A new world record was set by a Patek Philippe watch after it was sold for 31 million Swiss francs (£24.2m) in a charity auction hosted by Christie’s in Switzerland. The watch, Patek Phillipe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010, is by far the most expensive wristwatch, the proceeds of which will be donated to research into muscular dystrophy.
Specially created for the charity auction Only Watch, hosted by Christie’s watch department, it was bought by a private telephone bidder following a five-minute auction at Geneva’s Four Seasons Hotel de Bergues, The Guardian reported.
The watch broke the record set by a Daytona Rolex — which was once owned by Paul Newman — sold at $17.8m in 2017.
Sabine Kegel, the head of Christie’s in Geneva, said the watch was “the most complicated wristwatch ever made… it does nearly everything except making coffee”. She added that the watch had attracted “a lot of interest from new clients because it was a charity auction”.
“It was really very exciting, and there was such a great atmosphere in the room with standing ovations after each sale. So much money was raised that the scientific research can now go ahead to clinical trials,” The Guardian quoted Kegel as saying.
The watch has four spring barrels with 20 complications and features a reversible case with two dials in black and rose gold. It has five chiming modes, two of which are claimed to be the world’s firsts — an acoustic alarm that strikes the pre-selected time and a date repeater sounding the date on demand.
“Breaking records is obviously a source of pride and happiness. What a beautiful moment and emotion shared together. And what matters most today is the difference we are going to be able to make in research against muscular dystrophies and for hundreds of thousands of patients and families around the world for their lives to get better,” said Luc Pettavino, the former chief executive of the Monaco Yacht Show.
“It has been a fantastic 12 month-long project, 10 cities and thousands of catalogues, it is amazing to see such an enthusiastic response across the globe. We are thankful and thrilled to have contributed to raising SFr38.6m that researchers will put to immediate use,” said the chairman of Christie’s.
Christie’s did not charge a buyer’s premium. All of the watches were donated by brands including Hublot, Montblanc, Richard Mille, and Louis Vuitton. Christie’s will sell a further 214 rare watches in a sale on Monday.