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Sotheby's to Auction 'The Henry Graves Supercomplication' Masterpiece

Timepiece expected to fetch $16.8 million.
Jul 10, 2014 9:34 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Sotheby’s Geneva will present The Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece for auction on November 14, which the auction house estimated could sell for more than $16.8 million (CHF 15 million). The watch was made by Patek Philippe in 1933 and is described as a most complicated watch to be made completely by hand. henry graves watch

Sotheby’s first sold the Henry Graves Supercomplication in New York in December 1999 for $11 million, well above the presale estimate of between $3 million and $5 million. Now, the watch returns to auction the same year Patek Philippe celebrates the brand's 175th anniversary.

Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s worldwide head of watches, and Daryn Schnipper, the chairman of Sotheby’s watch division, explained in a joint statement that the list of superlatives which can be attached to this icon of the 20th century is truly extraordinary. Indisputably the “Holy Grail” of watches, The Henry Graves Supercomplication combines the Renaissance ideal of the unity of beauty and craftsmanship with the apogee of science, they added.

In 1925, Patek Philippe was commissioned by Henry Graves, a prominent New York banker, to produce the most complicated watch in the world. The product of three years of research and five years’ effort by the most skilled technicians, this timepiece is a gold openface minute repeating chronograph clockwatch with Westminster chimes. Among the features it incorporates are perpetual calendar, moon phases, sidereal time, power reserve and indications for time of sunset and sunrise and the night sky of New York City. With a total of 24 horological complications, The Graves watch retained the title of the world’s most complicated watch for 56 years and even then was only surpassed by technicians working with the aid of computer-assisted machines, Sotheby's noted.

Tags: auction, geneva, henry graves supercomplication, Jeff Miller, patek philippe, Sotheby's, watches
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