Modern Masterpieces Of Horology

Antique watches and clocks often command very high prices at auctions. But many modern watches - scooped up directly from their makers - now also fetch very large sums and attract much attention. The Calibre '89 by Patek Philippe, for example, brought $3.17 million when sold in 1989. A duplicate is expected to bring more than twice that. These modern masterpieces are the collectibles of tomorrow; their makers bear the names that will echo in auction halls of the future. In a way, the modern masterpieces of horology are rarer than, and at least as artistically made as, those of old. Unlike the old masters, contemporary masters generally make every part of the watch or clock themselves. Interestingly, some of the later timepieces have many more complications than the old masters' works ever had. Record books reveal that while famous watchmakers of a century ago did conceive the inventi

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