A watch once belonging to Aisin-Gioro Puyi, the last emperor of China’s Qing Dynasty, sold at a Hong Kong auction for a record-breaking HK$49 million (US$6.2 million) on Tuesday. The Patek Philippe Reference 96 Quantieme Lune was one of only eight known timepieces of its kind, and was purchased by an anonymous buyer residing in Hong Kong over the phone.

The sale set three records, most notably for the highest amount ever paid for any auctioned wristwatch previously owned by an emperor. It was also the highest result for any Patek Philippe reference 96 ever sold, as well as the most valuable lot ever sold by Phillips Watches in Asia.

The red fan and books owned by Aisin-Gioro Puyi that went on sale in Hong Kong (© Phillips)

Puyi gifted the watch to his Russian interpreter Georgy Permyakov while he was held by the Soviet Union in a prison camp for five years. It was expected to fetch HK$23.5 million (US$3 million), but eventually sold for HK$39.9 million (US$5.1 million). The final price of HK$49 million includes the commission fee on the timepiece.

Some of the other lots up for auction were a red inscribed paper fan that Puyi also gifted to Permyakov, which sold for HK$609,600 (US$77,846) as well as a manuscript notebook and a leather-bound printed edition of Confucius’ Analects that once belonged to the emperor, which fetched HK$952,500 (US$121,634).

Header image credits: Phillips

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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