In-Depth The Unique Timepieces Made By Patek Philippe For Charity
John Reardon is a notable master on Patek Philippe and a HODINKEE patron. A previous international overseer of watches at Christie’s, Reardon launched Collectability.com, a site committed to information and education about vintage Patek Philippe watches. This article previously appeared over at Collectability.com .
While working for Patek Philippe, I was regularly asked what charities Patek Philippe upheld. I genuinely couldn’t answer this inquiry and was unobtrusively informed that the family and managers around the world liked to give attentively and anonymously. In any case, the more profound I dove into this inquiry, the more that I learned about how Patek Philippe offers back in some normal, and some startling ways. I imagine that the liberal commitments that are shared in this article just scratch at the surface at what the company rewards the global community, and it unquestionably shares some knowledge into what Patek Philippe underpins philanthropically, particularly global initiatives for the health and the welfare of children.
At the Henri Stern Agency, I constantly saw random acts of thoughtfulness by the company and individual representatives that carried a grin to my face. Once, for example, I recall a gentleman acquired a Calatrava that was in a vault at the World Trade Center during 9/11. The watch was completely obliterated by heat and water with its dial softened into a heavily oxidized development, and its 18K gold case with the tone and shape so changed that it seemed as though it was from a Salvador Dali painting. Eventually, Patek Philippe completely reestablished this watch to as-new condition as a personal message of desire to the proprietor and such an advanced Memento Mori. This was a small signal that represents the sort of peaceful and personal charity that Patek Philippe displays. Day after day, I saw firsthand how Patek made the best decision to help individuals along in various situations. The majority of these accounts won’t ever be shared freely and that underlines how Patek Philippe helps individuals, cautiously and with no requirement for wonder or public attention.
More freely, Patek Philippe has made various pieces donated to various charities that have sold at auctions around the world for exceptional numbers with each Euro or Franc going to the charitable beneficiary. I have attempted to list each known piece, however please let me know whether you are aware of others and I will add them to this rundown. These watches show liberality towards the charities, yet additionally Patek Philippe’s eagerness to investigate with new plans and novel metals, most notably in steel and titanium.
Youngsters Action Patek Philippe Unique Watches
Patek Philippe started creating novel watches for Children Action, a Geneva-based charity that operates under the mantra, “The First Human Right is the Right to a Childhood” in 2007 with a titanium ref. 6000T (above). This watch has since appeared at auction multiple times, most as of late at Phillips where it sold for $240,000. Read more here .
The next example was a ref. 5180T in titanium made for Children Action in 2009 (above) where it sold in Geneva at auction for CHF 520,000. This exceptionally lightweight watch is one of the initially known skeletonized watches made in this special alloy by Patek Philippe.
In June of 2012, Patek Philippe made an extraordinary ref. 5131J with a cloisonné scene of Geneva (above). My better half Andra Reardon covered this story for HODINKEE at the time. (Side note, could she have been the main female author to have contributed a story to HODINKEE?!) This special dial portrays a perspective on Old Town Geneva and the famous Jet D’Eau. The watch sold for an astonishing CHF 1 million during this auction. Read more here .
Moving on to 2015, a ref. 5396T in titanium (above) was offered for Children Action. It sold for CHF 1 million. This one of a kind watch features a sapphire back marked ‘Kids Action 2015,’ and the dial has blue accents on the markers and blue hands making this watch notably not quite the same as regular creation 5396s.
Most as of late, an exceptional Children Action charity watch was sold in 2018 (above). This titanium ref. 5524T brought CHF 2.3 million out of an auction facilitated by Christie’s in Geneva. Not exclusively was the case remarkable, however the dial was made featuring a brushed satin finish that had never been seen. The caseback was engraved “Kids Action 2018”. Read more here .
Tung Wah Patek Philippe Charity Watch
In March 2009, Sotheby’s facilitated a charity auction for the Tung Wah Hospital Group, and a ref. 5970P was created with an extraordinary sunburst blue dial and ‘TWGH 2008’ engraved on the caseback (above). This watch sold for approximately $800,000.
The Singapore Dome Clocks
In 2015, Patek Philippe announced that three cloisonné clocks were made to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. After visiting throughout Singapore, each clock was offered at a charity supper facilitated by Philippe Stern. I had the amazing honor of being the charity auctioneer at the gala supper, and thanks to the generosity of the bidders, three world records were broken that evening. No telephone bidders or online bidders were allowed in this auction with the goal of keeping the checks in Singapore, and all the offering action was distinctly with the visitors who attended the supper. The three timekeepers brought 2.45 million SGD combined ($1.72 million). The last clock brought 1 million SGD and was immediately donated that night to the National Museum of Singapore. It was a beautiful second celebrating Singapore, Patek Philippe, and unadulterated philanthropy. For a detailed portrayal of the tickers, please see this article by SJX .
The Patek Philippe Only Watch Pieces
Generously, Patek Philippe has made an exceptional and special piece for the Only Watch auctions since 2005. The cash raised from the sale of these watches goes straightforwardly to finance research into finding a remedy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular issue that specifically affects children. Held at regular intervals, this charity auction has featured a Patek Philippe as the top parcel sold, the solitary exemption being their first Only Watch accommodation in 2005 which is laid out below. The list following is of all the Patek Philippe watches sold at the Only Watch auctions.
2005 Antiquorum Monaco, ref. 5099/101RG, sold for €120,000
Interestingly, the main Only Watch made by Patek Philippe was a Ref. 5099/101RG, an extraordinary diamond set Cabriolet. The pivoted cover was “engraved and set with valuable stones to mirror the subject Recovery and Hope [see above]. Its representative components are as per the following: 1) the sun is addressed by seven yellow sapphire stones that stand for expectation, strength, and sparkling energy 2) the moon, intrinsically connected with the sun, is represented by five diamonds. It communicates affectability, insurance, and love 3) the large diamond-paved heart signifies charity, transparency, and liberality 4) the small heart, paved with six yellow sapphire stones, addresses the kid’s heart from which a ray focuses to the future, toward development and compassion 5) the skyline, addressed by seven enlarging horizontal bands, is an image of expectation and the path to recovery.” Notably, this beautiful and special watch was the solitary Patek Philippe that didn’t bring the top cost inside the Only Watch sale. Read more here . In this inaugural sale in 2005, top distinctions went to an extraordinary Richard Mille made in collaboration with Philippe Starck, the RM 005-1 sold for €285,000.
2007 Antiquorum Monaco, titanium ref. 5712T, sold for €525,000
In 2007, Patek Philippe made their first interesting Nautilus for Only Watch, a titanium ref. 5712T. As the initially known titanium Nautilus, this watch was the star of the auction with top authorities competing to possess this piece. Remember this was years before the new Nautilus mania, and today this watch would easily be valued in the millions.
2009, Patrizzi & Co., Monaco, pink gold ref. 5106R, sold for €535,000
Jean-Claude Biver’s interesting piece Patek 5106R, as found in his scene of Talking Watches .
In 2009, Patek made their first high complication for Only Watch, a celestial chart interesting ref. 5106. It was purchased by as a matter of fact Jean-Claude Biver and the full story can be read here . This celestial watch features a motor turned bezel that makes the watch appear to be totally unique than the regular creation ref. 5102. It is intriguing to take note of that this is the first run through Patek Philippe gave a completely new reference number for a charity watch.
2011, Antiquorum, Monaco, stainless steel ref. 3939A, sold for €1.4 million
The notable movement and pattern to make more complicated and more valuable watches for Only Watch is made unquestionably clear with this steel minute repeating ref. 3939. Read more here . Brief repeating tourbillon in stainless steel was beforehand just feed for one’s horological imagination. This watch made a dream come valid for the fortunate purchaser, as well as an exceptionally appreciative and meriting charity.
2013 Antiquorum Monaco, titanium ref. 5004T, sold for €2.95 million
Not to be outshone, 2013 saw the presentation of a perpetual calendar chronograph in titanium with a beautiful, novel dial. Read more here . The case metal of this example is, obviously, the feature however the red seconds hands steals the show. The specially made checkered dial is complemented by a matching pattern strap with red enamel sewing. At the hour of the sale of this watch, many commented on how this was the “coolest and generally brandishing” strap at any point seen on a Patek Philippe.
2015 Phillips Geneva, stainless steel ref. 5016A with blue enamel dial, sold for CHF 7.3 million
The 2015 accommodation was an amazing Grand Complication with an exceptional dial. The selling cost was equally noteworthy and a world record at the ideal opportunity for a cutting edge Patek Philippe. Read more here . The steel case is honorable and understated, to say the least, yet the blue enamel is unadulterated magic. Never seen on a ref. 5016, the dark blue enamel dial features the word ‘EMAIL’ at 6 o’clock, a not all that inconspicuous suggestion to the new proprietor that this is the lord of all ref. 5016s. Until the sale of the steel ref. 1518 in November 2016, this one of a kind ref. 5016A was the most costly wristwatch to at any point sell at auction. After all, records are made to be broken.
2017 Christie’s Geneva, titanium ref. 5208T, sold for CHF 6.2 million
Upping the game with a ref. 5208T extraordinarily made by Patek Philippe was an authoritative statement. Read this article by Thierry Stern about this exceptional watch. Taking a plan signal from the ref. 5004T, the patterned central dial is unmistakably Only Watch. Interestingly, an Only Watch didn’t bring a greater cost than the past release, nonetheless, the number was deferentially amazing to say the least. We can speculate that Patek Philippe was already considering at this time how to break another record at auction with their next Only Watch submission.
2019 Christie’s Geneva, steel Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A, sold for CHF 31 million
Patek Philippe doesn’t disappoint. The final word, and broadly canvassed in the press, is the sale of the steel Grandmaster Chime in November 2019 at Christie’s. This watch unquestionably broke record after record amidst an unforgettable offering war. It surpassed the sale cost of the famous Paul Newman’s ‘Paul Newman’ Rolex at $17.7 million out of 2017 by Phillips and extraordinarily even the cost of the Henry Graves Supercomplication that sold for $24 million by Sotheby’s in 2014. Presently the world record for any watch, pocket or wrist, sold at auction, this steel Grandmaster ring holds a noteworthy record that may stand for a long time. Read more here . Patek Philippe presently remains King and it is energizing to imagine what might actually be next.