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Patek Philippe ‘Only Watch’ Ref. 6301A is Fourth Most Expensive Watch Sold at Auction

Patek Philippe Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater Rare Handcrafts Ref 6301A-010 Only Watch

Despite enduring cyberattacks to the Christie’s website that prevented online bidding, the Only Watch Auction 2024 was a resounding success, raising CHF 28.3 million (approx. £24.9 million) for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. The headline sale was that of the Patek Philippe Grande and Petite Sonnerie ref. 6301A, which reached a hammer price of CHF 15.7 million (approx. £13.8 million) rocketing it up to the fourth most expensive watch sold at auction ever.

Considering that nine months ago it was Patek Philippe withdrawing from the auction that contributed to the postponement of the 2023 edition of Only Watch, it’s the closest thing to an haute horological Cinderella story we’ve seen.

Patek Philippe Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater Rare Handcrafts Ref 6301A-010

First, what is the Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater ref. 6301A? Well, it’s actually Patek Philippe’s back up watch because the original watch they had put up for the sale in 2023 has not made a return, that was the brand new ref. 1938P Minute Repeater Alarm. The 6301A is an old model so you may expect it to be less exciting than a new grand complication, but that’s simply not the case because it’s second only to the Grand Master Chime in terms of complexity and is actually substantially more prestigious than the 1938P.

Patek Philippe Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater Rare Handcrafts Ref 6301A-010
Patek Philippe Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater Rare Handcrafts "Only Watch" Ref. 6301A-010

It measures 44.8mm in diameter with a platinum case and houses the calibre GS 36‑750 PS IRM, featuring a three-gong minute repeater, a patented strikework mechanism and patented jumping small seconds. For Only Watch, they’ve dressed the watch with a handwork guilloché dial in blue with a flinqué enamel finish and wavy patten – as also seen on the ref. 5178G. On top of that the twin power reserve indicators for the movement and sonnerie complication have been given the inscriptions ‘Only’ and ‘One’, as tribute to its 1-of-1 status.

Patek Philippe Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater Rare Handcrafts "Only Watch" Ref. 6301A-010

By reaching a price of CHF 15.7 million it lands as the fourth most expensive watch sold at auction – it was bought by a collector called Zach Lu, who also owns the coveted Tiffany Nautilus. It squeezes out another Patek Philippe from the fourth slot, the ref. 1518 sold by Phillips for $11.1 million (approx. £8.9 million) in 2016. The most expensive watch sold at auction is also a Patek, the Grand Master Chime produced for Only Watch in 2019, which went for $31 million (approx. £24.7 million).

The CHF 15.7 million also means Patek Philippe accounted for over half of the 28.3 million total of the Only Watch sale, raising more than every other watch combined. Even with the likes of Richard Mille, Rexhep Rexhepi and F.P. Journe all going for more than CHF 2 million each. Still, regardless of the performance of individual watches, it’s nice to see Only Watch back on the calendar and hopefully there will be more highlights like this in future.

More details at Only Watch.

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