The world’s most famous watch, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, will be up for auction at Sotheby’s Geneva November 2014 Watch Sale with many expecting it to sell for over US$17 million.
Created by Patek Philippe in 1933, the Supercomplication is considered the most complicated watch ever made completely by human hand.
In 1925, Patek Philippe was commissioned by Henry Graves, a prominent New York banker, to produce the most complicated watch in the world.
After three years of research and five years’ of effort, the gold pocket watch with 24 horological complications, including a perpetual calendar, moon phases, sidereal time, power reserve, and indications for time of sunset and sunrise and the night sky of New York City, was produced.
Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s worldwide head of watches and Daryn Schnipper, chairman of Sotheby’s watch division, said “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,” he said.
“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.”
Sotheby’s first sold the Henry Graves Supercomplication in New York in December 1999.
With a pre-auction estimate of US$3-5 million, the watch “excited enormous interest and sparked an extended bidding contest” and exceeded the company’s wildest expectations when it sold for a record breaking US$11 million, becoming the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction.