Watch owned by the world's most famous Nazi-hunter expected to fetch over £400k at auction

The Patek Phillipe watch is only one of two in the world


A rare watch belonging to one of the world's most prominent Nazi-hunters is set to take hundreds of thousands of pounds at a Swiss auction this Sunday.

The Patek Phillipe watch, owned by Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Simon Weisenthal is thought to be one of just two limited edition timepieces in existence that use Breguet numerals, a font that was only used by the watchmaker for extremely rare pieces.

The watch is one of a number of items for sale at the Phillips Watch Auction in Geneva this weekend including Audemars Piguet watches with reserves of hundreds of thousands of Swiss Francs.

According to watch website Hodinkee, the Wiesenthal watch is a one-of-a-kind purchase: "This is a very special Patek Philippe. And while you could say that about nearly every watch in this catalog, this lot just hits differently. Where other lots are about rarity, hype, and the thrill of exclusive esoterica, this Patek ref. 1503 from 1941 has a unique provenance."

Other highlights of the auction include a Patek Philippe pink gold with a pink dial, estimated at over $2.5 million as well as a gold Rolex owned by musician Eric Clapton which is expected to fetch at least $1.6 million.

The so-called Wiesenthal watch was believed to have been made during the war at some point between 1941 and 1944 and was first sold by Wiesenthal's family at Christie's in 2007, two years after his death.

Simon Wiesenthal became famous in the years after the war as an investigator that worked to track down Nazis in hiding all over the world and was involved in the capture of Adolf Eichmann which led to his subsequent trial in Jerusalem in the 1960s.

He also gave his name to the Simon Wiesenthal centre in Los Angeles, a charity specialising in Holocaust research and remembrance, hunting Nazi war criminals, and combating anti-Semitism across the world.

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