This is how I lost my dream watch to charity: This past weekend’s Only Watch charity auction witnessed intense bidding for what was bound to be the top lot: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime. The watch, which has everything anyone could ever want in a timepiece — and then some — went under wicked back-and-forth bidding — escalating it to unimaginable sums. In the end, the watch sold for just over $31 Million — making it the world’s most expensive watch to date. (In short, I didn’t have that much money to bid on the watch.)
The one-of-a-kind watch — built in stainless steel — beats out the previous world’s most expensive by nearly double the price. Heretofore, the title was held by Paul Newman’s Paul Newman Rolex Daytona. That watch sold for $17.7 million at auction by Phillips in Association with Bacs and Russo two years ago. The proceeds from the sale of the watch all go to charity.
In fact, Only Watch benefits Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and to date — prior to this weekend’s sale — the event has raised just over $40 million. The sale of the Patek Philippe watch nearly doubles that total — a great stride for the charitable cause. Keep in mind that each of these watches is donated by the brand — and this year more than 50 lots were up for sale. Only Watch is a testament to the watch industry’s commitment to charity.
The Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010, created specially for Only Watch, a boasts 20 complications, including a minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, perpetual calendar, second time zone, day/night indicator, leap-year cycle, a chiming alarm, and so much more. In fact, it requires two dials, on one the front and one on the back, to display all of the information. The watch’s front dial is beautifully finished in a salmon color and features “The Only One” inscription on it. The buyer of the watch remains anonymous.
The auction, which is held every other year, also had a host of other strong sellers that comprised another approximately $7 million in sales. Among them was the F. P. Journe Astronomic Blue, which sold for $1.8 million and the Audemars Piguet Code 11:59 Tourbillon Openwork, which sold for about $1 million.