$$$ 15 Million Patek Philippe

FrantzM

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Apr 20, 2010
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#21
fine watches are for the appreciation of engineering beauty, form and function. Either you get it or you don't. I like fine watches. My limit for expenditure...< $20K....so this Perpetual is way out of my league including virtually the entire Patek line.
I kind of get it but admit it $15,000,000 What marvel of engineering does this watch summon? Form ? Subjective call.. Functions? ... Any <$200 cellphone + some free app will have all the timing functions any PP can ever dream of...
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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#22
I kind of get it but admit it $15,000,000 What marvel of engineering does this watch summon? Form ? Subjective call.. Functions? ... Any <$200 cellphone + some free app will have all the timing functions any PP can ever dream of...

That watch is one of a kind handmade in 1933. It sold for $24.4 million at auction

The timepiece -- which has been called "the most important watch in the world," "one of the wonders of the world," and "the collector's holy grail" -- boasts 24 such complications.

These include grande and petite sonnerie (chimes), which emulate the bells of Westminster; a record of the phases and age of the moon; sunrise and sunset indications; a "perpetual calendar" that makes automatic adjustments for month and year; and a celestial map of the New York sky.

The celestial map alone is a remarkable feat of engineering. It charts the precise spacing and density of the stars, and rotates at the same pace as the sky as it would have appeared from its owner's Fifth Avenue apartment.

The watch is comprised of 900 individual parts, and, according to Sotheby's, is the most advanced timepiece ever made without the assistance of computers. It was last wound in 1969, yet remains in perfect working order.
A perpetual calendar watch does not have to have the date changed for months with only 30 days, or leap years. A standard watch with date feature will always go to 31 days. So the wearer would have to manually change the date on months with only 30 days.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/12/busin...tch-sothebys-record-patek-philippe/index.html
 

FrantzM

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Apr 20, 2010
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#23

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#24
24 complications is something I just can't imagine. My watch has 4 and I think it is advanced

That watch took 8 years to make. Truly remarkable
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#25
So this is actually a bargain ... What is so special about it .. I continue to ask?
Frantz my friend

This is a one of a kind watch that took 8 years to make and hasn't been wound since 1969 yet keeps perfect time. It was the "holy grail" for watch collectors and it takes no imagination to know that someone would pay that money.

I usually agree with you Frantz. This time I'm with Christian. You either get it or you don't as he stated

I don't have that kind of $$$ but many people do and many of them are collectors. To possess something like that and pass it down through the family will only enhance it's value

It was supposed to get $15M but $24.4M shows me that there were some serious bidders on the piece. I wish him well because he scored a one of a kind PP
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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#26
So this is actually a bargain ... What is so special about it .. I continue to ask?
I will ask you, what's so special about a Van Gogh painting...just old oil paint, a canvas and a one of a kind colorful image right ? The watch is one of a kind and is the most complicated ever built. Fine watches are all about complication. Do some research and you will understand.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#27
About $1.875 Million per year of work. A princely salary .. Well I am off ... Let's hope it will find a home
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#29
About $1.875 Million per year of work. A princely salary .. Well I am off ... Let's hope it will find a home
Frantz

you are a bright person as well as a watch collector

What Christian said is IMO true and is chump change for billionaires.

Why are one of a kind paintings priceless and you voice your displeasure about this watch. I read all about it and it is truly a work of art and good luck to the person who owns it. Do you think the Mona Lisa took 8 years to paint. This little watch has 900 parts and built between 1925 and 1933. I applaud the person who bought it because it is that one of a kind same as a priceless piece of art

will have all the timing functions any PP can ever dream of...
true but this watch hasn't been wound since 1969 and keeps perfect time.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,103
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#31
Yeah, this isn't a watch as much as a work of art. and without the help of computers!

ps. I'd wind it up if it were mine!
In order to maintain the perpetual calendar, the watch must always be wound via an automatic watch winder. There would be no way to fix the date w/o sending it back to Patek, I believe.
 
Last edited:
May 25, 2010
971
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SF Bay Area
#33
The PP is actually quite a timepiece. It tries to be a real analog to the actual motions of the earth, sun and stars. Note that the timepiece is 24 hours, rather than 12 hours, so the motion of the hour hand is an analog of the rotation of the earth instead of twice the earth. It even has a sidereal time setting which tracks the rotation of the earth wrt the stars, apparently with the map of heavens shown in the window. 30 and 31 day months are pretty easy to do, but February with 28 days and leap year every four years is a bit trickier to do mechanically.

I would guess the next level of complication may not be included in the watch, although it has been well known for several hundred years. That is, that the length of the solar year is not 365.25 days (which gives the leap year every four years), but actually 365.2422 days, which means that we don't need leap year every four years. This was solved by skipping 3 leap years every 400 years, so century years, which should always be leap years (divisible by 4) are not leap years unless they are divisible by 400. So 2000 was a leap year, so was 1600, but 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 etc. are not leap years.

That means that the watch owner will have to return the watch to PP in 2100 to get it set properly for the date-day. Just in case PP did correct for the 3 leap years in 400 years problem, the actual leap year goes off that calculation in about 8000 years (IIRC).

BTW, this got resolved by the Pope back in 1582. However, Henry VIII had taken England out of the Catholic Church by then, so England stayed on the every 4 years leap year for another 200 years and England was out of sync with the rest of Europe for that time.

More interesting is that the first really expensive clock was built by John Harrison in the 1700's with which he won the Longitude Prize (look it up in Wiki) and received the equivalent of about $4-5M in today's dollars. Now that was something! You can see several of Harrison's clocks at the Greenwich Observatory near London.

Larry

PS. This and more was all in my calendar lecture in my basic astronomy course I taught for almost 30 years.
 

zztop7

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Dec 12, 2012
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#34
More interesting is that the first really expensive clock was built by John Harrison in the 1700's with which he won the Longitude Prize (look it up in Wiki) and received the equivalent of about $4-5M in today's dollars.
Did not he have to fight for years to get the $$$ out of the government? & then he died shortly thereafter? & his son was the one that benefited? & his son NEVER continued the clock work?

This is written because your post is wonderful/educational & I would like you to correct any of my statements.

zz.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
#35
That was one rather cool and informative post, astrotoy. Thanks for that.

Tom
 
May 25, 2010
971
234
43
SF Bay Area
#36
Did not he have to fight for years to get the $$$ out of the government? & then he died shortly thereafter? & his son was the one that benefited? & his son NEVER continued the clock work?

This is written because your post is wonderful/educational & I would like you to correct any of my statements.

zz.
I didn't know the details of the prize money, but according to wiki, he did get the money before he died and lived his final decade as wealthy man. Parliament even supplemented the prize.

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Larry
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#37
Larry

you have relly enlightened me with your lecture

How the heck did they figure 200 years ago that the year was 365.2422 days
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,541
5
38
NY
#38
Watches IMO are becoming obsolete much the same as point and shoot cameras

Look at our kids. They never wear a watch or hold a camera as they are always in possession of their mobile phones which have great cameras and a watch which time is pegged to the atomic clock so the time on your phone is always correct

Just saved myself $15M ;)
Residents of mine have told me that they would never wear a watch to an interview. Wearing a watch is considered "old school" by the younger generation and they don't want to be thought of that way. As you said, they have phones / hand held computers tied to atomic clocks that have perfect time.
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,541
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38
NY
#39
May 25, 2010
971
234
43
SF Bay Area
#40
Gary, thanks for the links to wiki. I took a look, and I think the Gregorian article is a bit clearer and more relevant, though both articles require some sloshing through. It was much more than 200 years ago that the discrepancy was noticed. Actually, it is not too hard for an agrarian society to notice that the beginning of Spring - the Vernal Equinox (where the Sun rises directly in the East) was getting earlier and earlier from the Roman times, until by the 1500's it was 10 days early. For the Catholic world the change occurred on October 4th, 1582, so the next day was October 15th. Ten days were lost. (Like the 1946 Ray Milland movie 'Lost Weekend', except without a hangover). There were some real problems, like people who paid rent on the first of the month, but got paid for the number of days they worked.

Anyway, it even gets more complicated, since the earth's rotation is slowing down because of tidal friction. For those of you with turntables, if you rest your finger lightly on the edge of a spinning record, you will get the effect of the record slowing, which also causes the tides (like your finger) to be pulled ahead. So days are really getting longer - it's not just you and your job. Back in the old days, when the earth was young (even before Steve and I were born), the earth's rotation rate was as fast as about 18 hours. It will eventually slow to about 60 days, in about 5 billion years, and at that point the moon will have moved away from the earth sufficiently (from the conservation of angular momentum) so its orbit will also be 60 days and the moon and earth will be in a synchronous lock. Of course, the sun will become a red giant star and toast us all. As the moon moves away from the earth, it will appear smaller in the sky and we will no longer have total eclipses of the sun!

Aren't you glad we had a thread about fancy watches?

Times up,

Larry
 

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