Thursday, December 18, 2014
Most expensive watch sold at auction: 'Supercomplication' breaks Guinness World Records (VIDEO)
GENEVA, Switzerland -- The Henry Graves Supercomplication, the world's most complicated watch, a 1933 timepiece made by luxury watchmaker Patek Phillipe, was sold for an astounding $24.4 million USD at a Sotheby's auction in Switzerland, smashing the $11 million Guinness World Records' record it established in 1999, at Sotheby's Geneva sale of Important Watches; the Henry Graves Supercomplication sets the new wold world record for the Most expensive watch sold at auction,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: The world's most complicated watch, a 1933 timepiece made by luxury watchmaker Patek Phillipe was sold for an astounding $24.4 million USD at a Sotheby's auction in Switzerland. Commissioned in 1925 by prominent New York banker Henry Graves, the watch, which cost $15,000 USD, took three years of research and five years of painstaking effort to build. The open face gold masterpiece that consists of 900 individual components is believed to be the most advanced timepiece ever made, without the use of computers. (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records' record for the most expensive watch commercially available is the Super Ice Cube by Chopard, Switzerland which retails at $1,130,620 (€905,365) (£616,881). The watch has 66.16 carats of diamonds which includes 288 trapeze cut diamonds, 16 centre stones and 1,897 brilliant cut diamonds. The Super watch is part of the ice cube range that includes ones made from pastel sapphires, black diamonds and rubies.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest watch store; it is the Tourneau Time Dome, situated within The Forum Shops at Caesars, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The store covers an area of 1579.36 m² (17,000 ft²) and was opened in February 2005.
The world's most complicated watch, a 1933 timepiece made by luxury watchmaker Patek Phillipe was sold for an astounding $24.4 million USD at a Sotheby's auction in Switzerland.
Commissioned in 1925 by Henry Graves, a prominent New York banker, and completed by Patek Philippe in 1932, The Henry Graves Supercomplication is the product of three years of research and five years of effort that resulted in a gold openface minute repeating chronograph clockwatch with Westminster chimes.
Among its features are 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.
The historic price for the aptly named 'Supercomplication' masterpiece smashed the world record set by same watch in 1999, when it was bought by Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's royal family, for $11 million USD.
Commissioned in 1925 by prominent New York banker Henry Graves, the watch, which cost $15,000 USD, took three years of research and five years of painstaking effort to build. The open face gold masterpiece that consists of 900 individual components is believed to be the most advanced timepiece ever made, without the use of computers.
Sotheby's officials claim that it hasn't lost a minute since it was last wound in 1969. But of course, there is more to it than that. It has what watch experts refer to as 'complications' - 24 features that go beyond just telling time.
Among them are built-in chimes that emulate the bells of London's Westminster Abbey and a perpetual calendar that automatically adjusts for month and year. The watch can also provide information about the phases of the moon and the time of sunrise and sunset.
The celestial map of the New York sky in the center of the watch charts the exact spacing and density of the stars and rotates at the same pace as the sky did from Henry Grave's Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City - and these, are just a few of the amazing 'complications'.
The case incorporates 13 operational functions.
Facing the watch from the mean time side and running around the case in a clockwise direction from the crown these are:
1. winding device, turning to one side for the main barrel and to the other side for the chime
2. pulling the crown, first position for the mean time, second position for the sidereal time setting
3. chronograph main start/stop coaxial device
4. moon-phase adjuster
5. alarm winding sliding device
6. petite/grande sonnerie selection slide
7. minute repeat trigger slide
8. adjuster for months of the year
9. adjuster for days of the week
10. adjuster for date of the month
11. the strike/silent option, selected via a slide
12. the split device pusher
13. pusher to engage hand-setting when crown is pulled out
With a total of 24 horological complications, The Graves watch retained the title of the world's most complicated watch for 56 years and even then was only surpassed by technicians working with the aid of computer-assisted machines.
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