These are some of the most notable record-breaking sales, from Marie Antoinette’s jewels to decadent timepieces from the Roaring Twenties.

Every year, an unconscionable amount of money exchanges hands at auction houses as rare jewels and watches go under the hammer. From lavish charity sales in Geneva to jaw-dropping diamond bids in Hong Kong, the last decade has seen buyers shatter auction records to the tune of millions.

See also: 13 Unique Timepieces For The Only Watch 2019 Charity Auction

Most expensive diamond: CTF Pink Star (US$71.2 million)

In 2017, Chow Tai Fook purchased the Pink Star, an oval, 59.60-carat, fancy vivid pink diamond which Sotheby’s said was “a new record for any work ever sold in Asia”. It was renamed CTF Pink Star to honour the CTF chairman’s late father.

See also: 5 Of The World's Most Expensive Diamonds

Most expensive gemstone per carat: Blue Moon of Josephine (US$48.4 million)

Some parents buy their children puzzles. In 2015, billionaire Joseph Lau purchased a 12.03-carat vivid blue diamond at Sotheby’s for his seven-year-old daughter Josephine, equating to US$4 million per carat.

See also: Meet The Largest Purple Pink Diamond Ever To Go On Auction

Most expensive antique jewel: Marie Antoinette’s 18th-century pearl and diamond pendant (US$36,000,000)

When the Bourbon-Parma family auctioned their royal collection in 2018, Marie Antoinette’s pendant sparked a bidding war at Sotheby’s. The last queen of France smuggled jewellery abroad during the French Revolution. This pendant made it out safely, though the ill-fated queen didn’t.

See also: The Palace Of Versailles Opens Its First Hotel

Most expensive tiara: the Henckel von Donnersmarck Tiara (US$12.76 million)

An anonymous buyer snapped up this 500-carat diamond and emerald tiara at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2011. Experts speculate Chaumet created the unsigned masterpiece, topped with 11 Colombian pear-shaped emeralds.

Most expensive jewel sold online: a 28.86-carat D-Colour diamond (US$2,110,000 million)

As the pandemic shut auction houses worldwide, Christie’s courted online bidders and quietly broke a record in 2020 with this D-Colour Type 11a diamond that fetched US$2.1 million.

Most expensive watch: Patek Philippe’s 6300A-010 Grandmaster Chime (US$31.2 million)

At a 2019 Christie’s charity auction, this 175th anniversary Patek Philippe wristwatch saw bids skyrocket to $31.2 million. The piece in question took 100,000 hours to complete and features an unusual steel frame with 20 functions.

See also: Patek Philippe's Final Tribute To Nautilus 5711 Steel & Other New Watches

Most expensive pocket watch: Patek Philippe’s 1933 Henry Graves Supercomplication (US$24 million)

Sold in 2014 at Sotheby’s, this aptly named timepiece features 24 complications, including a star map of the sky above its original owner Henry Graves Jr’s home. In the 1920s, Graves bet he could make the most advanced watch and commissioned this. Spoiler: He won.

See also: Tatler's Guide To The Best Luxury Watches In June 2021

Most expensive watch by an independent maker: George Daniels Space Traveller I (US$4,560,000)

This 18k gold pocket watch hammered at Sotheby’s in 2019. Created in 1982 and inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing, watchmaker George Daniels described it as “the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars”.

See also: 8 Under-The-Radar Independent Watchmakers You Should Know

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.