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And yet for some inexplicable reason, Congress keeps asking the Defense Department to do more things, including scientific research and global infrastructure projects.
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Sale price: $1,541,212
Sale date: May 16, 2006
Custom-made by Patek Philippe in 1914 for George Thompson, an Anglo-American banker, entrepreneur, and owner of the St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, this two-sided watch fetched $1.54 million when Sotheby's sold it in May 2006. Among other features, the open-faced watch has a minute-repeating perpetual calendar, split-second chronograph, register, and keyless wind.