Contest: Predict the Hammer Price of the Graves Supercomplication

If you are reading this, then you probably already know the basics.  The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication watch is the most complicated watch ever produced by humans (without the aid of computers) and holds the record as the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, achieving a “hammer price” of $10 million at a Sotheby’s auction held in 1999 (or $11 million, including the buyer’s premium).  The experts among you may be able to count off the watch’s 24 complications, tell us the details of Mr. Graves’ life and recite the ownership history of the watch.  Everyone knows that this amazing watch will again be sold by Sotheby’s on November 11, at an auction in Geneva.

But who among our readers will be able to provide the most accurate predication of the price that the Graves Supercomplication will achieve at the November 11 auction?  To answer this question, we are holding a contest.

It’s really very simple — go to the entry form and predict the winning “hammer price”.  If you like, you can tell us a little bit about yourself, and also give us an explanation of your prediction . . . but all that is optional.

We have two fantastic prizes for the winner and runner up.  The winner of the contest will receive the magnificent auction catalog for Christie’s “Patek Philippe 175” auction, being held on November 9 (which sells for $110).  This auction will include 100 amazing Patek Philippe watches, spanning the entire history of the company, and the catalog tells the story of all 100 of them.  The photos are beautiful and the writing is excellent . . . a perfect book for any watch enthusiast’s collection.

  
The runner up in the contest will receive the very interesting book, A Grand Complication, written by Stacy Perman.  In this book, Perman tells the story of Henry Graves, Jr., focusing on the contest between Graves and James Ward Packard, in which each of these patrons of Patek Philippe sought to obtain the most magnificent watch that have ever been built.  Of course, Graves won the contest, with the creation of the “Supercomplication” watch starting in 1925 and the watch being delivered to Graves in 1933.

You can read more about both these books in our previous “Reader’s Guide to the Upcoming Patek Philippe Auctions“.  Special thanks to Christie’s and Ms. Perman for furnishing these great prizes.

A lot has been written about the Graves Supercomplication and the upcoming Sotheby’s auction.  (We list a lot of the sources in our previous “Reader’s Guide“.)  As you consider the value of this amazing watch and fine tune your entry for our contest, you may be inspired by the words of the expert, Aurel Bachs, writing in WorldTempus last month:

Personally, I believe there is only one way of concluding what is the right way of assessing The Graves’ value: simply put, it is priceless, meaning that I don’t think anyone can say what it is worth and, especially, what is too much for it. I sincerely hope that those amongst you, dear readers, who do have the necessary means “sleeping” somewhere on their savings account, realize that the Graves Supercomplication is worth every cent, no matter if the hammer price starts with a one, a two or even a three.

Good luck with the contest (enter HERE) and enjoy watching this historic auction!

Jeff Stein
November 6, 2014