The Henry Graves Supercomplication by Patek Philippe re-established its supreme status as the most valuable timepiece in history, selling at auction for CHF 23.2 million ($24 million / €19.3 million / £15.1 million) in the Sotheby’s “Important Watches” sales in Geneva earlier today. This surpasses the previous record sale for a timepiece of $11 million, which was established in 1999 by…this very same watch. Five bidders competed for this masterpiece of horology which went to an anonymous buyer in the room after 15 minutes of suspense. Completed by Patek Philippe in 1932, the Henry Graves Supercomplication is the most complicated watch ever made by human hands – and now quite likely the most famous watch in the world. The watch originally sold for the tidy sum of $15,000 on January 19, 1933 to Mr. Henry Graves.
Henry Graves Supercomplication by Patek Philippe
Discover the Henry Graves Supercomplication by Patek Philippe, the most important watch in the world. First commissioned in 1925, the Supercomplication has an astounding 24 complications
The Story of the Henry Graves Jr Supercomplication
THE 24 COMPLICATIONS
Weighing approximately 535g (1 lb. 3 ounces), the watch consists of 920 individual components including 430 screws, 110 wheels, 120 mechanical levers or parts and 70 jewels.
Henry Graves Jr.
Mr. Graves began acquiring Patek Philippe timepieces in the 1910s, ultimately becoming one of the firm’s most notable patrons. Mr. Graves would either commission watches from the firm or would ask Patek Philippe to personalize timepieces he acquired with his family’s coat-of-arms.
I do recommend the Official Lots Notes by Sotheby’s for more information.
This past Friday, October 31st, 2014, at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, GPHG (Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix), Breguet won the most prestigious prize of “Aiguille d’Or” (“Golden Hand”) for its Classique Chronométrie. The GPHG is an annual awards ceremony held in Geneva, essentially a watch industry event for watch industry folks, though its popularity has broadened somewhat in recent years. In any case, it is one the watch industry’s prime opportunities to earn bragging rights amongst peers, and this year it was Breguet who came away with top honors. As a Breguet fan, I was happy to see the Classique Chronométrie 7727, a 10hz high frequency watch with magnetic pivot (among other fine attributes) get the recognition it deserved. See for yourself:
Abraham-Louis Breguet sought constantly to improve the accuracy and reliability of his watches through numerous inventions, ranging from the perpétuelle selfwinding watch (yes, the name of this blog was inspired directly by A.L. Breguet’s work!) to the tourbillon.
Today’s The Classique Chronométrie 7727 is the culmination of several years of research into high frequency (it operates at 10Hz), magnetism (the magnetic pivot was patented by Manufacture Breguet in 2010), and new materials (silicon). At the same time, the watch honors more than two centuries of Breguet’s stylistic tradition with the fluted caseband, welded lugs, engine turned dial, “Breguet hands”, secret signature and unique number, all of which are the identifying features that express the essence of a Breguet timepiece.
A quick FYI to my Minneapolis-area locals — Wixon Jewelers is having its annual watch fair today and tomorrow. Wixon carries a nice lineup of high-end brands and they will have a few special pieces on hand that are worth seeing such as the Patek 5270G (perpetual calendar Chrono), the Parmigiani Ovale Tourbillon, the Parmigiani Kalpa Resonance, Jaeger LeCoultre Duomètre pieces (Chronograph & Unique Travel Time) and more. Stop by if you are in the area!
Creative Academy, the corporate design school of Richemont Group, is now accepting applications for its 2015 program. Creative Academy was established in Milan in 2003 by Richemont, and the program accepts only twenty designers per year who go on to learn and achieve a Master of Arts in Design, with emphasis in the field of the luxury product design. Specifically jewelry, watchmaking and luxury accessories.
It is a prestigious program, with an obvious opportunity to find a career with one of the Richemont Group luxury brands. Famous designer Marc Newson (recently hired by a little company called Apple), among other luminaries, is on the steering academy.
The application process has been extended to September 30th, 2014. Scholarships are available for the 10-month program (including 3 months internship). I recognize this is a bit late but if any of you creative types are looking for an exciting path to venture along, check it out: www.creative-academy.com