Friday, November 14, 2014

Henry Graves Pocket Watch 24 Complications/Million

This Patek Philippe pocket watch was made for Henry Graves a famous bank during the U.S's economic turmoil.
Henry Graves was an ardent watch collector as well as a patron for Patek Philippe.
He had a tendency to compete with James Ward Packward an automobile manufacturer, they would always attempt to have the most complicated timepiece possible. In 1933 this bickering ended when Graves received a pocket watch that could not be outmatched, The super complication was commissioned in 1927 by Graves and of course delivered in 1933.

Henry Graves Spend 60,000 Swiss Francs on the timepiece about 15,000 USD at the time.
3 years went into designing the timepiece and 5 to manufacture.
There was only one of these glorious timepieces made, and its history goes a little like this.

  • It went to Henry Graves from 1933 until his death in 1953

  • The time then went to his heirs until it was sold in 1968 to The Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois.

  • In 1999 following the closure of the Rockford Time Museum it was sold to a member of the Qatari Royal Family for a record breaking $11,002,500, the transaction was made at Sotheby's in New York.

  • In July 2014 it was announced that the timepiece would again be sold at Sotheby's Geneva and on November 11 2014 the timepiece was again sold for a record shattering $24,000,000 by Auerl Bacs a known watch collector and auctioneer as well as the former head of watches at Christies, the timepiece most likely going to an unknown client of his.

The 24 Complications at a million each

The hours, minutes and seconds of sidereal time (3)
Sunset/Sunrise time
Equation of time

Perpetual calendar

Day of the Month
Day of the Week

Star Chart (Depicting the stars in New York by Grave's home to the exact relative distance)
Moon Phase


Split second
30 minute recording
12 hour recording

The Chime

Grande sonnerie (Westminster chimes) with carillon
Petite sonnerie with carillon
Minute Repeater

The going train up-down indication
The striking train up/down indication
The twin barrel differential winding
The three-way setting system

This makes this the most complicated timepiece ever created without computer assisted machinery.
With 940 components this timepiece truly deserves the title of super complication everything was hand made to perfection.


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