The Story Behind the Patek Philippe 1518, the Most Expensive Watch Ever Sold at Auction

The Story Behind the Patek Philippe 1518, the Most Expensive Watch Ever Sold at Auction

By Will Levith
(Courtesy of Phillips)

 

Back on Nov. 12, someone in Geneva, Switzerland, needed to get ahold of a hefty insurance policy on his or her wrist. That’s because Phillips, an auction house that specializes in fine timepieces, found a record-breaking high bid for a Patek Philippe stainless steel wristwatch. The hammer price: $11,112,020.

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, it’s the last independent, family-owned Genevan watchmaker, and its name refers to the company’s pair of founders: Antoine-Norbert de Patek and Adrien Philippe. Producing high-end watches since 1839, the pair have legendarily secured more than 80 patents.

 

The particular Patek Philippe watch in question, which bears the reference number 1518, was made in 1943 and is just one of four examples like it known to exist. It’s what is known as a “perpetual calendar chronograph,” which includes the phases of the moon (as well the time, obviously).

Said Phillips’ senior consultant Aurel Bacs of the sale:

“It was a privilege for me to offer the stainless steel Patek Philippe reference 1518. It was breathtaking to stand in front of a packed saleroom with over 400 people and another 500 passionate watch enthusiasts from around the world following the auction online or over the phones—it was simply electric. Its world-record result is a strong testimony that the watch market is universally accepted as an important pillar of the international art collector community, and that Phillips’ strategy focusing on watches of the finest quality is the winning formula.”

For more on Phillips auctions, click here. To browse the rest of what Patek Philippe has to offer, here. And to learn more about the record-breaking watch, take a look at the video above.

(Courtesy of Phillips)