An Ultra-Rare Patek Philippe Sells for A Record-Breaking £5.52 Million At Phillips Geneva Auction

Yellow gold watches do not always have an appealing fan base at auction houses. However, this time an ultra-rare yellow gold Patek Philippe changed this notion, selling for a record-staggering sum of nearly £5.52 million at the Phillips Geneva Auction. Keep note that this is the first-ever yellow gold wristwatch to sell for such a record-breaking price.

The watch on the spotlight is a Patek Philippe World Time Reference 2523, featuring a cloisonné enamel dial. This is the most complicated timepiece that Patek Philippe created in the 20th century. Furthermore, the World-Time watches are among the most valuable and sought-after luxury watches the brand has ever produced.

However, the charity or non-thematic watch sale was conducted by Phillips in collaboration with Bacs & Russo. After a fierce bidding war, the ultra-rare Patek Philippe World Time example was finally sold to an anonymous bidder.

The Ultra-Rare Patek Philippe World Time

The world is still facing the harsh impact of the Pandemic. However, it was fascinating to see collectors’ enthusiasm to be a part of the watch auction whose centre of appeal was museum-worthy, rare timepieces.

It is said that Patek Philippe has created only three iterations of Reference 2523. One model is present in the brand’s museum, and another one is a proud member of a private collection. When Phillips auction house presented the Patek Philippe World Time with Eurasian Map Dial, people expected it to go under the hammer.

The auctioneers estimated that the timepiece could fetch nearly £2.83 million. However, it was not hard to believe that the watch could become the costliest Patek Philippe World Time. Why? The timepiece auctioned at Phillips Geneva Auction XIII sports two of the rarest and most unique features. One is the two-crown design, while the other one is a beautiful cloisonné enamel dial.

More Details About The Rare World Time

Every Patek Philippe World Time Reference 2523 example with cloisonné dial typically sold for a hammering sum in the 1990s at auction. The brand created the current World Time references taking inspiration from Reference 2523.

However, one of the significant factors that contributed to World Time’s staggering prices was that the watch was among the favourites of Osvaldo Patrizzi. He was not only the Antiquorum’s founder but also an important name in watch auctions.

Well, what’s the intrinsic appeal of World Time? These timepieces are undoubtedly visually exquisite and unique. Only a few complicated wristwatches can obtain the exclusivity and luxury as the enamelled versions. And the exciting fact is that the World Time examples are the only complex wristwatches within the brand’s catalogue to flaunt cloisonné enamel dials.

More significantly, the World Time watches represent an ancient era when people went for intercontinental travel via propeller planes, rail or boat. Patek Philippe designed the Reference 2523 in 1953 – a period that was coming to an end shortly. So it’s no surprise that the World Time timepieces are superbly rare.

However, the World Time Reference 2523 auctioned at Phillips Geneva Auction for a record-breaking £5.52 million featured a yellow gold case, measuring 36mm in diameter. The watch’s dial flaunted three circular zones.

  • The innermost circle features the cloisonné enamel map highlighted with green, turquoise and marine blue colours.
  • The next ring consists of a 24hour counter.
  • And the outermost ring is engraved around the dial and displays the time of 40cities.

Moreover, the Patek Philippe World Time watch auctioned at Phillips houses the Caliber 12-400. This hand-wound movement further comes with two crowns – one is to set the hands and wind the timepiece, and the other one for controlling the rotatable ring that displays the time of 40 cities. What completes the timepiece’s sophisticated look is the leather strap.

Other Highlights At The Phillips’ Auction

The auction house also presented four Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Reference 2499 for sale. All these four watches fetched a total of £4.45 million. However, the Patek Reference 2499 is amongst the most collectable vintage watches in the world.

Patek Philippe produced the first example supposedly in 1949 or 1950 and ceased its production in 1985. The brand has created just 349 examples of Ref. 2499 in pink and yellow gold within its production time. And there are also two added platinum models.

Phillips Geneva Auction sold another rare Calatrava Reference 570 for about £25,86,811. This is a world record sum for the Reference 570 and stainless steel wristwatches with no complications.

Patek Philippe watches are made of premium quality materials with utmost precision and using top-notch craftsmanship. And backed by a rich legacy, Patek Philippe watches are expensive. It’s no surprise to see some of the iconic creations of this brand selling for a staggering sum at auction.

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