The new most expensive watch in the world has a great backstory

The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication has been sold for $24 million.

EDGAR staff November 12, 2014

The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication is a record-breaking watch in every sense of the word.

Not only is it the most complicated handmade timepiece ever but it's also reaffirmed its position as the world's most expensive, as it was recently sold for an eye-watering $24 million, smashing its own record of $11 million previously set in 1999.

The timepiece was purchased by a mystery buyer at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva on Tuesday, November 11, and despite the sky-high price, we think that given the superb quality as well as the unique history of the watch, $24 million is actually a bit of a bargain.

But it is the story of how the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication came to be that undoubtedly adds to the intrigue around it. It takes its name from prominent New York banker Henry Graves Jr., who in 1925, made a gentleman's wager with Ohio-based auto manufacturer James Ward Packard, over who could own the most complicated timepiece.

Intent on outdoing Packard, Graves immediately commissioned Patek Philippe to create the world's most complicated timepiece, paying $15,000 for the project - an astounding amount of money for the time. After eight years of work on researching and building the pocket watch, it was finally delivered to Graves in 1933.

Featuring no fewer than 24 exquisite complications - which remains the record for the most on any timepiece made without the aid of computers - the watch was far superior to anything Packard could procure.

Amongst the plethora of complications, the most notable are the minute repeater with Westminster Chimes, which can be activated on demand and the dazzling celestial map, which shows the exact view of the night sky as seen from Graves' flat by Central Park in New York City.

If you're something of a watch connoisseur, it really doesn't get any better than this.