Time is a flat circle, and one of the most reputable companies to represent its value in a watch is undoubtedly Patek Philippe. Patek Philippe has produced some remarkable watches over the years and is famous for its craftsmanship and high quality timepieces. When Francois Czapek and Antoni Patek first started the company in 1839, they simply referred to it as Patek, Czapek & Co. They began by designing and selling pocket watches until 1845, when Francois Czapek made his exit from the company. Antoni Patek made another partnership with Jean Adrien Philippe in 1845, with whom they named the new company Patek Philippe & Co. to reflect the changes accordingly.
17 years later, Patek Philippe made news by creating the first wristwatch in the world. Today, the company has introduced several innovations in the watch-making industry and is a force to be reckoned with among other watchmakers. This brand serves dignitaries, celebrities, and even royalty, and owning one can literally cost you your life’s savings. Don’t believe me?
Check out 10 of the most expensive Patek Philippe watches of all time below.
10. 1936 Pilot Watch
When this 1936 Pilot watch was released, the dimension of its case was so extra ordinary that it was recognized as a revolutionary watch. The case itself is 55mm in diameter and constructed of chrome and nickel. The dial is designed with a black finish with Arabic numerals, while off-white varnish is used to carve the scales. Estimated price as of this writing is $1.7 million.
9. Patek Philippe 1925 Grogan
While the 1923 Officer is the only Patek Philippe chronograph watch designed with a sixty-minute counter, the 1925 Grogan is the only wristwatch particularly constructed for left-handed people. This means that all the dials and controls on the watch are positioned on the left side to make it easier to use. The watch comes with a chronograph and is made of pure gold. Its shape is reminiscent of a cushion and was sold in 2006 at $1.95 Million.
8. 1944 Model 1591
The 1944 Model, 1591, is a very rare Patek Philippe watch. In fact, it is said that only two models are left to date. Most people didn’t even know about it until the watch was auctioned off in 1996 The watch originally belonged to India’s Maharajah, who then gave it to his wedding planner as a gift. Christie’s auctioned the second model in 2007 for $2.26 million, making it the most expensive stainless steel case watch to ever been sold.
7. 1957 Patek Philippe 2499
Speaking of rare, the 1957 model 2499 is said to have only 5 copies in existence today. The watch was designed in rose gold and features a Patek Philippe stamp. It weighs about 18 karats and is one of the most expensive watches to ever be auctioned. The watch was sold for $2.28 million in 2007.
6. 1953 Heures Universelles 2523
This 1953 Patek Philippe is one of the most stunning watches of all time. It comes with a bright face design and an enamel dial featuring the whole map of N. America. It weighs around 18 karats with a gold case. It is also fairly expensive, as it was sold at $2.9 million during an auction.
5. 1923 Officer
The 1923 officer is one of the most unique watches you will ever see, outclassing traditional styling and sophistication. It comes with a distinctive chronograph and an 18 karat yellow gold case. Its outer ring features two subsidiary dials: a 60 min register at the 3 O’clock mark, and a 60 sec continuous display at the 9 o’clock position. This model is the only Patek Philippe chronograph watch that features a sixty-minute counter. It is also the only watch in the Patek Philippe line with black Braguet numerals engrained on white enamel. The watch belongs to the Patek Philippe Museum, which bought it for $2,965,000 after a serious bidding war.
4. 1895/1927 Patek Philippe Minute-Repeating Wristwatch
This model is probably the most expensive wristwatch that has ever been auctioned at Sotheby’s. The original price tag before the watch was auctioned was a mere $600,000. The watch was sold for 5 times this amount. With a tonneau-like shape, the 1927 Yellow Gold wristwatch was among the collections of Henry Graves, Jr. As such, there is a coat of arms carved on the watch representing the Graves family. The Super Complication clock-watch (by Patek Philippe as well), which is worth a jaw dropping $11 million, was also among Graves’ collections.
3. 1951 Ref 2499
Weighing 18 karats with a rose gold body, the 1951 Ref 2499 makes it to the top 10 most expensive Patek Philippes watches of all time at a dazzling $2.12 million. Some of the key features in this model include a perpetual calendar, signature stamping, and a moon phase dial. The most bazaar thing about the Ref 2499 is that there were only two models to have ever been created. The first one, which came with a platinum case, belonged to the renowned musician Eric Clapton’s private collection. Clapton sold the watch for $3,655,757.
2. 1939 Platinum World Time
This Patek Philippe model was made in 1939 with a masterpiece design. Only one of these watches was ever made, making it one of a kind in the Patek Philippe collection. The watch was designed with painstaking craftsmanship, incorporating a list of the 42 major cities in the world around its face with exquisite precision. It went for $4.03 million in 2002.
1. 1943 Ref 1527
Ref. 1527, which was introduced in 1943, is the most costly Patek Philippe to be ever auctioned at a remarkable $5.5 million price tag. This record-breaking sale took place at a Christie’s sale in 2010 in Geneva, the headquarters of Patek Philippe since its inception. The watch was bought by a Swiss museum, which wanted to reserve it because of its unique attributes and the company’s ties with Switzerland. The vintage masterpiece has an iconic perpetual calendar, moon phase display, and of course, a chronograph.
The watch is also enhanced by gold Arabic numerals, 23 encrusted gemstones, bi-metallic compensation balance, a date indicator, & minute markings. The dial is 37mm with a silver matte finish, making it a tad bigger than the dials of most of the watches created in the same period. To top it all, it has an 18-karat yellow gold case.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker