The most expensive wristwatch ever sold

The Patek Philippe 5016A smashes the record to become to most expensive wristwatch ever.

Peter Iantorno November 11, 2015

There is a new record for the most expensive wristwatch ever sold, and it comes as no surprise that, once again, the timepiece in question is a Patek Philippe.

The Patek Philippe 5016A sold for an eye-watering $7.26 million (around AED 26.7 million) on Saturday November 7 at the Only Watch auction in Geneva.

The watch smashed its pre-action estimate of between $700,000 and $900,000 when two anonymous phone bidders got into a nine-minute bidding war, driving the price to 10 times the low estimated value.

The only version of this watch ever to be made in steel, the 5016A (the A denotes the steel case) features a tourbillon, minute repeater, retrograde date hand and perpetual calendar with moon phase indicators amongst other complications.

Having initially been produced between 1993 and 2011, the timepiece was donated by Patek Philippe to the Only Watch auction, and the proceeds from the sale were donated to charity. In all, the auction managed to raise $11.2 million from the sale of 44 watches and clocks, all of which was donated to help Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.

The previous record-holder for the most expensive wristwatch was held by – surprise, surprise – another Patek Philippe: this time an 18k gold model Ref.1527, which sold at an auction by Christie’s in Geneva in 2010 for $5.7 million.

Patek Philippe Ref1527.jpg The previous record-holder, the Patek Philippe Ref.1527, sold in 2010 for $5.7 million.

And while the 5016A might have the distinction of being the new priciest wristwatch in the world, it still has quite a way to go before it match the most expensive timepiece ever, as the Henry Graves Supercomplication (another unique model from Patek, which incidentally, has a great backstory) went for an astounding $24 million.

While paying millions of dollars for a timepiece might seem absurd, as anyone who owns a Patek Philippe will know, if you have the money to spend, the knowledge that you own a genuine piece of handcrafted quality is worth every penny.