Patek Philippe’s most complicated watch, the Calibre 89, was expected to sell for up to $10 million Sunday but it failed to attract a bid above the minimum reserve and, therefore, didn’t sell.
Geneva--It is the most complicated watch from one of the Swiss watch industry’s most revered brands and, yet, it failed to find a buyer over the weekend.

On Sunday, Sotheby’s Geneva put Patek Philippe’s Calibre 89 up on the auction block at its Important Watches sale, but bids did not meet the minimum reserve and so the pocket watch did not sell.

The estimate for the timepiece was $6.4 to $9.9 million.

According to a Forbes story, this is the second time this particular watch has not sold at auction; the first was during a Christie’s New York private sale in 2016, at which time the price was set at $11 million. (Prior to that, it sold for about $5 million at Antiquorum in 2009.)

Research into the Calibre 89 began in 1980 and took nearly a decade.

Patek Philippe unveiled the finished product in yellow gold in 1989 to mark its 150th anniversary. At the time of its debut, it was the world’s most complicated watch, an honor it held until the release of the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260 in 2015.

Nine years later, three more Calibre 89 watches were finished, in rose gold, white gold and platinum. A prototype of the watch also is on display at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.

The original yellow gold version is what went up for auction at Sotheby’s on Sunday. The auction house called it “one of the most important watches ever to be offered at auction.”

 
The Calibre 89 weighs 2 pounds, 6.4 ounces and measures 88.2 mm in diameter (with the case).

It has 33 complications, 24 hands, two dials, eight disks, 61 bridges, 129 jewels, 184 wheels, 332 screws, 415 pins and 429 mechanical components, as well as other parts, for a total of 1,728 parts.

In addition to the complex calendar functions, including a tourbillon escapement and an astronomical sun hand, the watch features a unique calendar that displays the date of Easter every year.

The record for a pocket watch sold at auction--and in fact the record for any timepiece ever sold at auction--is held by another Patek Phillipe creation, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, which sold for $24 million at Sotheby’s in 2014.

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