Our Top Five... Patek Philippe wristwatches ever sold at auction



2015-06-26 12:25:43

Our Top Five... Patek Philippe wristwatches ever sold at auction

As arguably the greatest watchmaker ever, Patek's timepieces are the probably best you can buy...

Wristwatches always stand out as items of sophistication and class, so it is not surprising that the very best always sell for extremely high amounts. One name which comes up time and time again -not just because they make such high quality timepieces, but also because they regularly set new World Record prices -is Patek Philippe.

They are undoubtedly the most sought after items of their kind, and during the last few years have consistently sold for incredible amounts. Indeed, as Paul Fraser Collectibles reported last Saturday, June 4, a rare reference 2499, from the collection of James Ward Packard, is set to sell for more than $1m on June 15.

And, as the watches listed below show, buying one at that price could be a fantastic future investment.

Patek Philippe and Co was founded in 1839 and createdits first wristwatch in 1868. Since then, they have led the way and set new standards for watchmaking. To celebrate this remarkable company, here are our five top Patek Philippe wristwatches...

#5 Gold Patek Philippe Moonphase watch

This superb looking watch stands out from the crowd of cold, grey wristwatches with its bright, golden colour and unique shape, which led to it being called the 'television set'.

It was first distributed in 1995, but was not to everyone's liking. Its large, bulky nature meant few were made, and fewer were sold. Today, this rarity means that such an item will only increase in value over the coming years, as it becomes a classic.

When this reference 5020 was sold at Sotheby's for $182,500, it was described as the perfect 'trophy' wristwatch. It is hard to disagree.

#4 Platinum Automatic Minute Repeating wristwatch

Produced in 1989, to mark the 150th Anniversary of the company's founding, this reference 3974 was part of Christie's collection of 'Important Watches'.

The auction took place in December 2010 in Hong Kong, and was an incredible finale to the year. It sold for $716,288, above its estimate.

This is not surprising though, when you take into account the fact that it was only produced in small numbers, and very few have appeared on the open market. The wonderful features, which make the watch unique, and its sheer rarity mean that, even at that price, it could be considered a steal.

#3 Double Dialed Sky Moon Tourbillon

Considered to be one of the most complicated timepieces ever created, this incredible object is made up of handmade components. When you are paying more than $1m for a wristwatch, you expect it to be high quality, which this one certainly is.

Each gear has been polished to reduce friction. It is in such demand, that there is a five year waiting list to own one. It is arguably one of the finest items in existence.

The unique double dialed aspect means it is unlike anything else, and was well worth the 1,116,562 it sold for.

#2 Rare reference 2499 in Pink Gold

It is no exaggeration to say that this is a fantastic watch, largely because of its intriguing colour. At first it looks like an ordinary gold wristwatch, but after a longer look there is no doubt there is something inherently unique about its appearance.

The only thing which openly defines it as a Patek Philippe is of course the traditional dial. The watch sold for a massive price of $1,751,218.

The fact that this particular model had never been auctioned before, along with its exceptional quality, gives it pride of place as one of the greatest timepieces ever. As with most Patek Philippe watches, very few were ever made anyway. Just seven ref. 2499 watches are known to have appeared in public.

#1 One-of-a-kind 1943 $5.7m Patek Philippe

One of the most expensive wristwatches ever sold, and therefore arguably one of the best ever made. It is the ultimate rarity, with just one in existence. The reference 1527 sold for more than double its already staggering estimate of between $1.4m-2.25m, for a final price of $5,708,885.

When it was auctioned off last May at Christie's in Geneva, it was the first time it had appeared on the market for 20 years. Its elegant tonneau-shaped case and understated (compared to some) appearance make it the perfect piece for a true watch connoisseur.

It is the most valuable yellow-gold wristwatch ever sold, and confirmed Patek Philippe's place as the undisputed masters of this market.

Yes, it may not be the company's most complicated or pronounced piece, but its rarity, provenance and, (in Christie's words) 'sensual, even voluptuous appearance' make it the ultimate wristwatch. Who knows when it will come up for sale in the future... But when it does, who would bet against it smashing the record again?

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