Patek Philippe's Yellow-Gold Calibre 89 watch to sell at Sotheby's
Sotheby's has announced the upcoming sale of the Patek Philippe Yellow-Gold Calibre 89, one of the most complicated watches ever created.
The "horological masterwork" took nine years to create, features 33 complications and consists of a remarkable 1,728 parts.
Four examples were produced in 1989 to celebrate Patek Philippe's 150th anniversary, in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and platinum.
Described as "one of the most important watches ever to be offered at auction", the Patek Philippe Yellow-Gold Calibre 89 is expected to achieve $6.4 - $9.9 million.
Upon its release, the watch held the record as the world's most complicated mechanical timepiece.
For more than half a century that record had been held by the Henry Graves Supercomplication, a pocket watch made by Patek Philippe in 1933 for the renowned New York banker.
During the 1920s Graves was embroiled in a rivalry with American automaker James Ward Packard, a fellow watch collector, over who could own the world's most complicated timepiece.
He commissioned the help of Patek Philippe, who spent three years researching the project and a further five producing the parts, before delivering to him an 18k gold pocket watch with 24 different functions.
In November 2014, Sotheby's sold the Henry Graves Supercomplication in Geneva for a world record price of $24 million.
In 2015, Swiss maker Vacheron Constantin raised the bar once again when it created the Reference 57260, featuring 57 complications and more than 2,800 components.
"This is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary timepieces we’ve ever had the privilege to offer," said Daryn Schnipper, Sotheby’s Chairman of the International Watch Division.
"Having set a world record for any timepiece with the sale of Patek Philippe’s Henry Graves Supercomplication, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to offer yet another unique piece of such horological genius and importance."
Sotheby's Important Watches sale takes place at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva on May 17.
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