In the past few years, the values of collectible watches have surged dramatically, turning auctions into significant events. Below is a list of the top five most expensive watches ever sold at auction.
Top Five Most Expensive Watches Ever Sold At Auction: INTRODUCTION
In the realm of luxury timepieces, the auction floor becomes a theater where passion and rarity collide to produce record-breaking sales. Patek Philippe, known for its exquisite craftsmanship, dominates the upper echelons of this world. Remarkably, the top 5 most expensive watches ever sold at auction feature no less than four masterpieces from this iconic house. Notably, all these landmark sales have unfolded in the last decade, underscoring the emergent nature of collectible watches as a coveted asset class. An intriguing detail further enhances the allure of these horological treasures: three out of the five watches on this list are crafted from stainless steel, a departure from the traditional use of precious metals.
Top Five Most Expensive Watches Ever Sold At Auction: the list
Let’s embark on a journey through these extraordinary timepieces, starting with number 5:
5) Patek Philippe ref. 1518 Pink Gold “Prince Toussoun”: $9.57 Million
This rare gem, one of only 14 produced in pink gold, achieved a price tag of $9.57 million in a 2021 Sotheby’s auction. Its exceptional provenance stems from its purchase in 1951 by Prince Mohammed Tewfik A. “T.A.” Toussoun of Egypt, with all certificates intact.
4) Patek Philippe ref. 1518 in Stainless Steel: $11.1 Million
Crafted in 1943, this stainless steel beauty made waves in 2016 when it became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, fetching a staggering $11.1 million. The Ref. 1518 is exceptionally rare due to its stainless steel construction at a time when high-end watches predominantly featured precious metals. The steel bracelet and impeccable provenance further fueled the fervor among bidders.
3) Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 “Paul Newman”: $17.75 Million
Breaking away from Patek Philippe’s dominance, the Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 “Paul Newman” secured its place as the third most expensive watch ever auctioned, fetching $17.75 million in 2017. This iconic timepiece, owned by the legendary Paul Newman himself, captivated audiences during an 11-minute bidding war in New York.
2) Patek Philippe Henry Graves Super Complication: $24 Million
Crafted for banker Henry Graves Jr., this pocket watch boasted an impressive 24 complications, including a perpetual calendar, minute repeater with Westminster Chimes, and a celestial chart. In 2014, it held the title of the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, commanding $24 million.
1) Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A-010: $31.19 Million
The crown jewel of auctioned watches, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A-010, secured its place as the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction. In a Christie’s-hosted Only Watch charity auction in 2019, it fetched an astonishing $31.19 million. This unique watch, distinguished by its double-face case and 20 complications, is the only Grandmaster Chime ever produced in stainless steel, adding to its unparalleled allure.
Top Five Most Expensive Watches Ever Sold At Auction: patek philippe’s dominance
The saga of these top 5 auctioned watches unveils a world where craftsmanship, provenance, and rarity converge to create horological masterpieces that transcend their material worth. Patek Philippe‘s dominance in this elite group, along with the prominence of stainless steel constructions, reflects the evolving dynamics of the collectable watch market. As each of these timepieces finds its place in the annals of auction history, they continue to captivate the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.