the stars at night over his home in New York City.The Story of the Supercomplication by Patek Philippe (Source: Sotheby's TV)