Detail map of Centre-Plainpalais-Acacias, Genève, Genève, Switzerland,Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

A: Centre-Plainpalais-Acacias, Genève, Genève, Switzerland, B: Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

The Henry Graves Supercomplication, the Most Valuable Watch in the World


In 1933 Patek Philippe of Geneva delivered to New York banker Henry Graves, Jr. "the Supercomplication," a gold pocket watch with 24 functions. The watch, which took Patek Philippe three years to research and five years to manufacture, cost Graves 60,000 Swiss francs in 1933 (USD $15,000). It is considered the most complicated of all mechanical watches; only one was ever made.

Among the watch's features are a double face, perpetual calendar, phases of the moon, a chronograph that can time two simultaneous events, Westminster chimes, and indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and a celestial chart depicting the night sky over New York's Central Park, as seen from Graves' home on Fifth Avenue.

"Graves died in 1953. His heirs sold the watch in 1968 to The Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois, which closed in March 1999. (From January 2001 through February 2004 the Time Museum collection was displayed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, then sold.)] The watch was held in the Rockford Time Museum until it was sold at Sotheby's for a record breaking $11,002,500 to an anonymous bidder in New York City on December 2, 1999. The owner was later known to be a member of the Qatari Royal Family, Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Thani. The watch was on loan to the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, Switzerland for several years, and was the most expensive single piece on display.
On July 10, 2014, Sotheby's announced that in November 2014, the watch would once again be auctioned. It sold for 23.2 million Swiss francs (≈USD $24 million/ ≈19.3 million Euros) at Sotheby’s in Geneva on November 11, 2014, setting a new record price for any timepiece sold at auction" (Wikipedia article on Henry Graves (banker) accessed 11-12-2014).

On November 11, 2014 the New York Times published an article by Reuters on the sale of the "Supercomplication" which included a particularly striking image of the watch.

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