Patek Philippe's ‘The Henry Graves Supercomplication' Pocket-Watch may make history for the second time in 15 years when it goes up for auction again this November at Sotheby's. Coinciding with Patek Philippe's 175th year anniversary, all eyes will be watching to see what record breaking price the world’s most expensive watch sold at an auction will sell for this time.
Created in 1933, the Henry Graves Supercomplication remains today as the world's most complicated timepiece made entirely by hand as opposed to technology. 1999 marked its first Sotheby's auction sale in New York and was expected to sell an estimated £1.8- £3million but shocked the world when it was sold for an astonishing £6.8million, becoming the most expensive watch sold in auction amongst the Sotheby's collection of ‘Masterpieces from the Time Museum'.
However, with closer inspection it's not too hard to see why it is so celebrated. In 1925, Patek Philippe were challenged by highly-esteemed New York banker Henry Graves to produce the world's most complicated watch. What happened next no one could've predicted. After 8 years of dedication, including 3 years of research and 5 years of labour, the Henry Graves Supercomplication was ready. The 24 complications were housed in an 18k yellow gold open-faced minute repeating chronograph pocket watch which also included a moon phase indication, perpetual calendar, sidereal time, power reserve display and indications for sunset/ sunrise times and the night sky in New York.
Nicknamed the 'Holy Grail' of watches by Tim Bourne, Sotheby's worldwide Head of Watches, it still remains the most complicated hand-made timepiece in history; in fact it held the record for the most complicated watch of all time for 56 years until the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 was released, however it was made not solely by hand but with the aid of computer technology.
As Bourne stated, "The list of superlatives which can be attached to this icon of the 20th century is truly extraordinary. Indisputably the 'Holy Grail' of watches, The Henry Graves Supercomplication combines the Renaissance ideal of the unity of beauty and craftsmanship with the apogee of science. Our offering of this horological work of art in 1999 was unquestionably the highlight of our professional careers and set a world record which has held until today. We are extremely privileged to be offering it once again."
Patek Philippe will always be at the forefront of horological technology and what an incredible way to commemorate their 175th year anniversary; to see how much one of their own iconic timepieces is to be auctioned off for, with a prediction of £10million, cementing itself in watch legacy.
The Sotheby's 'Important Watches' auction will take place in Geneva on 11th November 2014.