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Christie’s latest luxury watch auction includes this insane Richard Mille

Christie's is auctioning off a Richard Mille, its most expensive ever

RM56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire
Christie's New York

If you’re the average guy with 1-2 watches from brands like Omega, TAG Heuer, or Tissot in your closet, then a Christie’s auction will certainly be shocking for you. The auction house is gearing up for its “Important Watches” auction at Rockefeller Center on June 10, where they will showcase 118 spectacular pieces, and when we say “spectacular,” we’re talking more than the price of your house and all your friend’s houses combined.

Christie’s auction: Richard Mille 56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire

RM56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire
Christie's New York

The main attraction at this auction is a limited-edition Richard Mille watch that’s expected to be the most expensive ever sold by Christie’s New York. This particular model, the RM56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire, is one of only 10 ever made and is expected to fetch up to $4 million dollars; that’s a lot of zeros. This Richard Mille watch was first released back in 2014 and is famous for its use of sapphire, which provides an unmatched level of transparency in which you can see the skeletonized tourbillon within. Each 3-part sapphire case took 40 days to produce, with the sapphire bridges requiring 400 hours of labor. To put that into perspective, 2 whole weeks have 336 hours.

For anyone who’s into details: A grade 5 titanium baseplate is suspended within the case supported by a 0.35mm thick braided cable. Within this setup are 4 pulleys mounted on the case and 6 more on the baseplate. A small ratchet adjusts the cable tension and a tension indicator shaped like an arrow gives you a visual cue of the tautness of the cable.

The Christie’s “Important Watches” auction: Historical significance

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2526 ‘Duo’
Christie's New York

The Christie’s “Important Watches” auction will feature several other notable watches that have some major historical significance and would make a great story for any watch collection.

An 18-carat gold Patek Philippe is available that was customized by Tiffany & Co. for President Lyndon B. Johnson when he was a senator and it’s expected to fetch up to $45,000 at the Christie’s auction. Another watch owned by a famous face is a rare stainless steel Rolex Daytona with a “Paul Newman” dial. It belonged to NASA astronaut Walter Cunningham, who piloted Apollo 7 in 1968 and passed away last year; it’s expected to fetch up to $450,000. The Rolex Ref. 6098 Prototype Pre-Explorer is expected to fetch between $20,000 and $40,000. It was worn by Colonel Patrick Douglas Baird during the 1953 Swiss Canadian Baffin Island Arctic Expedition, so it has some seriously exciting history.

The Christie’s “Important Watches” auction: Other notable watches

Daniel Roth Jumping Hours Retrograde
Christie's New York

Other watches that are sure to draw attention at the Christie’s auction are the F.P Journe Tourbillon Ruthenium No. 33 of 33, which will hopefully go for $250,000-$350,000, the Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 Calatrava Duo, which is made from 18k gold ($25,000-$45,000), and the Daniel Roth Jumping Hours Retrograde in white gold and diamond ($20,000-$40,000.)

Not to be forgotten, there are several stunning watches, from Audemars Piguet (Ref. 5403-341 Cobra in white gold with a silver-blue dial), Cartier (Gondole, Cloche, Bagnoire, Tank Asymmétrique models), and another Richard Mille with a diamond-set skull, which could also fetch a price of somewhere in the millions.

Keep your eyes peeled if you have a spare $4 million lying around!

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Sarah Veldman
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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