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Watch Owned by China’s Last Emperor Sells for Record $6.2 Million

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A luxury watch that belonged to China’s last emperor has sold for a record $6.2 million at a live auction in Hong Kong.

The rare Patek Philippe timepiece was once owned by Aisin-Gioro Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty whose life was the basis for the 1987 film “The Last Emperor.” It was sold over the phone on Tuesday to an Asian collector in Hong Kong after six minutes of bidding, according to Phillips, the London-based auction house which managed the sale.

Thomas Perazzi, Phillips’ head of watches for Asia, said it was a record for a wristwatch previously owned by an emperor as well as for the Patek Philippe Reference 96 Quantieme Lune, of which there are only eight known to exist.

The auction house said a global team of researchers spent three years verifying the provenance of the 86-year-old watch, which Puyi gave to his Russian interpreter Georgy Permyakov while he was imprisoned in the Soviet Union after World War II. It is not clear how the watch came into Puyi’s possession.

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