Patek Philippe Supercomplication
The world's most expensive pocket watch
Patek Philippe Supercomplication is an 18 carat gold pocket watch manufactured by Patke Philippe & Co. It is the world’s most expensive pocket watch.
The watch was designed by Patek Philippe for New York banker, Henry Graves. Graves was in competition with his fellow watch collectors to own a watch which had the most complications in the world. In horology, the term complication refers to a mechanical feature beyond the hours, minutes and seconds movement. It took Patek Philippe over five years to design and manufacture the 900 parts that make up this watch.
In 1933, Graves took delivery of the Supercomplication which had 24 complications, more than any other watch in the world at that time.
Mechanical features of the Supercomplication include: a different chronological function for each hour of the day, a chart of the night sky over New York City complete with the magnitudes of stars and the Milky Way, and a minute repeater whose chimes play the same melody as Big Ben.
In 1989, Patek Philippe introduced the Patek Philippe Calibre ’89, which surpassed the Supercomplication, featuring 33 complications.
Only one Supercomplication was ever made and remained in private hands until 1999 when it was auctioned by Sotheby’s New York. It sold for $11,002,500 and has remained in the hands of the purchaser ever since. The owner was anonymous until 2012, when court documents revealed that the Supercomplication had been purchased by Qatari Royal Family member Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani.
The company now known as Patek Philippe was founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbet de Patek and Francois Czapek under the name Patek, Czapek & Co. In 1845, Czapek left the partnership, around the same time that Patek met his new partner, Jean Adrien Philippe. In 1851 the company changed its name to Patek Philippe & Co.
It is believed that Patek Philippe manufactured the first ever wristwatch in 1868. Patek Philippe was also the first company to manufacture a wrist watch with a perpetual calendar.
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