GENEVA -- In the rarefied world of watch collecting, where Wall Street investment bankers and Asian millionaires buy and sell at auctions, a timepiece can command a higher price than a luxury car. At an April event here, a 1950s Omega platinum watch sold for $351,000, a price that conferred a new peak of prestige on a brand known for mass-produced timepieces.
Watch magazines and retailers hailed the sale, at an auction in the lush Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the River Rhone. Omega trumpeted it, announcing that a "Swiss bidder" had offered "the highest price ever paid for an Omega watch at auction."
What Omega did not say: The buyer was Omega itself.
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