After a five-minute bidding war, an exclusive wristwatch manufactured by Patek Philippe sold for a whopping 31 million Swiss Francs ($31,194,370), at the 8th Only Watch auction hosted by Christie’s in Geneva on Saturday, making it the most expensive timepiece ever auctioned.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 was created specially for the biennial charity auction Only Watch and all of the proceeds will be donated to research into finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic condition that affects one in 3,000 male births.
The auction was founded in 2005 by Luc Pettavino, the former chief executive of the Monaco Yacht Show, whose son Paul died from the condition in 2016 before his 21st birthday. To date, Only Watch has raised more than $40 million.
The Patek Philippe beat the previous record, set by Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, which sold for $17.8 million in 2017. Gifted to Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward in 1968, the Daytona has been considered a holy grail timepiece amongst collectors and fans for decades.
“Breaking records is obviously a source of pride and happiness,” said Pettavino, who is the president of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, which supports scientific and medical research on DMD.
“What matters most today is the difference we are going to be able to make in research against muscular dystrophies and for hundreds of thousands of patients and families around the world for their lives to get better” he added in press release.
The Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 is made of unique stainless steel and features 20 complications. It also has five chiming modes, two of which are patented as world's first: an acoustic alarm that strikes the pre-selected time and a date repeater that tells the date on demand.
The watch’s most unique feature is front and back dials — one in salmon and the other in black ebony colour— that can be flipped or reversed. The salmon coloured front dial bears the inscription “The Only One” on the alarm subdial at 12 o’clock.
Other features also include resistance to dust and humidity, and it comes with a reversible stainless steel case.
Patek Philippe, the last family-owned Genevan luxury watch manufacturer, originally introduced the Grandmaster Chime in 2014 in a series of seven pieces to mark its 175th anniversary.
The buyer of the Grandmaster Chime Chime 6300A-010 remains unidentified.