It’s about unique watch made by Patek Philippe for arguably the greatest horological collector of the 20th century, Henry Graves, Jr. This watch from 1933, which took a total of eight years to complete recently sold for £15 million ($23,62 million) at Sotheby’s Geneva sale of Important Watches November 14. The most expensive, the most complex, but also the most beautiful watch in the world is also known as the “Holy Grail” of watches. However, what is less known is that the watch carries a kind of curse for the owners, and that the curse is still “alive”, testify that the last known owner died just two days before the auction, all of a sudden.
Just a few hours before an unnamed buyer bought the watch, Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al Thani, former owner and one of the richest men in the world, died mysteriously at his home in London.
The 48-year-old member of the royal family of Qatar, bought the watch 15 years ago for the then staggering $11 million. The watch was part of his priceless private collection.
While his death was announced after the sale, no one yet knows the cause of death. However, this watch has a story that accompanies it from the very beginning.
Specifically, its first owner Henry Graves, the famous banker, in the utmost secrecy had commissioned this watch from the famous Patek Philippe back in 1925. Graves wanted to get “the most complicated watch in the world”, which will have two faces and as many as 24 additional settings. One face of the watch is supposed to show all phases of the Moon, and the second set and sunrise in New York. He had an alarm, stopwatch and calendar.
However, seven months after Graves got an hour, his best friend died. A few months later, his son George died in a car accident. To make matters worse, it was Henry’s second son who lost his life in this way.
Otherwise, the thirties of the last century were the years of the Great Depression and Graves became the target of public resentment, because no one could believe that he can throw money at such luxury while people are dying of hunger. Graves began to suspect that this watch just brings him bad luck. One day he was on a yacht with her daughter, and reportedly said:
“This thing does not bring anything other than an accident,” and tried to throw it into the water. The daughter Gwendolyn prevented him to do that.
“No, do not throw it. Maybe one day I want to have it,” she’d said.
From then onwards, the clock was always at Gwendolyn. Her father lost interest in watches after this. After the death of Graves, Gwendolyn was officially inherited the watch, which was later donated to his son Reginald Fullerton, who sold it to one industrialist from Illinois for $ 200,000, which is about a million dollars in today’s money.
Until 1999, the watch was exposed in a museum in Illinois, and then sold to Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al Thani for $ 11 million.