The working prototype of the Calibre 89 was completed in July 1988 and the yellow gold copy was released only nine month afterward, in April 1989.
The yellow gold Calibre 89 was immediately offered in Geneva in a themed auction devoted to 'The Art of Patek Philippe' : that brand new watch fetched the equivalent of US$ 3.2M at Habsburg Feldman on April 9, 1989 which was at that time a world auction record for a watch.
This unit was sold for CHF 5.1M including premium on November 14, 2009, by Antiquorum successor to Habsburg Feldman. It is now estimated in excess of CHF 6.5M for sale on May 14 by Sotheby's in Geneva, lot 171.
I introduced the utmost importance of the Calibre 89 in the history of horology before the 2009 sale, as follows :
The best wristwatches are highly sophisticated masterpieces of miniaturization. Pocket watches, not limited by the size of the wrist, can do even better in terms of convened complications.
In 1989, Patek Philippe celebrates its one hundred fiftieth anniversary with the model Calibre 89, which had required more nine years of design, manufacturing and assembly.
According to the brand, it is the "most complicated watch in the world": double open faced with a dial for solar time and a dial for sidereal time, 33 complications, 24 hands, 1728 components. All of this fits in a case of 89 mm in diameter and 41 mm thick and weighs 1100 grams.
The Calibre 89 was produced in only four copies, respectively in yellow gold, white gold, pink gold and platinum. On April 24, 2004, Antiquorum sold for CHF 6.6M including premium then worth $ 5M the white gold watch.
Please play the videos shared by Sotheby's : the shorter one is an appealing introduction of that lot. The other video is cleverly showing the indexes related to the complications.