Sotheby’s announces that it will present for sale The Henry Graves Supercomplication in Geneva on 11 November 2014. Made by Patek Philippe in 1933, this masterpiece of horology is the most famous watch in the world and the most complicated watch ever made completely by human hand. Its reappearance on the market, 15 years after its record sale, will coincide with Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary celebrations.
The watch will be offered in Sotheby’s Geneva sale of Important Watches with an estimate in excess of CHF 15 million.
In 1925, Patek Philippe was commissioned by Henry Graves, a prominent New York banker, to produce the most complicated watch in the world. The product of three years of research and five years’ effort by the most skilled technicians, this extraordinary timepiece is a gold openface minute repeating chronograph clockwatch with Westminster chimes. Among the features it incorporates are perpetual calendar, moon phases, sidereal time, power reserve, and indications for time of sunset and sunrise and the night sky of New York City. 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.
Sotheby’s first sold the Henry Graves Supercomplication in New York in December 1999, as part of a sale of 81 masterpieces from the world-renowned Time Museum. Offered with an estimate of $3-5 million, the watch excited enormous interest and sparked an extended bidding contest, exceeding the company’s wildest expectations when it sold for a record-breaking $11 million, becoming the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction.