Photo Credit: bloomberg.com
Patek Philippe are one of the most prestigious Swiss watch brands in history and so it comes as no surprise that for their 175th Anniversary, they would continuing leaving their mark in horological history.
With one of their most expensive watches, the Henry Graces SuperComplication, up for auction this December after previously being sold in 1999 for a record £6.8 million, it is only fitting that Patek Philippe released the world’s most complicated watch in time to celebrate – The Grandmaster Chime for a cool $2.5 million.
With 20 complications, two dials and 214 parts, there is no doubt that this is a Patek Philippe for the ages and a clear example of why Patek Philippe are regarded as one of the most revered watch companies in history.
Measuring at 47.7mm in diameter and made of 1,366 components, it has been 8 years in the making – not to mention over 100,000 man hours to produce, a whopping 60,000 of that dedicated to the movement alone.
Regarded by Patek Philippe as ‘an intelligent watch’, it features a minute repeater, perpetual calendar with four digit year display and a second time zone.
Most notable, the Grandmaster Chime is the first Patek Philippe wristwatch to have a double face – the ‘swivel case’ allows a smooth reversal to allow either the time dial or the calendar dial to be worn facing upwards. Set in 18k rose gold, it also sports an acoustic alarm and even a chime for the date. For the finishing touches that epitomise Patek Philippe’s special attention to detail is the hand-stitched alligator strap and the 18k rose gold hand engraved clasp.
As if the Grandmaster Chime couoldn’t get any more special, only seven will ever be produced – one for the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva and the remaining six ready for purchase for $2.5million. But don’t think it is going to be easy getting your hands on one – any potential clients will first have to be interviewed by the chairman of the company Thierry Stern prior to purchase.
Stern told CNBC, "I would like to chat with the client and make sure he's a watch lover and make sure he's going to enjoy the watch for many years."
Whilst some may think it’s extreme to host interviews to buy a timepiece, any watch aficionado will understand that even after 175 years, you do not simply purchase a Patek Philippe – you earn a Patek Philippe.