The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 19, 2019


Patek Philippe gold watch fetches record $21.3 million at Sotheby's auction in Geneva
The Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece made by Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe in 1932 is photographied during a press preview by Sotheby's auction house on November 5, 2014 in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI.

By: Marie-Noëlle Blessig


GENEVA (AFP).- A Patek Philippe gold watch billed as the most expensive in the world fetched a record $21.3 million (17.1 million euros) on Tuesday when it went under the hammer in Switzerland.

The sale of the "Henry Graves Supercomplication", a handcrafted timepiece named after its original owner, a New York banker who ordered it in 1925, was the main event at a jewel and watch auction held in Geneva.

The watch, which weighs more than half a kilo and comprises 900 separate parts, had been estimated to go for a lower amount, $15 million.

But frenzied bidding between five hopeful buyers pushed the price up ever higher over 15 minutes, and the final amount paid was "a new world record," Sotheby's said.

The winning bidder, who remained anonymous, will have to fork out a total of $24 million, including the commission.   

It took Patek Philippe five years to put the watch together. Graves's name is right there on the dial.

It was the most complicated watch built for 56 years, and is only superseded in that regard by later watches built with computerised assistance.

Tim Bourne, Sotheby's worldwide head of watches, said the sale confirmed the watch's "superstar status". 

Bourne called it an "icon of the 20th century, a masterpiece that elevates the discipline of watchmaking to art". 

Symbolises strength, power and money 
A watch industry expert told AFP before the auction the timepiece was not just an immensely expensive accessory.

"This is not a watch you can wear. It is a watch that symbolises strength, power and money," he said.

The Patek Philippe piece displays not only the hour but also a plethora of other indicators: a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon, sidereal time, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and the shifting night sky over Manhattan.

Its Westminster chimes sing joyfully every 15 minutes

The watch has been on the block once before, at a Sotheby's auction in New York in December 1999, when the Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois closed its doors and emptied its inventory.

That time, the exquisite timepiece went for a mere $11 million, again to a buyer who remained unidentified.

The watch was among 368 timepieces that were up for auction on Tuesday. The lots, including the Graves timepiece, fetched a total of $32.6 million. 

Jewels under the hammer 
Sotheby's and rival house Christie's were also both hosting their traditional Magnificent Jewel sales this week, with Christie's headlining its sale Tuesday with a piece drawn from the French Crown jewels.

The mythical diamond-decked "Feuilles de Groseillier" brooch was commissioned by Empress Eugenie in 1855 and was created by French jeweller Alfred Bapst.

Sotheby's was also presenting a bit of royal history at its competing auction on Wednesday, offering up a stunning pearl necklace that once belonged to Josephine de Beauharnais (1807-1876), who became queen of Sweden and Norway.

Sotheby's jewel chief David Bennet suggested the pearls, expected to fetch up to $1.5 million, may even have been handed down by the queen's grandmother and namesake, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.

"It may well be that these pearls were originally in her collection as well," Bennet told AFP.

Sotheby's will also be offering several pieces from the Dimitri Mavrommatis collection of precious stones and avant-garde jewellery, led by the "Graff Ruby".

The glimmering 8.62-carat blood-red rock, mounted on a ring, was acquired by Graff in 2006 for $3.6 million and later sold to Dimitri Mavrommatis for an undisclosed sum.

It is expected to fetch $6.8-9.0 million at Wednesday's auction.

Wealthy collectors from around the world have descended on the Swiss city for the action-packed days at the two competing auction houses.



© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

November 12, 2014

artnet Auctions offers a selection of Robert Longo prints from his 'Men in the Cities' series

Jasper Johns' Flag fetches $36 million at Sotheby's and sets new auction record

Researchers say baby skeletons hint at death rituals of early people in North America

Patek Philippe gold watch fetches record $21.3 million at Sotheby's auction in Geneva

Christie's second auction in India features one of V.S. Gaitonde's last works

New Arts of the Pacific Gallery brings art and traditions of island cultures to Boston

Cranach portraits of Holy Roman Empire prince and his wife for sale at Bonhams

Guggenheim creates new curatorial position for architecture and digital initiatives

Exhibition of new works by Joseph Montgomery on view at Peter Blum Gallery

Bonhams to offer one of the most significant works of modern Greek art ever to appear at auction

Christie's Hong Kong announces Chinese Paintings Autumn Auctions on 24th and 25th November

European Central Bank picks Italian, Bulgarian, British artists for new headquarters

Warhol image of Ingrid Bergman heads 'Scandinavian Eye Exhibition' in London

'The Voorhees Legacy, in Art: A Place in America' at Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Morton & Eden to sell only 'Double' distinguished flying cross ever awarded to Indian airman

The Pakistani village that gave its sons to fight for Britain

Art Stage Singapore announces 2015 fair line-up and programme

Garment District Space for Public Art presents exhibition showcasing nine emerging dye artists

Dallas Museum of Art names Cynthia Calabrese Director of Development

Art Gallery of Ontario presents career-spanning survey of photo-based artist Suzy Lake

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to sell estate of Kansas City interior designer James J. McKiernan

Outsider Art Fair announces 2015 exhibitor list

Western artist C.M. Russell's 'Spirited Chase' heads Bonhams' California Paintings auction

Yarat's new centre for contemporary art to open in Baku

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful