This One-of-a-Kind Patek Philippe Watch Has Broken Sales Records

An extremely rare Patek Philippe watch set two new world records after selling for more than A$10 million at The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII.

“Arguably, it is difficult to find a more abused term in the world of watch collecting, but this is the one instance where the word can be used with its original undiluted meaning: the present watch is – simply put- one of the most sought-after, unobtainable, attractive and fabled timepieces in the world,” the listing said.

The watch, known as the Silk Road thanks to its stunning watch face, was only estimated to go for around $A5 million, but it now has the highest price ever bid at an auction for a yellow gold wristwatch and a new all-time high for this model, according to Phillips.

Eleven Patek Philippe Ref. 2523s are thought to have been manufactured with decorative cloisonné enamel map dials, five of which include North America, three South America, and three Eurasia.

One of the Eurasia dials is in Patek Philippe’s own collection, which is stored in the Genevan museum, and the other is in a famous private collection. This model with the Eurasia dial is entirely new to the auction market, its prior location obscure in watch collecting circles. Phillips claims that the same reference hasn’t come up for sale in two decades.

The dial of this 36 mm yellow gold wristwatch is divided into three circular zones. The innermost circle features a cloisonné enamel map with hints of blue, turquoise, and green colours. A 24-hour counter on the next ring, and the outermost ring to tell the time of 40 cities engraved around the dial.

The watch enjoys two crowns: one for winding the watch and setting the hands, and the other for controlling the revolving inner ring that tells the time in 40 different cities. It is operated by an in-house calibre 12-400 hand-wound movement.

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