The Christie's watch sale in Geneva totaled $26.5 million, with 91 percent of the 435 watches selling. The sale shows that the market for high-end collectible watches remains strong despite volatile stock markets and global uncertainty.
Read MoreRent-a-Rolex? Luxe watches go timeshare
As investments, collectible watches have grown in recent years, but they lag behind cars, stamps and coins. The market for collectible watches grew 4 percent over the past year and 32 percent over the past five years, according to Knight Frank, the luxury real estate and research firm.
The Christie's sale, which lasted eight hours, showed that today's collectors are truly global. The auction house said the sale had bidders from 30 countries.
Read MoreBad news for 1% as luxury hikes prices
The top lot was, of course, a Patek Philippe. The platinum cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatch was made in the early 1900s for prominent banker Henry Graves Jr. He was an avid watch collector and one of his watches—called the Supercomplication—sold for a record $11 million at Sotheby's in 1999.