Qatari Royal Pledges World’s Most Expensive Watch to Sotheby’s

Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, cousin to the Emir of Qatar, has pledged a collection of valuable items worth $83 million including the world’s most expensive watch to Sotheby’s to cover debts that are owed to the famed auction house, say court documents.

The Qatari Sheikh gave Sotheby’s collectible items such as tribal art, diamond jewelry and four vintage watches made by haute horlogerie house Patek Philippe of Geneva, according to documents filed by Sotheby’s at the New York Department of State.  One of the four time pieces included in the Sheik’s collection is a Henry Graves Supercompilation, which was sold to an anonymous bidder in the late 1990s for $11 million.

The Qatari royal has been served with two lawsuits since September of this year.  One of the lawsuits claims that the Sheikh did not pay the $19.8 he bid on a collection of ancient Greek coins back in January.  A court in the United Kingdom has ordered a freeze on  $15 million of Al-Thani’s assets as per the request of the coin dealers, and the court furthermore noted that the Sheikh has not paid at least 11 auction houses unpaid for items purchased in the last year and a half.   $42 million is currently owed to Sotheby’s.

The watch in question was made in 1933 for Henry Graves and is made of 18-karat gold.  Its $11 million dollar selling price in 1999 made it the most expensive watch ever sold at auction.

 

Story and photo source:  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-09/qatari-sheik-pledges-most-expensive-watch-to-sotheby-s

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