For hundreds of years, watches have been status and fashion symbols for their elegant appearance, intricate craftsmanship, and to show off. Luxury timepieces are highly sought after by many people for fashion and to signal wealth and status. While some genuinely appreciate the intricate craft of watchmaking, others simply purchase the extravagant timepieces to peacock.
Since the rich can not only afford luxury but also exclusivity, they often shell out even more money for one-of-a-kind designs. Many of the world’s most expensive watches are never replicated. Surprisingly, some luxury watches actually have some merits that warrant their seemingly absurd price tags. Many expensive watches take years to complete and require an advanced understanding of math and physics. Some watches designs are so intricate they take decades to build. Additionally, they are often constructed with extremely rare metals and gems.
10. Jacob & Co. Astronomia Clarity Baguette – $840,000
Although Jacob & Co. is best known for their luxury jewelry, their ventures into watchmaking have garnered them much attention and praise. The brand is known for ornate yet minimal pieces which typically average around a million dollars each. Although the timepiece is not a one of a kind design, only a handful have been made.
The Astronomia Clarity gets its name in part of the its crystal dome. The sapphire coated clear bubble allows one to see its elegant inner workings – a blue diamond with two facets opposite a lacquered magnesium model of the earth on triple axis tourbillon. The precious stones rotate along with the tiny dial on the other side of the axis. The 50 mm diameter watch is encased either in white or rose gold with a touch of diamonds.
9. Hublot Black Caviar Bang – $1 million
Hublot is one the most high-end watchmakers in the world. Their tightly knit team of talented designers have been churning out some of the most revolutionary designs ever since the company’s inception. The Black Caviar Bang is certainly technical wonder, yet its price tag pales in comparison to some of Hublot’s other designs.
Despite its unconventional appearance for a luxury watch, the Hublot Black Caviar Bang is nonetheless a head-turner. Encased in 501 baguette-cut diamonds and 18 carat white gold, the watch almost looks to be floating in a cage of luxury gemstones. The design has become so popular that a cheaper consumer version of it has been released for $9,000.
8. Chopard Super Ice Cube – $1.1 million
Most of the wealthy prefer understated, minimalist pieces that aren’t exclusively for showing off. However, when the rich want to go all out, they chose a watch like the Chopard Super Ice Cube. Chopard has been making luxury watches every since 1860, and is one of the first choices for the rich and famous.
There’s no secret how the watch gets its name – baguette-cut diamonds totalling 60 carats house the timepiece. Even the wristband is made out of the perfectly squarely cut ice-like diamonds. The square sapphire crystal window into the timepiece is water resistant up to 100 feet.
7. Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon – $1.6 million
Most watchmakers are known for their use of luxury materials and high price tags, yet a select few brands like Patek are known for their breathtaking complicated inner workings. Patek’s watches often take years to design and build due to their numerous “complications”. Complications refer to any function other than timekeeping that is built into a watch.
Patek calls the Sky Moon Tourbillon a “sculpture for the wrist”, and it’s no secret why. The watch has so many complications that it has two sapphire crystal faces. It has 686 movement components behind the action of the timepiece and the star chart on its two panels.
6. Louis Moinet Meteoris – $4.6 Million
Louis Moinet is one of the most innovative and successful watchmakers ever, and his legacy still lives on today. He is credited for inventing the chronograph. Louis Moinet has also influenced many other watchmakers.
A watch truly out of this world – the Meteoris is partially constructed out of a real meteorite. The tiny meteor looks like a small gemstone, showcased in the watch’s dial. The Tourbillon movement is housed in a case of rose gold with a sapphire crystal window. Due to the exclusive material, only 12 of these watches have ever been made.
5. Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication – $11 million
Another watch from Patek Philippe, the Supercomplication was never intended to be sold at auction. The watch, named after its numerous complications took over 3 years to design. Banker Henry Graves originally commissioned it solely to to outdo American watchmaker James Ward Packard’s Grande Complication.
The 924 part watch has over 24 complications. They include a star chart chronograph, alarm, and even moon phases. Its housing is constructed from solid gold, and weights 536 grams (just over a pound). The watch is the most complicated watch built without computer assistance.
4. Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch – $18.2 Million
Jacob & Co. sure knows their target audience, and they hit the nail on the head with the aptly named Billionaire Watch. The watch resembles the Chopard Super Ice Cube, just kicked up 10 notches. Lead designer and owner Jacob Arabo teamed up with fashion designer Flavio Briatore to create the watch as part of Briatore’s billionaire clothing line.
The design certainly isn’t understated. The baguette-cut diamonds scream “billionaire”. The watch is large and heavy, not only due to the sheer weight of its diamonds but also because it is designed for a large wrist. The tourbillon timepiece is surrounded by a housing of diamond and white gold with a clear sapphire crystal window.
3. Chopard 201 Carat Watch – $25 Million
This Chopard watch is so luxurious, there was no other way to name it except for what it is – 201 carats of rare stones. The price tag comes from the 874 diamonds of all sizes and colors arranged around the timepiece. It is a timepiece as well as a piece of art.
Although not a wristwatch, the 201 carat watch does tell the time. The focus of the piece is not on its movement but the sheer luxury of its many diamonds. They are neatly arranged throughout the watch. The largest three heart-shaped diamonds surround the face of the timepiece
2. Breguet Grande Complication Marie Antoinette – 30 million
Abraham-Louis Breguet brushed shoulders with the richest people in the world during watchmaking career. He created hundreds of watches, his most famous being the Grande Complication for Marie Antoinette. Commissioned in 1783, the watch took 40 years to complete. Breguet actually died before its completion, so it was finished by his son.
The Grande Complication was the most advanced watch of its time. It had all the possible complications implemented in its design at the time. Rare materials were used extensively. The complications of the watch are housued in a single window, and every single one is functional.
1. Graff Hallucination – $55 Million
Watchmakers love to one-up each other. Their rich clientele give them unlimited creative freedom to be the best. Graff Diamonds, specializing in jewel, has created a monster that will take decades to beat. The watch and wristband are made from 110 carats of multi-colored diamonds. The timepiece itself is made from white gold embedded with a ring of diamonds.
As of 2017, the Graff Hallucination is the most luxurious watch in the world. Its appearance and price make one question if it is even real.