Philippe Dufour is a living horological legend, with some going as far to label him “the pope of independent watchmaking." For three decades he has been producing watches, but to this day has only finished a total of around 250. When one goes up for sale it's a big deal.

A watch crafted by Dufour for the Sultan of Brunei went up for sale this week at London-based dealer A Collected Man, which is renowned for offering up some of the most desirable timepieces on the planet. In the end it sold for $7.6 million, making it the most expensive independent watch ever sold.

The Grande Sonnerie is from Dufour's most rarefied series with only eight ever made available. It has been a decade since it last appeared on the market. The watch itself took 10 years to complete.

“This is, quite simply, one of the most important and coveted watches to have hit the market in recent times,” Silas Walton, CEO and founder of A Collected Man, said in a statement. “The Philippe Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie represents an absolute pinnacle of craftsmanship, and is the result of years of painstaking work and unrelenting vision from one of the masters of modern watchmaking.”

Dufour watches regularly go for big money. Last October, a Philippe Dufour Simplicity sold for $1.5 million at auction.

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