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Breguet Sympathique clock is the world’s most expensive clock

By Adrian Prisca


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Those who know their way in historical horlogerie have probably heard of Abraham-Louis Breguet. He was one of the most important horologists of all time, having developed principles like the overcoil (a balance spring improvement with a raised outer coil), automatic winding mechanisms and all sorts of other innovative escapements, like the tourbillon.

Back in 1795 he had manufactured this magnificent Sympathique clock, which is today’s most expensive clock in the world. It will reportedly be sold for a mind-boggling $6.8 million at Sotheby’s New York Important Watches & Clocks Auction due to be taking place on Tuesday.

Now being around 217 years old, the Sympathique clock, boasting with red tortoiseshell and gold detailing, sets a new auction record involving any clock, and also the second highest price ever paid at an auction for a timepiece. The staggering price is not reasoned only by the importance of the clock, but also by its exclusivity and extreme rarity.

Only 10 to 12 Sympathique clocks have been kept until today, all being owned by crowns figures and magnates. As for the moniker of the clock, the sympathique notion was chosen by Mr. Breguet so that the clock stands for concord and harmony.

The first official display of the Sympathique clock had taken place back in 1798, at the Exposition Nationale des Produits de l’Industrie. It used to be a system composed of a watch and a clock, designed in such a way that the cradle holds the automatically adjusted and rewound watch.

The most recent price paid for the piece was $5.7 million, back in 1999, at a Sotheby’s auction. It was bought by a private museum.


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About Adrian Prisca

Founder of Luxatic and countless other projects, Adrian has shaped this website into a go-to source for discerning readers looking for the latest in luxury products and experiences. He has over 15 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content across numerous platforms and he’s considered a leading voice in the luxury industry. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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