Sotheby's recently completed their 'Important Watches Spring Sale 2013', which received a record collection amount, billing in well over $28.4 million at the event, when the pre-sale estimate was less than half that amount. With these figures, records were broken, including the highest collection for any sale of watches by Sotheby's Worldwide, and the highest collection for any watch sale in Asia. From the best pieces which broke records, one important piece was the 'The Magpie's Treasure Nest Clock' by Patek Philippe, which bought in $2.31 million where it's estimate was between far lower at $380,000 and $640,000. For the last part of the auction, when it came down to 4 bidders doing their best to get this bejeweled clock in their collection, the process became extremely aggressive and a lucky in-room bidder won the tussle to pick it up $2.31 million including the buyer's premium.
Summing up the Magpie's Treasure Nest clock isn't the easiest, as its description is just as ornate as its looks. With extensive work on yellow gold and silver, precious stones and minerals like multi-colored agate, diamonds (24.95 carats), ruby (13.17 carats), sapphire, tanzanite, rose quartz, amethyst, mother of pearl, and rock crystal have also been a part of the ornamental timepiece. In all, the whole timepiece is 52cms in height, and 15.1kgs in overall body weight, with more intricacy than ever before especially on a horological masterpiece.
The clock was made way back in 1992, when the clock went to an Asian buyer who had paid close to $20 million for this clock, which was then estimated to bring in $640,000. Some of the main reasons for the high price of the Magpie Treasure Nest Clock, other than the labored crafting was the Patek Philippe REF 2079 MVT 8479 movement, gemstones like the 104.75 carat oval blue tanzanite, 24.95 carats of diamonds, 13.17 carats of crafted rubies especially seen on the branches of the tree, the mother of pearl dial with sapphire numerals on the clock dial, yellow gold bird's nest and watch casing, generous bouts of green agate foliage amongst others. Though in a different genre, this masterpiece does cement itself, as one of the best specimens of craftsmanship in Patek Philippe's most expensive watches.