The rare Patek Philippe watch with a perpetual calendar manufactured in 1987 was sold to an anonymous Asian bidder by Christie’s at the Hôtel des Bergues.
The timepiece, described as a “synonym of style and mechanical elegance” by Aurel Bacs, head of Christie’s international watch department, was valued at between 2.5 million and four million francs.
It was made in 1987, one of only two produced of platinum to a design first introduced in 1951.
The watch was commissioned by Patek Philippe’s owner, Philippe Stern, who subsequently put it up for auction in 1989, the watchmaker’s 150th anniversary.
Clapton, its third owner, had hardly worn it, according to Bacs.
The auction house sold another platinum Patek Philippe, dating from 1952, for a record 3.77 million francs at its “Important Watches” auction.
The Geneva Observatory Watch was “made especially for J.B. Champion”, an American watch collector and successful lawyer, with those words inscribed on the watch face.
All told, the auction brought in just over 27 million francs for 310 lots of watches.
On Tuesday, Christie’s is auctioning rare jewels in Geneva, including the Archduke Joseph Diamond, named after the former archduke of Austria, its first recorded owner.
The 76-carat diamond, originally unearthed from Golconda mines in India, is valued at more than 15 million francs.
To find out more about Clapton's watch, check out this video from Christie's: