This is ‘The Pearl of the Arabian Gulf’, one of the most beautiful Patek Philippe watches ever made and it’s currently up for auction.
Available from Christie’s Dubai, The Pearl of the Arabian Gulf is less expensive than you might think.
It’s a one-off, or a ‘pièce unique‘ if you want to use the correct watch jargon.
It was made by Patek Philippe on commission, and it is based on the brand’s iconic ‘Calatrava’ model from the 1958.
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However, as you can see from the pictures, this timepiece has very little in common with the Calatrava ref. 2573 (below) on which it was based.
Patek had to modify the watch in a number of ways to accommodate the pearls.
The standard case was replaced with a slightly thicker one and a taller bezel.
Both are made from 18k yellow gold, as is the integrated bracelet.
The bracelet was actually made by Gay Frères, Switzerland’s best-known bracelet specialist.
The dial is also made of gold and it features seed pearl hour makers for every indice with the exception of the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock.
Some say this watch actually provided the inspiration for the ref. 2573 ‘Pearl of Bahrain’ watches in rose gold commissioned by the King of Bahrain.
The Pearl Patek Philippe is now on display at Dubai International Financial Centre and available from Christie’s Dubai.
The watch has been given a pre-sale estimate of $150,000 – $300,000, with a starting bid of $100,000.
Quite frankly, it feels like this could end up fetching more.
Partly because anything that says ‘Patek Philippe’ sells like hot cakes these days.
And also because, unlike other one-off timepieces, this is elegant and refined.
Bidding remains open until October 26.