Li Jianhe immediately went into deep thought.
When Lin Ruoxi sensed the change in atmosphere, she turned back to look at Yang Chen with a puzzled expression.
On the other hand, Yang Chen was still seated while enjoying his food. He’d almost inhaled the entire tray of squab alone.
Shen Yaxin furrowed her brows. “Haitao, is Henry Graves the name of this watch?”
Wang Haitao stared at Yang Chen who was still nonchalant about the whole thing. Nodding, he said, “Forgive me for saying this but if I hadn’t seen a real Henry Graves today, I would’ve believed it to be a myth.”
Everyone was puzzled. To them, it looked like an ordinary pocket watch made of brass. It didn’t look like anything special.
Wang Haitao cradled the watch in awe. “I’ve only seen this watch in articles. Henry Graves is a pocket watch created some time ago. Although it doesn’t look like much, as it is very old, it’s actually made of 18k gold. A watch like this was built to last.
“This watch was born between 1932 and 1933. The American watch collector Henry Graves invited a legendary watchmaker and presented him with a goal in mind. The goal was to make it unlike any other watch ever made. There’s only one of its kind in this world!”
The crowd gasped in disbelief.
Huang Lele covered her mouth in shock. “Then… wouldn’t it be almost a hundred years old now?!”
Even Chris and his wife had their jaws on the floor.
Li Jianhe and Shen Yaxin were speechless.
“Haitao, are you sure? Are you sure this is the watch, the one and only?” someone asked accusingly.
He shook his head. “I can assure you that it is. The oxidation matches the era it was from. There isn’t any evidence of it being a replica either.”
The crowd immediately disbanded their disbelief. There were many collectors in the Wang clan and Wang Haitao was an outstanding youth of his generation. He wouldn’t have put his reputation on the line for a fake.
Lin Ruoxi’s mind echoed with what Yang Chen had said when he gifted her that watch. “This really is a good watch! I took it from the head of the FBI…”
Now, she was starting to panic a little. This man with the greasy mouth next to her, what was he doing in America?!
Wang Haitao had already calmed down by now. Nodding, he said, “Although this watch has existed for almost a century, its workmanship was far ahead of its time. It’s one of the best pieces to date. It’s hard to imagine more than nine hundred parts in it. This watch has 24 functions! It’s the elite of all multi-function watches. Even now when technology has advanced so far, there are only a few watches which can compete with this one.
“From what I know, from the second this watch was made, to around the year 2100, it wouldn’t even be off by half a second!”
“No… Then wouldn’t it be very expensive?” Someone asked the question that was on everyone’s mind.
He smiled bitterly. “The word ‘expensive’ is an understatement. The last transaction was at the Sotheby's auction more than 10 years ago, sold at eleven million US dollars. Adjusted for inflation, it’s still the most expensive watch to date! There’s none like it!”
Eleven million… US dollars?!
The most expensive watch in history?!
That regular-looking piece of metal?!
The crowd fell silent. Everyone was staring at the Henry Graves watch in Wang Haitao’s hands.
If the Vacheron Constantin was the king of watches, then Henry Graves was the emperor of all!
From the moment it was born, it relied solely on its parts.
Wang Haitao continued, “If we sell it today, it would far exceed its last selling price. You can’t actually judge its worth from its price. To me, to everyone who truly knows their watches, this is beyond priceless! It is the pinnacle of man made watches with a rich history to boot. To be able to see it in person… Today has been monumental for me.”
As he spoke, Wang Haitao stood up. He respectfully walked up to Yang Chen’s seat, returned the watch with two hands and asked, “Mr Yang, forgive me for my curiosity. I haven’t seen this watch appear in the news over the past decade. How then did you manage to get your hands on it?”
Yang Chen replied, “I saw a man carrying this in America, so I snatched it up when the opportunity presented itself. He wasn’t in need of it anymore so I decided that it would make the perfect gift for my wife.”
Of course, Robert being dead wouldn’t need his watch. When he’d first gotten the watch, he had always carried it with him because ‘the most dangerous place is the safest place’. No one would’ve guessed he was carrying such an expensive item with him. Even if someone were to recognize it, no one would want to assault the chief of the FBI.
Too bad a man like Yang Chen was knowledgeable in this field. With his photographic memory, he’d recognized this watch during the incident so he wanted to bring it back for Lin Ruoxi as a gift.
Unfortunately, they were in the middle of the problem with Mo Qianni so he didn’t have the chance to explain its history to Lin Ruoxi. She had thought that he had given her a scrap piece of metal as a consolation prize. Needless to say, he was extremely peeved.
Without hesitation, he gave the watch back to Lin Ruoxi.
On the other hand, Lin Ruoxi seemed to be in shock. She took the watch from him with trembling hands.
He smiled warmly. “Ruoxi is the most precious to me in this world. So a priceless artifact like this is the perfect gift for my beloved wife…”
Of course, what he said was for everyone to hear. The crowd was stunned, while Lin Ruoxi turned to a beautiful shade of red.
She’d even resented him for giving a diamond ring to Mo Qianni and only a stupid watch for herself. It looked like she’d made a mistake after all. When he mentioned that he had kept the watch just for her, he really meant it.
Everyone stared at the pocket watch. It was a century’s worth of history right there in Lin Ruoxi’s hands. It was emotional.
Li Jianhe and Shen Yaxin’s expressions darkened. They never would’ve expected that something they did to make Lin Ruoxi look bad would turn into a PDA session between Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi.
Their Vacheron Constantin worth 3 million pounds was enough to make jaws drop but in comparison to a watch as legendary as the Henry Graves, it was nothing!
No one there underestimated Yang Chen anymore. Everyone was privately speculating if this man had a certain status. Perhaps being Lin Ruoxi’s employee at Yu Lei was only something he did for fun?
A few of them asked Lin Ruoxi, with great interest, if they could look at the watch.
She looked at Yang Chen questioningly. Yang Chen didn’t care though. He’d given it to her, she could even toss it into the drain if it pleased her.
Lin Ruoxi generously passed the Henry Graves around for everyone to admire.
Upon closer examination, they realized that this 24-function watch indeed did live up to its name. It was unbelievable that this was made a hundred years ago!
Everyone was suddenly praising Lin Ruoxi for marrying a good husband. A priceless watch like this was still extremely precious even in the richest households. Yet Yang Chen had gifted it to her. It was admirable.
The crowd wasn’t stupid either. They would never believe that a man who could get something this important, then casually gift it to his wife had no status. Soon, the compliments started rolling in.
Even Lin Ruoxi didn’t expect a turn in tables like this. She did not care what these people thought or said about her after all. She was only reacting on the surface.
Shen Yaxin almost spat fire. She’d always been overshadowed by Lin Ruoxi since they were in school. She did marry Li Jianhe but did not gain the sense of victory she so desperately craved. She’d initially thought Lin Ruoxi had married a ‘subordinate’, so her life shouldn’t be very luxurious. Shen Yaxin wanted to take this opportunity to embarrass her but who would’ve expected her plan to become the launchpad for the couple!
At this point, the cabin door opened. A middle-aged man clad in formal attire walked in. Smiling, he announced, “I’m so sorry, am I interrupting something?”
It was only upon meeting this man when Li Jianhe’s frozen expression relaxed into delight. He’d found the chance to quickly get up to say, “Of course not, your nephew has been waiting to see his uncle.”
Chris turned to see the newcomers and guffawed. “And here I thought it was just an old friend!”
The newcomers were the long-gone father-and-son, Yuan Hewei, and Yuan Ye!
Yuan Hewei was as charming as always. He was passionately raising a glass of red wine towards Chris.
At the same time, he scanned everyone at the table. Yuan Hewei’s gaze stopped at Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi, when he beamed. Obviously, he’d guessed they’d be here.