(March 22): A rare Patek Philippe watch sold for US$5.8 million in Hong Kong, the highest price ever paid for a timepiece in an online auction.
The Patek Philippe ‘Sky Moon Tourbillon,’ with a blue hand-made enamel dial and white gold hand-carved case, fetched HK$45.45 million on Tuesday, Christie’s, the auction house, said in a statement.
The price shows collectors are still willing to shell out for rare watches despite troubling issues in the banking sector. Expensive watches are a favorite luxury splurge for bankers using cash from annual bonuses but they are now facing troubled times after the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse Group AG by country rival UBS Group AG and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
The Patek Philippe watch, reference number 6002G-001, was originally sold in Geneva in 2015 and is considered among the most complex timepieces in the world. It features 12 so-called ‘complications,’ or special functions within its mechanical movement, including a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date display and a chiming minute repeater.
Secondary market and auction prices for some of the most popular luxury watches made by Swiss brands from Rolex to Patek to Audemars Piguet soared to unprecedented levels during the pandemic and into the first quarter of 2022. However, they fell sharply as interest rates started rising and cryptocurrencies started collapsing.
“There continues to be an extremely vibrant market for watches across the world, evidenced through the avid global bidding this sale witnessed,” Alexandre Bigler, the vice-president and head of watches at Christie’s Asia Pacific, said in a statement.