This one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe is considered to be one of the most unique and luxurious bespoke watches ever made and it’s heading to the auction block, eight years after it was last sold publicly. The Patek Philippe ref. 3843/1 was created by the Swiss watchmaker in 1990 for a private client. What makes the one-off truly exceptional is the fact that it was developed around a 13.43-carat portrait-cut diamond as its crystal over the dial in place of the traditional sapphire crystal.
The unnamed client had supplied Patek with the large, flat lasque diamond and asked for a bespoke watch made around it. According to the official listing, it’s the third-largest plaque diamond known to exist. Furthermore, it is the only watch known to feature a portrait-cut diamond.
Patek had sought the help of Genevan case maker Atelier Réunis to design the watch casing according to the shape of the portrait-cut diamond. As a result, the 18-karat white gold case features an asymmetrical shape a bespoke Stern Frères dial in blue gold. Talking about the unique timepiece, jewelry historian Diana Scarisbrick said: “The reflections of the facets illuminate the portrait, the highly polished limpid surface lets the subject shine through with much more brilliance than crystal and also draws the eye towards it. Only the clearest stones could achieve this magical effect.”
The asymmetry of the timepiece is also mirrored by the mix of 18-karat white gold baton indexes and dot hour markers that are asymmetrically positioned. In addition to the unique reference number, the caseback is also engraved with the diamond’s carat weight. Completing the watch is an integrated mesh bracelet in white gold. The bespoke Patek Philippe accompanied by a digital copy of the certificate of origin dated 18 January 1994 and signed by Philippe Stern noting it as a “Pièce Unique.” It will be up for grabs at the upcoming Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit sale and is expected to fetch anywhere between $1 million to $2 million.