A vintage watch once owned by the legendary Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is up for sale at the Phillips Watch Auction in Geneva on Sunday.
The Patek Phillipe wristwatch, said to be one of the rarest ever made by the company — only one other example is known — has a black lacquered dial and what are known as Breguet numerals, a font used for highly exclusive limited editions, commanding premium prices. The Wiesenthal Watch, believed to have been made between 1941 and 1944, is expected to fetch up to £423,000.
Wiesenthal was not liberated from Mathausen until 1945 and it is unlikely that he would have afforded the watch until relatively late in his long life — he died in 2005.
In 2007 the watch first appeared on the market, sold at public auction by Wiesenthal’s own family. This is the first reappearance of the watch since that sale.
Simon Wiesenthal is renowned as a human rights campaigner who was dedicated to keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust and its victims. Several pictures of him, towards the end of his life, show him wearing the distinctive Patek Phillipe watch.
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