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HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - A platinum Patek Philippe tourbillon watch became the most expensive modern wristwatch to be sold at auction when it fetched HK$11.75 million ($1.49 million) in Hong Kong on Thursday
The "Ref. 5002P Sky Moon Tourbillon" wristwatch with a double dial is considered the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the renowned Swiss watchmaker. Only two such watches are made every year, one in platinum and one in rose gold.
The watch, made in 2003, was bought by an Asian private buyer at the Sotheby's auction.
"Our clients are really looking in Asia for the top end of the market, (for) highly collectible, highly rare pieces like the Patek Philippe," said Vanessa Herrera, the acting head of Sotheby's watches department in Hong Kong.
Wristwatches, which first started to be worn in the 1920's to replace pocket watches, are categorized as "vintage" if made before 1970, while post-1970 wristwatches are regarded as "modern".
The previous auction record for a modern wristwatch was a Vacheron Constantin "Tour de l'Ile which was sold by the auction house Antiquorum for $1.4 million in Geneva in 2005.
Reporting by James Pomfret; Editing by Michael Perry