Time is a valuable thing; the scarcest and least replenishable resource known to Man. It pervades our lives and punctuates our existence. Understandably, we’ve bestowed special importance in this thing we call ‘time’, and it’s now become fashionable to wear time-keeping devices around our wrists. Though all the money in the world can’t buy anyone more time, it sure as hell can get you a fine ass watch.
A Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A made history over the weekend, selling at the ‘Only Watch’ auction for just over USD$31 million, which is around AUD$45 million. The watch was made exclusively for the event, a biennial charity auction, and obliterated the previous record of USD$24 million which was set by a Patek Phillipe pocket-watch back in 2014.
No doubt horology has come a long way since the invention of the first self-winding watch in 1923 but I’m near certain that inventor John Harwood would find this a comical amount to be spending on something with such limited utility. As I report on this mind-boggling piece of horological history, a humble Casio F-91W sits on my wrist – it’s nothing flash but it does its job and it matched my black socks today. $45 mill could get you 2,250,000 of these rubbery beauties…
Granted, the Grandmaster can do slightly more than just tell the time – in fact, it’s Patek Philippe’s most complicated watch available. With two 18k rose gold faces, the reversible timepiece contains a number of complications, including a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater, a second-time zone, a leap year cycle, and esoteric chiming mechanisms.
It’s nice to know that 99% of the profits will go to charity – with this year’s takings being given to research projects into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The watch was kindly donated by Patek Phillipe.