Online auction: record sale for a Patek Philippe watch

Fanny Tang

By Fanny Tang22 mars 2023

The British auction house Christie's has set an online sales record for a wristwatch in Hong Kong. On March 22, 2023, the Patek Philippe "Sky Moon Tourbillon" reached the exceptional price of 5.8 million dollars. This makes it the most expensive watch ever sold at an online auction.

Christie’s, founded in 1766, world-leading art and luxury business renowned for its expert live and online auctions, recently sold the Patek Philippe “Sky Moon Tourbillon” for a record-breaking of 5.8 million dollars during an online auction at Christie’s Hong Kong. This watch is now the most expensive ever sold at an online auction. The Grand Complication “Sky Moon Tourbillon” is the manufacture’s most complicated wristwatch, first introduced in 2000 under the reference 5002 featuring 13 complications such as minute repeater, tourbillon and a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date with moon age display. The one sold at the auction is the “Sky Moon Tourbillon” Master Piece reference 6002G-001, having the same number of complications as the 5002 model but with a double-faced complication including a tourbillon and moon phase display instead of the moon age. The major difference with this model is the case, made of 18-carat white gold fully hand-engraved and the blue dial made in champlevé and cloisonné enamel requiring great craftsmanship and artistry.

The auction attracted collectors from all over the world, the results underscore a good start to watch season for Christie’s, and confirmed the growing interest of buyers in luxury watches online. The online sales are now a key channel for Millennials who represent 40% of buyers and Alexandre Bigler, the Vice-President and Head of Watches at Christie’s Asia Pacific, commented: “The outstanding results established for Watches Online: Top of the Time demonstrate the power of Christie’s online sale platform to present exceptional lots and achieve top prices, on par with our live sales.” Hong Kong remains a global hub for watch collecting, with participation from 48 countries across 7 continents.

Patek Philippe watches are well known for setting sales records. In November 2014, the Patek Philippe pocket watch, custom made in 1933 for the American business man Henry Graves Jr., known as the Patek Philippe Henry Grave Supercomplication, was sold for 24 million dollars by Sotheby’s in Geneva, previously sold for 11 million dollars in New York in 1999. And in 2016, the Patek Philippe under reference 1518 in stainless steel was sold for 11.1 million dollars at Phillips, Geneva, breaking the record for the most expensive watch sold at Phillips.

It is not the first time that the watch from the renowned house Patek Philippe has set the record during a Christie’s auction. The Patek Philippe Gold Chronograph under reference 1527 was sold for 5.7 million dollars in 2010, and in November 2019, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime under the reference 6300A-010, was sold for 31.2 million dollars in Geneva, it is the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, and the absolute sales record for a Patek Philippe watch.

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