This US$31m Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Becomes Most Expensive Watch

The one and only Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime was sold at auction for a record-shattering CHF 31m in Geneva. Not only did it overtake a Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona as the world’s most expensive wristwatch, but also broke the auction record for the most expensive watch that was previously set by a Patek Philippe pocket watch.

This Grandmaster Chime was created specially for this charity auction Only Watch 2019. It stands out as the first and only version of this timepiece ever produced in stainless steel.

Dial in rose gold 

Dial in black ebony

Luc Pettavino, the founder of Only Watch, discovered his son Paul had Duchenne muscular dystrophy and founded Only Watch in 2005 as a biennial charity auction to raise money. At least 99% of funds research goes into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Though Paul passed away three years ago before his 21st birthday, Only Watch funds have made a tangible difference to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy.

Luc Pattavino, founder of Only Watch

Only Watch has come to its 8th edition since it was first started in 2005. All 50 one-of-a-kind luxury timepieces featured in the sale were sold, totalling CHF 38.6m (US$38.8m). The top lot of the sale, the record-breaking Patek Philippe that sold for CHF 31m, accounted for more than 80% of the sale total.

So what’s so special about this timepiece? First of all, it is the only Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime made in stainless steel. It is also the first Patek Philippe grande-sonnerie wristwatch ever added to the company's current collection. The special words "The Only One", which appear at 12 o'clock on the auxiliary dial, further enhance the exclusive value of this unique timepiece.

Time side dial in rose gold, with gold applied Breguet numerals

Calendar side in black ebony

This grand complication features 20 complications in its stainless steel case, including no fewer than five chiming modes, two of which are patented world firsts: an acoustic alarm that strikes the preselected time and a date repeater sounding the date on demand.

Carrying an estimate of CHF 2.5m-3m, the wristwatch sparked an intense bidding battle as everyone had expected before the sale. The auctioneer put the hammer down at CHF 31m, also the final price sold since no premium was be charged for this charity auction. The sale marks a record-breaking moment for the world’s most expensive watch.

The Rolex Daytona formerly owned by Paul Newman

A Patek Philippe’s 1932 Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch

The previous record holder of the most expensive wristwatch was a Paul Newman’s personal Rolex Daytona which was sold for US$17.75m in Phillips New York two years ago. This present Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime also became the most expensive watch, replacing a Patek Philippe’s 1932 Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch that sold for CHF 23.2m in Geneva in 2014.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref.6300A-010

Lot no.: 28
Created in: 2019
Diameter: 47.7 mm
Estimate: CHF 2,500,000 - 3,000,000
Price realised: CHF 31,000,000

Auction summary
Auction house: Christie’s Geneva
Sale: Only Watch
Lots offered: 50
Sold: 50
Unsold: 0
Sold by lot: 100%
Sale total: CHF 38,593,000