Clapton platinum watch nets $3.6 mln - Christie's

GENEVA Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:31am EST

GENEVA Nov 12 (Reuters) - A platinum chronograph Patek Philippe wristwatch belonging to British rock guitarist Eric Clapton fetched 3.44 million Swiss francs ($3.63 million) at auction on Monday, Christie's said.

The "ultra-rare" reference 2499/100, one of only two cased in platinum, was acquired by Clapton some 10 years ago, it said.

It was sold at its semi-annual auction in Geneva, which featured more than 300 timepieces, for a price including commission that was in line with Christie's pre-sale estimate of 2.5-4.0 million francs.

"It was bought by an anonymous buyer in the room. I have no information regarding the buyer," Christie's spokesman Cristiano de Lorenzo said.

Made in the Swiss city in 1987, the Patek Philippe has a perpetual calendar with moon phases, as well as windows for day and month and dials for seconds and minutes.

Most experts would rank it among the world's 10 most significant wristwatches that stand out for historical importance, mechanical complexity, beauty, original condition, rarety and superior provenance, Aurel Bacs, international head of Christie's watch department, said before conducting the sale.

Clapton, former Cream musician, last year sold more than 70 of his guitars at a charity auction in New York, raising $2.15 million for the Crossroads Centre drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre that he founded in Antigua.

Last month in London he sold an abstract painting by German artist Gerhard Richter at rival Sotheby's for $34.2 million, setting a new record for the price paid at auction for the work of a living artist. ($1 = 0.9489 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)