Patek Philippe watch auction sets nine world records, brings in $25m

The 'Henry Graves Supercomplication' handmade watch by Patek Philippe was made in the 1930s and has been estimated to sell for US$15 million. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
The 'Henry Graves Supercomplication' handmade watch by Patek Philippe was made in the 1930s and has been estimated to sell for US$15 million. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

Geneva (Agence France-Presse) - Records tumbled at a special auction in Geneva on Sunday to mark watchmaker Patek Philippe's 175th anniversary, with a rare pink gold item going for US$2.67 million (S$3.44 million), auctioneer Christie's said.

The auction of 100 wrist and pocket watches brought in a total of US$19,731,099, double the original estimate, and set nine world records in the process, Christie's said in a statement after the three-hour bidding battle.

The top lot of the evening was the pink gold watch, manufactured in 1951 by the Geneva-based firm, and one of only four of its kind known to the market.

"This sale has exceeded our expectations in every way," said Mr John Reardon, international head of Christie's watch department.

It "sets a new benchmark for thematic sales and shows the amazing strength of the Patek Philippe market", he added.

All 125 seats in the sale room had been reserved 48 hours ahead of the auction, and over 300 collectors and watch enthusiasts attended the event. The sale continues on Monday.

The following day Sotheby's will auction off what has been billed as the most famous, and expensive, watch in the world, another Patek Philippe creation.

The celebrated timepiece known as the Henry Graves Supercomplication after its original owner, a New York banker, was made in the 1930s and has been estimated to sell for US$15 million.