Top 10: Watch sales in 2012
10) An 18K pink gold chronograph wristwatch with two-tone silvered dial - $1m
Reference 530 was introduced to the market in 1937 and is one of Patek Philippe's rarest chronograph models, the majority cased in yellow gold, few examples in pink gold or in stainless steel. This celebrated model is the larger version of the better known reference 130, Patek Philippe's classic chronograph retaining the timeless Calatrava design. It sold at Christie's in November.
9) Patek Philippe 2523/1 - $1m
This stunning timepiece sold within estimate for $1m at June auction in New York, which was organised by Christie's. It set a new world record for the reference in the process. The sale also represented the highest price ever achieved wristwatch at Christie's Americas.
8) A Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon - $1.4m
The Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon is widely accepted as one of the most important and valuable watches manufactured this century. Launched in 2001, the watch was reserved for only Patek Philippe's most important clients, who were required to meet stringent qualifying requirements and undergo an extensive interview before being entered onto the waiting list. It sold at Sotheby's in October.
7) A 1946, signed "one of three" Patek Philippe wristwatch - $1.6m
The rarest, platinum version of this landmark chronograph model sold at Christie's in November. It is unknown why Patek Philippe dared, closely following the end of WW II, to produce an extremely limited run of three platinum cased chronographs, but one can only assume it was rather to impress the public with its savoir-faire than by special order.
6) Eric Clapton's Patek Philippe - $2.3m
"The Eric Clapton watch was bought by an Asian private collector," Christie's spokesman Cristiano de Lorenzo told Reuters, adding that the buyer had been in the room. It sold in November. It is thought that an association with Clapton had very little do do with the hammer price.
5) An 18K pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases - $2.7
This sensational watch boasted a different case from the three others that had ever been offered. Those rare, known equivalents are all fitted with the standard 36.2 mm. case by Vichet, which is easily recognizable by the flat back and prominently down turned, fluted lugs of slightly elongated shape. This watch, however, is the version with the more rounded lugs and larger diameter, the case made by Wenger. This desirable quirk marked the watch out as a real collectors' item and few were surprised when it sold for almost $3m at Christie's in May.
4) A Patek Philippe two crown world time wristwatch - $3m
Few other wristwatches epitomize the perfect symbiosis between aesthetic design and the fine art of horological ingenuity to such extent as Patek Philippe's two crown world time wristwatches. This outstandingly rare representative of that species sold at Christie's in May.
3) The Henry Graves Jr. 18K yellow gold tonneau repeating Patek Philippe wristwatch
This Patek Philippe wristwatch was engraved with the Graves family coat of arms. Today there are twelve Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatches known from the early part of the 20th century. Of this group, only three have tonneau cases: two were made for Graves, and the third is known only through a published archival photograph. It sold at Sotheby's in June.
2) 18K gold double dialled clock watch - $3.3m
This extraordinarily rare watch featured twelve complications, including Westminster chimes, minute repeating, leap year cycle, sunrise and sunset and lunar orbit. It sold at Christie's in November.
1) Breguet & Fils, Paris, No. 2667 - $4.7m
A new auction world record was set by this Breguet watch at Christie's auction of Important Watches in May. The Breguet & Fils, Paris, No. 2667, an 18K gold precision watch featuring two movements, made $4.7m, more than trebling its high estimate. "Montre plate à deux mouvements, sur le principe des chronomètres", to give the watch its full name, was originally bought in London in 1814 for 5,000 francs.
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