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  • Henry Graves Supercomplication reaffirms record at $24m [PICS]
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • GravesHenryreaffirmsSupercomplication

Henry Graves Supercomplication reaffirms record at $24m [PICS]

Patek Philippe's masterpiece, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, has re-established its record as the most valuable watch ever sold at auction.

The most revered watch of all - Patek Philippe have only matched the number of complications by creating another version using machinery

The magnificent timepiece is the most celebrated watch in the world, produced for an American industrialist in 1932.

A feat of design and mechanics, it sailed past all expectations to bring an impressive $24m in the November 11 sale at Sotheby's New York.

The Supercomplication last set the record for a watch at auction in 1999, when it crossed the block at $11m. It was bought by Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani of Qatar, who died unexpectedly on November 9.

The watch was passed to Graves daughter after his death, then to her son, before ending up in the Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois, where it remained until 1999

The watch was originally produced by hand over the course of five years, the product of a collecting rivalry between Henry Graves Jr and motoring giant James Ward Packard, two of the richest men in America.

Both had been determined to commission the world's most complicated watch (a "complication" is the horologist's term for a watches functions), with Graves coming out on top.

The Supercomplication boasts 24 complications, including a chart of the night sky over Graves' home in New York and a chime that imitates Big Ben.

Sidereal time is based on the Earth's rate of rotation measured relative to the fixed stars.

Once the most complicated pocket watch ever created (and still the most complicated made by hand), the Supercomplication has since been exceeded by the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4, which has 36 complications.

"This stellar result confirms the 'rockstar' status of The Henry Graves Supercomplication. It is more than a watch," said Sotheby's head of watches Tim Bourne.

Just one tier of the watch's mechanism, which was painstakingly crafted by hand

"It is a masterpiece which transcends the boundaries of horology and has earned its place among the world's greatest works of art. The fascination it has attracted over the past few months, as Patek Philippe celebrates its 175th anniversary, is a fitting tribute to the genius of the Swiss manufacturer."

However, there is a challenger to the Supercomplication's title: a watch made for French queen Marie-Antoinette, made by Breguet, was valued at over $30m in 2013.

Learn more about the Henry Graves Supercomplication.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • GravesHenryreaffirmsSupercomplication