April 14, 2024

If there was one reason to attend the Sotheby’s auction this season at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva, it was for the horological behemoth that is the Patek Philippe Caliber 89.

The news, as it was first broken by www.watchesbysjx.com, reports that once the timepiece was brought onto the table, the auctioneer managed to get things going and brought bids all the way up to CHF6.45M. But no further. And, therefore, the sale was passed. Why? Because Sotheby’s lower estimate for the piece started at CHF6.5M. A mark which the Cal. 89 did not manage to hit this afternoon.

The Cal. 89 was a special pocket watch created by Patek in 1989, for its 150th anniversary, in four variations: Yellow, rose and white gold, plus a platinum one. At the end of nine years of research and production, Patek had managed to squeeze 33 complications into the watch, with one side showing sidereal indications and the other showing mean time indications.

The particular piece offered up by Sotheby’s at their Spring 2017 auction was the yellow gold variation, about which there is a particularly endearing story that The Hour Glass’s Mr. Michael Tay recently wrote on his Instagram account. Read it here and here.

While the Cal. 89 failed to find a buyer on the auction floor today, it’s safe to suggest that watch will not sit idle inside of Sotheby’s safes for too long. As suggested by www.watchesbysjx.com in his report, it’s sure to find a buyer through private offers made and disappear into a prestigious collection somewhere out there when, unfortunately, the world ever lay eyes upon again the next time it appears at an auction (if it ever does).