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'Asprey' watch sold for nearly $3.9 million in Geneva
"The Asprey," a legendary vintage Patek Philippe watch, fetched 3.915 million Swiss francs ($3.88 million), Sotheby's said on Tuesday (November 13) after hectic bidding at its Geneva auction. Made in 1952 and sold four years later, the Swiss luxury wristwatch was the star lot among 250 watches and pocket watches, including pieces by Cartier, Rolex, and Vacheron Constantin, that were on the block at Tuesday's semi-annual auction in Geneva, with a pre-sale estimate of $2 to 4 million. The buyer's identity was not immediately known, but the successful bidder was a young Asian woman in torn jeans bidding in the back row of the sale room while speaking in Chinese on her cell phone. The anonymous seller bought the watch at auction in 2006 for 2.2 million Swiss francs (now $2.21 million), a record for the reference at the time, Sotheby's said. Worn on a brown leather strap, it offers the day and date, a stop watch and phases of the moon. The original owner, whose initials, R.C., are engraved on the back of the watch's yellow gold case, probably received it for his 21st birthday, but has not been identified, the auction house said.