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Patek philippe ref 2499

$7.8 Million Patek Philippe Silk Road Watch Claims World Record

Family heirlooms often have interesting stories behind them. The story behind the extremely rare Patek Philippe may not seem that interesting, despite the watch going for $7.8 million in a recent auction. “In 1956, Mr. A.G., an entrepreneur, originally from Bologna, bought the present timepiece from an official Patek Philippe retailer in Italy,” says a note from the family of the original owner. “The watch belonged to the original owner until 1978. When he passed away, the watch was passed down to his only son. In 2018, the watch was passed down to the grandchildren of the original owner. Today, the grandchildren are offering the present timepiece.”

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So if it’s not the back story, what makes this Patek Philippe worth nearly $8 million? For starters, the watch is made of yellow gold—but even that doesn’t account for the extended bidding war inspired by the watch. Watch fans will recognise the watch as “The Silk Road,” so dubbed for its depiction of the Eurasian landmass. It’s also the first of 11 Ref. 2523 models, and it’s one of only three with the Eurasian design.

The watch has a cloisonné enamel dial. Two crowns are used on the watch—one to wind it and the other to control the city ring. The city ring allows the wearer to calculate the current time in 40 cities, all of which are listed on the watch’s circumference. Powering the watch is a Swiss “time only” 12-ligne movement (cal. 12-400), which was personally modified by Louis Cottier, who invented the world time system.

World record patek philippe ref 2499 auction

“The result demonstrates the appetite across the international market for uber-rare museum-quality watches and Phillips’ ability to bring such horological grails to the market,” stated Auirel Bacs, a senior consultant for Phillips (the auction house that handled the sale). In addition to the world record Patek Philippe, the auction also featured a platinum Nautilus, Ref. 5711P, which sold for $630,475. All told, the auction brought in $42 million.

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