The world's most valuable modern wristwatch, the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillion, will attract global attention on October 8, when it sells at Sotheby's Hong Kong.
The Important Watches Autumn Sale will be led by the outstanding timepiece, which holds the world record for any modern wristwatch after another example sold for $1.5m in Hong Kong in 2008. Sotheby's hopes to improve upon this record in 2012, with a high estimate of $1.54m set for the current example.
Reference 5002P, released in 2001, was Patek Philippe's flagship watch and is also the world's most complicated. Available only to its most respected clients, Patek Philippe insisted on a qualifying interview before a purchase could be made.
The model was discontinued in 2011 and the example at auction, one of the last ever made, is a stunning platinum version from 2010. It is also the first to be brought to auction that features the Patek Philippe quality seal and the rare red date indication hand.
Its vast array of complications include: minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, retrograde date, sky chart, moon phases, orbit display and side reel time. Described as "a milestone in the history of watchmaking", the Sky Moon Tourbillon will attract only the most discerning collector.
As is usual with watch auctions of this calibre, the sale will be dominated by Patek Philippe. Also featuring from the luxury Swiss brand will be the first unworn example of ref 5104P, which will sell for $510,000-640,000, and one of the longest-running grand complications, ref 5013R, which is expected to bring $300,000-410,000.
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