A charity auction hosted by Christie’s in Switzerland saw a record 31m Swiss francs being given for a Patek Philippe watch. This is the highest price ever that has been paid for a wrist watch. The money collected from the sale will be donated for research into muscular dystrophy.
Just a five-minute auction at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, in Geneva, managed to generate the huge bid for the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 watch that was specially created for the charity auction Only Watch. The organizers had hoped to get anything between 2.5 and 3m Swiss francs for the watch.
A Daytona Rolex once owned by Paul Newman, held the previous record for a watch and was sold in 2017 for $17.8m.
The watch was “the most complicated wristwatch ever made … it does nearly everything except making coffee”. She said the watch had attracted “a lot of interest from new clients because it was a charity auction,” said Sabine Kegel, the head of Christie’s watch department in Geneva.
A reversible case with two dials in rose gold and black adorns the watch which also has four spring barrels driving 20 complications. Two out of the five chiming modes of the watch are patented – these are the acoustic alarm that strikes the pre-selected time and another chime that rings as a date repeater of a specific date on demand.
The room erupted with applause when the gavel came down, said Kegel. “It was really very exciting, and there was such a great atmosphere in the room with standing ovations after each sale,” she said. “So much money was raised that the scientific research can now go ahead to clinical trials.”
A total of 38.6 Swiss francs were raised from the Only Watch charity from fifty watches created especially for the auction. The charity money was organized for finding of research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy which is a genetic condition which affects one in 3,000 male births.
“Breaking records is obviously a source of pride and happiness,” said Pettavino, who is president of the Monégasque Association against Myopathies. “What a beautiful moment and emotion shared together. And what matters most today is the difference we are going to be able to make in research against muscular dystrophies and for hundreds of thousands of patients and families around the world for their lives to get better.”
“It has been a fantastic 12 month-long project, 10 cities and thousands of catalogues, it is amazing to see such an enthusiastic response across the globe. We are thankful and thrilled to have contributed to raise 38.6m Swiss francs that researchers will put to immediate use,” said The Earl of Snowdon, the honourable chairman of Christie’s.
No buyer’s premium, which can be as high as 25 per cent of the sale price, was charged by Christie’s. Brands including Hublot, Montblanc, Richard Mille and Louis Vuitton had donated all of the watches.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)