Patek philippe ref 2523 silk road on wrist

$9.95 million Record-breaking Patek Philippe Sale Headlines The Geneva Watch Auction

The mythical ‘Silk Road’ cloisonné enamel dial Patek Philippe ref. 2523 has just destroyed two world records over the weekend after nearly accomplishing the infamous $8 million mark at the Geneva Watch Auction: XIII hosted by Phillips. This 1 of 3 timepiece sold for a blistering $9.95 million (US$7.8m).

Widely regarded as the ‘end-game’ for collectors, the watch shattered its estimate of US$4 million. Almost doubling the prediction on its route to achieving two records, the most ever paid for a yellow gold wristwatch at auction, and a new record high for this particular model.

Patek Philippe ref. 2523 ‘Silk Road’

Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
Year: 1953
Reference No: 2523
Movement No: 720’301
Case No: 306’193
Material: 18K yellow gold
Calibre: Manual, cal. 12”’400HU, 18 jewels
Bracelet/Strap: Three custom made Patek Philippe leather straps: brown, yellow and pistachio.
Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold pin buckle
Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed by maker, enamel disc signed “LC” by watchmaker

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Patek philippe ref 2523 silk road 3

Image: Phillips

Depicting the Eurasian landmass on its dial, the watch is one of just three ever made. Nicknamed ‘The Silk Road’ due to its gorgeous cloisonné enamel dial and two crown configuration. There’s a city ring that wraps around the dial which allows the wearer to calculate the current time in the 40 cities listed around the watch’s circumference. Mechanically powered by one of the most revered movements in history, the ‘time only’ 12-ligne – cal. 12-400 – is personally modified by the inventor of the world time system Louis Cottier.

“This 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,” said Phillips’s senior consultant Aurel Bacs, and head of Europe and the Middle East Alexandre Ghotbi.

We haven’t seen a ‘Silk Road’ cross the auction scene in almost 20-years, in fact, to even see one in the flesh you’d have to travel to the Patek Philippe museum! The timing couldn’t have been better for the lucky owner who doubled the estimated value of the watch after a bidding war erupted between nine international collectors in the auction house. It wasn’t long before the watch was snapped up by an anonymous bidder over the phone, promptly destroying the record for a yellow gold wristwatch sold at auction.

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Patek philippe smashing prices

Image: Phillips

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It wasn’t the only other Patek Philippe smashing prices. Mulitple modern Nautilus models reached never before seen prices, including a classic Ref. 5711P which fetched over AU$800,000 and a fully iced Ref. 5719/1G which reached nearly AU$500,000. For all the watch sales from The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII follow the link below.

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Patek philippe ref 2523 silk road 2

Image: Phillips

Patek philippe ref 2523 silk road

Image: Phillips

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Ben McKimm
Journalist - Automotive & Tech

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.