On Saturday 12th November, records were broken at a Philips auction in Geneva, when a Patek Philippe timepiece sold for a breath-taking $11 million.
The model in question was a 1943 Patek Philippe ref. 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph. But what justifies its multi-million dollar price tag?
Surprisingly, there are no precious metals or highly sought after stones on display, just a stunning display of craftsmanship in an incredibly rare piece. It’s believed there are only four in existence, and as a result, it sold for just under four times its pre-set $3 million hidden auction estimate. Aurel Bacs, head of watch auction expertise firm Bacs & Russo, a partner of Phillips, claims the 1943 Patek Philippe justifies its price tag with its combination of exclusivity, the bespoke nature of the piece and its immaculate condition. Combine this with the honour of being the first perpetual calendar chronograph ever created, and you’re sitting on a goldmine. The watch’s calendar also accounts for leap years, which means that no adjustments will ever need to be made.
The 1943 Patek Philippe ref. 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph proudly wears the crown of being the most expensive watch in the world, surpassing its predecessor, another Patek Philippe model, which sold for $7 million last year.