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Henry Graves Supercomplication establishes world record

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Yesterday night the Henry Graves Supercomplication by Patek Philippe established a new record as the most valuable timepiece in auction history, selling for Swiss Francs 23.2 million (about US$24 million) at Sotheby's Important Watches into a packed room of Geneva’s Beau Rivage Hotel.

For about 15 minutes five bidders competed for the watch. It was finally sold for an amount which more than doubled Sotheby's first sold in New York in December 1999 when it sold for a record-breaking $11 million, a world auction record for a timepiece until yesterday's auction. The winning bid was placed by consultant (and former International Head of Christie's Watches department) Aurel Bacs, most probably on behalf of the unknown collector on the other end of the phone cord in Bacs' ear.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication is the most complicated watch ever made by human hands without computer-assisted technology but it is much more than a watch. Quoting Tim Bourne, Sotheby's Worldwide Head of Watches and the Auctioneer of yesterday's auction, it is safe to say that this is "a masterpiece which transcends the boundaries of horology and has earned its place among the world's greatest work of art".

We wrote about this historic piece of art in our article on July 16, 2014.

The two videos below describe the main features of the watch and its history.

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