The Qing Dynasty Patek Philippe Reference 96 Quantieme Lune is a rare and historically important wristwatch that once belonged to Aisin-Gioro Puyi, the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty.
The Qing Dynasty Patek Philippe Calatrava Reference 96 Quantieme Lune (Ref. 96QL) was sold at auction for $6.2 million on May 23, 2023. This was a record price for any wristwatch that once belonged to an emperor. The watch was purchased by an anonymous Asian collector.
Manufactured in 1929, the movement was not cased until years later, and then it was finally sold in October 1937 — and is one of only eight known examples of this model. It has a 30 mm diameter platinum case, an enamel Arabic “Roulette” dial, pink gold Feuille hands, and a moon phase complication.
Most notably, while Puyi still owned the watch, he reportedly asked one of his servants to remove a portion of the top layer of the dial, revealing the brass base beneath, resulting in the distinctive half-off-white and half-brass aesthetic that makes this watch truly one-of-a-kind. Though, it’s technically damaged, which shows that famous provenance is more important than condition.
He eventually gave the watch to his Russian interpreter, Marianna Popova, in 1945, shortly before he was forced to abdicate for the second time. Popova kept the watch until her death in 1989. The watch was then inherited by her son, who sold it with Phillips Watches at The Imperial Patek Philippe sale in Hong Kong, yesterday.
Photo by Phillips.