Patek Philippe’s earliest known minute repeating wristwatch goes under the hammer
American multi-millionaire and sportsman Henry Graves Jr.’s prized item, unanimously considered to be the prime piece among the very earliest recorded Patek Philippe minute repeater wristwatches, is without doubt one of the most significant watches in the world. It was specially made for him and engraved with his coat of arms. In fact, it was the first minute repeating watch that Graves ever bought, so he personally travelled to Geneva to collect it from Patek Philippe in June 1928.
The timepiece was only recently discovered – in 2012 – in his grandson’s estate. Graves was one of Patek Philippe’s best clients of the period, and was the man who commissioned the world’s most complicated watch at that time: the “Graves Super-Complication” pocket watch, which became the most expensive watch ever sold at auction for $24,000,000 in 2014. Graves’ Patek Philippe yellow gold tonneau minute repeating wristwatch is was estimated at CHF 3,000,000-5,000,000, it was finally sold for $4,586,895