The extremely rare Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 was sold for a record-breaking $11 million at the Geneva Watch Auction: Four.
The remarkable timepiece, one of the rarest and most admired Patek Philippe’s wristwatches, was offered by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo in Geneva, Switzerland, becoming the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.
The 1518 steel-cased watch is the first perpetual calendar chronograph in the world to be crafted in a series by a watchmaker and the number one of only four pieces built from 1941 to the early 1950s.
This particular piece is also the first Reference 1518 to appear at auction in over a decade, which along with its perfect condition, remarkable craftsmanship, and historical relevance, rapidly spiked the collectors’ interest.
The very anticipated sale was disputed for 13 minutes, highly surpassing the initial price estimate of $3 million. The winner, an unknown private collector, acquired the piece for an impressive 11,002,000 Swiss francs ($11,136,642).
“One thing that is fascinating about this sale is that there were eight bidders bidding for this watch, and it wasn’t until the price reached CHF 7 million that two remaining buyers started to battle to secure the sale, “Sam Heins, the international head of watches at Phillips auction house, told CNN.
Until this sale, the record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction also belonged to another Patek Philippe piece. The 5016A was sold for over $7.3 million at the Only Watch charity auction in 2015.