More than S$20.6 million (CHF15 million). That’s how much the Henry Graves Supercomplication by Patek Philippe is expected to fetch when it goes under the Sotheby’s hammer (not literally, of course) in Geneva on November 11. Completed by the Swiss manufacture in 1933 for American banker Henry Graves, the pocket watch’s claim to fame, aside from its staggering estimated price tag, is that it was (and remains) the world’s most complicated timepiece made entirely by hand.
This will be the second time this watch is going on the block. In 1999, the Henry Graves Supercomplication was sold by Sotheby’s for a record-breaking US$11 million (S$13.7 million) to an anonymous bidder. The identity of this mysterious buyer, however, did not stay secret for long: Three years later, it was reported that a member of the Qatari royal family owed Sotheby’s US$83 million, and had pledged several of his collectibles to the auction house to pay off this debt. The Henry Graves Supercomplication was one of those items. Here’s what makes this timepiece tick.