As an antiquities trader, he notices a long-lost 18th century Harrison nautical watch and proposes having it appraised. When the watch is auctioned off by Sotherby's, the highest bid is PS6.2 million pounds. The Trotters finally make it wealthy after 16 years of hardship!
Featuring David Jason as Grandad, the comedy series Only Fools and Horses followed the adventures of Derek Trotter (Jason) and his friends as they tried to use their money wisely while living in Mottingham. In the first episode, "Diamonds are Forever", we see that Derek has just inherited a large sum of money from his grandfather who had been locked up in the attic of his house for several years. Determined not to waste his life as a fool, Derek decides to buy a diamond mine with his share of the fortune. But things do not go as planned when his friends try to help him out.
The show was very popular in Britain and enjoyed huge success abroad, particularly in America. Where else can you find a TV series that has survived so well after only three episodes have been made? Or one that continues to generate merchandise sales many years later? Only Fools and Horses has done more than just survive, it has flourished in fact.
After the death of its star actor David Jason in 1995, the show didn't seem likely to continue without him.
Sotheby's is pleased to hold the auction record for any watch—$24 million for the Patek Philippe Henry Graves' Supercomplication—and the watch department has routinely attained benchmark prices. In 2015, a single lot reached $10 million for the first time in history: a self-winding wristwatch by Jaeger-LeCoultre that had been owned by Marilyn Monroe.
The world's most expensive watch is the Patek Philippe Ref. 5960AVELODY. It was created in 1958 by late designer Louis Vitton and is one of only 99 examples made. It features a white gold case with platinum straps and black alligator skin leather girdle. The hand-painted dial includes blue Roman numerals as well as green and orange diamonds from the Czech Republic and France, respectively. The sale price was $17.5 million.
In 2011, Sotheby's broke its own record when it sold the Richard Mille RM 055 ACERT for $4.6 million. This was the highest price paid at auction for an object made by a single brand. The watch is a limited edition of 55 pieces built around a carbon fiber chassis covered in aluminum and leather. It uses Japanese quartz movements and is powered by a lithium battery.
The most expensive watch ever sold at auction globally is the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010, which sold for 31.19 million US dollars (31,000,000 CHF) on November 9, 2019 in Geneva (by Christie's). It was one of only 70 such watches made and is considered a modern masterpiece by many experts.
The second most expensive watch ever sold was another Patek Philippe, called the Ref. 6204-602. It sold for 30.5 million US dollars in March 2018 (30,500,000 CHF).
Both these watches were manufactured in 1864 for Charles Ferdinand Patek & Söhne to be used as timekeepers during the first transatlantic radio transmission. They are both mechanical, have 88 jewels and use helium as their mainspring lubricant. The Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 has 69 diamonds with a total weight of 1.20 grams, while the Ref. 6204-602 has 71 diamonds with a total weight of 1.22 grams.
Charles Ferdinand Patek & Söhne was founded in 1743 by Charles Pierre Patek. He started out as an armorer for soldiers who were involved in the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1763, he opened his own shop where he made guns and weapons.
Patek Philippe's 6300A-010 Grandmaster Chime (US $31.2 million) is the most expensive watch. This 175th anniversary Patek Philippe wristwatch fetched $31.2 million at a Christie's charity auction in 2019. The sculpture in issue was completed in 100,000 hours and comprises an unique steel frame with 20 functionalities. It weighs 3 pounds (1.4 kg).
In fact, this watch was the top seller of the night with no reserve and is now the highest priced watch ever to be sold at auction.
Other notable sales: A John Hardy gold pocket watch sold for $1.6 million; a silver Gucci belt buckle went for $2.5 million; and a diamond-studded Cartier Tank watch sold for $3.9 million.
Billionaire Steven Cohen's personal timepiece collection was sold by Sotheby's New York in November 2018. The sale netted $17.5 million, which was considered a low estimate.
The collection included four Rolexes, a Patek Philippe, a Cartier, and a Van Cleef & Arpels. It was believed that the entire collection was sold for more than $100 million.
Rolex has also been selling its archives, which include over 1,500 watches. They have been sold as private collections for millions of dollars each.
As of December 2020, at least 74 watches have been auctioned off for more than two million US dollars, and at least 113 watches had been auctioned off for more than 1.5 million US dollars. There are eight Patek Philippe timepieces and two Rolex watches among the top ten.
In fact, there have been so many luxury watch auctions that it is difficult to estimate how many watches have been sold over the years. However, one can assume that around 100 to 150 watches are sold at such events each year. It should also be noted that some luxury watches are never worn by their owners and are thus never put up for sale. These include many expensive jewelry-quality timepieces that serve as trophies or gifts for those who own them.
On November 23, 2010, Sotheby's auction house in New York City announced that a Swiss-made Ebel watch designed by Fritz Haerlin was sold for $4.32 million. The buyer was a consortium of investors from Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the United States. The previous record for a watch at auction was held by another Ebel watch made in 1971. That watch was sold for $3.6 million and belonged to Saudi Arabia's King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz.