The documentation for the Patek Phillippe watch going up for auction in Monaco next month says that the owner is Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Russia says take that with a grain of salt.
The Russian president’s office has denied that Putin’s watch is hitting the auction block, as was previously reported.
Though the certificate for the Patek Philippe 5208P, an very rare watch that retails for $1 million and is only sold by invitation, notes that the owner is Putin, a Kremlin spokesperson says that is “fake news,” according to Bloomberg.
According to the auction house, the watch never really necessarily belonged to Putin. Instead, it may have been purchased by a “very important person” to give to Putin.
“If they decided to write Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin on the guarantee card, it means they had all the proof and documentation in order to do so,” the auctions director for Monaco Legend told Bloomberg.
Luxury watch retailers are told to write down the receipt’s name upon delivery, to minimize the change the watch will be immediately resold. Once the the watch has an owner, it can no longer be considered new and must be sold as used or vintage.
The Kremlin maintains it was never presented to the Russian president. It’s no surprise that this story might be true, however. Putin is a known lover of high priced luxury watches, and has been spotted wearing models much pricier than his reported salary of around $150,000.
However Putin’s name got there, the mystery is likely to boost the resale value of the watch. The high end of the auction estimates it could go for $1.6 million.
The watch in question, the 5208P, is an extremely complicated watch with features like a minute repeater (the watch will chime on demand when a button is pressed), a chronograph (a stopwatch), and a perpetual calendar, which takes leap years into account.
The watch is only sold to trusted clients of Patek (a.k.a. customers who buy a lot of their watches), and retails for 980,000 Swiss Francs ($1 million), making it one of the most expensive watches at retail.
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