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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stephen S. Palmer Patek Philippe Grand Complication May Fetch $1.5 Million

Christie’s New York said it will offer the earliest and most significant example of a Patek Philippe grand complication as the highlight of its New York Important Watches auction on June 11. It is estimated to fetch $1 to $1.5 million.

The Stephen S. Palmer Patek Philippe Grand Complication No. 97912 is a minute repeating perpetual calendar split-seconds chronograph clockwatch with grande and petite sonnerie and moon phases, manufactured in 1898. It has never before seen in public, and it is the first time ever on the auction block.

Until the appearance of the Palmer watch, it was broadly accepted that Patek Philippe did not make its first Grand Complication until 1910 and that the second ever made was reserved before World War I for James W. Packard in 1916, Christie’s explained.

Purchased on Oct. 3, 1900, for 6,500 Swiss francs by Stephen S. Palmer, the discovery of this watch serves as a “spectacular addition to scholarship surrounding Patek Philippe and Grand Complications in general,” Christie’s said in a statement. “Adding to its rarity, it is the only example known to have been cased in pink gold whereas all following pieces were cased in yellow gold according to the style of the early 20th century.”

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