There are those who consider watch collecting a hobby, while others tend to think of it more as a lifestyle investment. Over the years, many timepieces have sold for quite the price to serious collectors that have made it to the list of some of the most costly watches sold at auction.

1: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010, $31m, Christie’s, 2019

Photo: Christie’s

The Patek Philippe watch sold for a whopping $31 million in Geneva, marking it as the most expensive timepiece that has ever been auctioned. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime was sold during the Only Watch auction, a function held by Christie’s in order to support research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The watch features 20 complications including a minute repeater, a grande and petite sonnerie, a second time zone, a perpetual calendar with a four-digit display and a subdial. Both the front and back dials can be flipped to show different sides.

2. 1933 Patek Philippe The Henry Graves Supercomplication, $24m, Sotheby’s, 2014

Photo: Sotheby’s

Another Patek Philippe watch comes in second on the list. The Patek Philippe The Henry Graves Supercomplication was sold for $24 million in Geneva. The watch earns its name and monetary value from the way that during its time, it was the most complicated watch in the world with 24 total complications to speak of. 

3. Rolex Daytona Ref 6239, $17,752,500, Phillips, 2017

Photo: Phillips

Thought to be among the most legendary timepieces in existence, the Rolex Daytona Ref 6239 sold for nearly $18 million in 2017. The Daytona line is one of the most sought after in the world, so it makes sense that someone would drop so much cash to be able to own one. It was never offered to the public before it debuted at an auction held by James Cox, where the proceeds went to a charity established by Newman’s daughter, the Nell Newman Foundation. 

4. Patek Philippe Ref 1518, $11.1m, Phillips, 2016

Photo: Phillips

Sold at Phillips in Geneva, the Patek Philippe Ref 1518 is a rare stainless steel timepiece that embodies everything the Patek Philippe watch line is. It was the first stainless steel watch to show up at an auction, as the simple metal was not often highly valued. It was deemed “the most beautiful and important stainless steel wristwatch ever made by Patek Philippe,” which could explain its high price point of $11.1 million. 

5. Patek Philippe Gobbi Milan ‘Heures Universelles’ Ref 2523, $9m, Christie’s, 2019

Photo: Christie’s

The final watch on our list is the Patek Philippe Gobbi Milan ‘Heures Universelles’ Ref 2523 that sold at Christie’s auction for $9 million. It is a one-of-a-kind 18k pink gold watch with two crowns, a double-signed blue enamel dial, a 24-hour indication and a world time keeper. It symbolises the man responsible for persuading the entire world to use a standardised system comprised of 24 time zones around the world. 

Timepieces are more than just a simple accessory to some, as shown by the list of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction shown above.

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