Patek Philippe
Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 is the most expensive watch sold at any auction Image Credit: Supplied

A unique Patek Philippe wristwatch is now the most expensive timepiece ever sold. It fetched CHF31,000,000 (approx. $31 million) at a charity auction in Geneva on Saturday evening. This one-off Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 is the only stainless steel version of the Swiss manufacturer’s most complicated wristwatch. It surpassed the value of the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication pocketwatch, which sold for CHF23,237,000 (approx. $24 million) in November 2011.

The sale of the steel Grandmaster Chime represents more than 80 per cent of the total money raised at the Only Watch 2019 Charity Auction this year, a total of CHF38,593,000 ($38.6 million). The bi-annual auction, organized by Monaco’s Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy and conducted by Christie’s Watches, raises money to fund research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The premise of the charity auction is simple — leading brands donate a one-off timepiece to the auction. Since 2005, more than $40 million has been raised to finance fundamental and applied research in this field.

Back to the Patek Ref. 6300A-010: This was easily the most talked about timepiece in the lead-up to the auction. The watch, equipped with a reversible case, two dials and 20 complications had a pre-sale estimate of $250,000-300,000. Launched in 2014 on the occasion of the venerable watchmaker’s 175th anniversary, the Grandmaster Chime became part of the brand’s regular collection in 2016 but it was only available in precious metal.

This is most complex Patek Philippe wristwatch: It features 20 complications, including five acoustic functions, two of which are patented global firsts: an alarm that strikes the pre-programmed alarm time and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand. The double-face case with the guilloched hobnail pattern has a patented reversing mechanism. The fringe benefits to the buyer includes a visit to the manufacture, museum, and lunch with the brand president Thierry Stern.

To read more about the other unique watches that sold at the auction including a Tudor that sold for more than 60 times its pre-sale estimate, visit the WatchTime Middle East website.