World renowned watchmakers Patek Phillipe are sending their ‘Calibre 89’ pocket watch to auction where it could shatter the £19.4 million world record.
Iconic auction house Sotheby’s will host the sale in Geneva, Switzerland where the hammer will fall on May 14th on the Patek Philippe Yellow-Gold Calibre 89, considered by watch industry experts and aficionados as the most complicated pocket watch ever assembled by the company.
Patek Philippe launched the Calibre 89 in 1989 to commemorate the company’s 150th birthday, at the time of its unveiling it was the world’s most complicated watch with 33 complications, this was eventually beaten by Vacheron Constantin’s 57-complication found in the ‘Reference 57260’ which we spoke of previously.
The exceptional Calibre 89 took Patek Philippe’s master craftsmen five years to research and develop and a further four years to make it. The watch being auctioned consists of 18 carat yellow gold and originally cost £4.8 million to purchase.
The Calibre 89 has 33 complications, 24 hands, two dials, 61 bridges, 129 jewels, 184 wheels, 332 screws, 415 pinions, 429 mechanical components with it being 88.2mm wide and 41.07mm thick, and its functions are driven by three mainspring barrels.
In total the pocket watch has 1,728 parts, and has the ability to display the seasons, times of sunrise and sunset, the equinoxes and solstices, the signs of the zodiac, In addition to a tourbillon escapement, rattrapante chronograph, perpetual calendar, the watch also boasts a unique calendar that displays the date of Easter every year.
The watch has been given an estimated price of £5.1 million – £7.9 million for the auction in Geneva, but many industry insiders expect the final price to be higher as wealthy collectors try to outbid each other and drive the price up. Much like the Patek Philippe Ref.1518 wrist watch that was sold at auction in November 2016 by Phillips Bacs & Russo, the watch had an estimate price of £2.4 million, but as the hammer fell for the last time, the final price was £8.8 million. In short, the Calibre 89 has a very good chance of beating the previous record of £19.4 million set by the Patek Phillipe Henry Graves Super-complication, with 24 complications, sold by Sotheby’s back in 2014.
Daryn Schnipper, chairman of Sotheby’s international watch division, said of this magnificent timepiece:
“This is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary timepieces we’ve ever had the privilege to offer. Having set a world record for any timepiece with the sale of Patek Philippe’s Henry Graves Super-complication, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to offer yet another unique piece of such horological genius and importance.”
The Calibre 89 will be on show by Sotheby’s in Dubai from March 14th – 18th as well as Hong Kong on March 31st – April 4th.
To see how this incredible timepiece came to be, watch the highly interesting video by Swiss6Made below:
Photo by: Daderot