The Swiss watch, which had been listed with an asking price of only 700,000-900,000 francs, sold on Saturday for 7.3 million francs ($7.3 million) after nine minutes of intense bidding by two anonymous telephone bidders, the Phillips auction house said.
That is “the highest price ever paid for a wristwatch at auction,” it said in a statement, adding that once the hammer fell the sale had been greeted by a standing ovation in the room at the luxury La Reserve Hotel in Geneva.
The Patek Philippe piece, with its manual winding, minute repeater and perpetual calendar with moon-phase display, was one of 44 unique timepieces created for the “Only Watch” auction by luxury watchmakers and jewellers, including Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Harry Winston, Piaget and Chanel.
In total, the auction took in $11.2 million (10.3 million euros), Phillips said.
All the proceeds of the charity auction goes towards research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a tragic muscle-wasting disease that occurs in roughly one in 3,500 males.
“This fantastic result will allow us to strengthen our efforts in targeting a cure for this severe disease,” said Luc Pettavino, head of the Monaco-based AMM association dedicated to finding a cure for the disease and founder of the “Only Watch” auction.
The charity auction is held every two years under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
On Sunday, Phillips' Geneva Watch Auction sold another Patek Philippe wristwatch, a stainless steel model made in 1945, for 3.3 million francs, a record for that type of watch, a split-seconds chronograph.
Over two days, the auction house realized total sales of 27.8 million francs in sales.
Among the more celebrated timepieces sold was a Rolex watch worn by Roger Moore in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die”, which went for 365,000 francs, Phillips said on Monday.
The estimated price for the stainless steel watch, made in 1972, was between 150,00-250,00 francs.
The buyer's name was not disclosed.
In the film, the watch is used to create a magnetic field which deflects bullets fired at the MI6 agent. At another point, Bond uses this magnetic force to undress a woman.
At a Sotheby's auction in Geneva this Wednesday, two pieces owned by another ex-Bond star will go under the hammer.
Scottish actor Sean Connery is selling a 15.4-carat pink and orange diamond, which could fetch above $2 million and a ring boasting 5.18 carats of diamonds, with an estimated sale price of $250,000.