Eric Clapton is known for his discerning taste when it comes to collecting, whether it is his collection of Gerhard Richter works or his penchant for Patek Philippe.
And now Christie's has sold his exceptionally rare platinum wristwatch from the luxury Swiss brand as part of its November 12 Important Watches auction in Geneva.
The watch, reference 2499, was produced by Patek Philippe for nearly 35 years, with just 349 made during the run. Of these, just two were made in platinum, both of which were never intended for sale.
One of the pair is currently among the main draws at the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva, while the other had found its way into Clapton's collection. A legendary model, it boasts a stunning combination of design, function, complexity and proportion.
Clapton's watch was first seen on the open market in 1989, at the now-famed The Art of Patek Philippe auction in Geneva. There it was bought by one of the foremost collectors of the brand in Europe, who subsequently sold it to the legendary guitarist some years later.
Having changed hands only once since its original sale, and boasting a perpetual calendar and Moon phases, the exquisite chronograph wristwatch brought $3.6m in Geneva, selling comfortably within its $2.6m-4.2m estimate.
However, the impressive sale price did not provide the top lot at Christie's auction. That title was held by the J B Champion platinum observatory chronometer, which is named after the esteemed collector for whom it was the made in 1952.
One of two 30mm competition chronometer movements built for the Geneva Observatory Precision Contest, the platinum cased timepiece sold for $3.9m, pushing toward the top-end of its $2.1m-4.2m valuation. It was engraved with "made especially for J B Champion" on the reverse.
Paul Fraser Collectibles continues to bring you all the latest news and investment advice on watch collecting. We are also currently offering a superb Longines Olympic Series men's watch - a classic design from another great Swiss watchmaker.