We have all been there, experiencing sticker shock. However, nothing has shocked us more while researching this article. In this series we will be making our way through 35 (or a whopping $164Million worth) of the world’s most expensive timepieces.
It’s suprising to know that we have found a number of brands which six-figure price tags are the norm. Starting with sub-$1Milllion pieces, we will work our way up to the world’s most expensive watch, which is in excess of $55Million.
View Gallery: Worlds most expensive watches
Valerii Danevych: Retrograde Wooden
Price : $196,000.00
Price : $234,000.00
The Submariner was not the first water-resistant watch, or even Rolex’s first water-resistant watches. Hans Wilsdorf who founded Rolex in the early 1900s, was focused on a simple point of difference: making solid, accurate watches for the average person. In the early days his watches were affordable, sold in large numbers and did the job they were supposed to do. Rolex in the early days was the world’s reliable watch for the masses, and that’s what Wilsdorf provided.
The Rolex Submariner has come from a line of sports watches made by Rolex that have been designed for diving. These watches are known for their water and corrosion resistance. The Submariner was introduced in 1954 and has been considered “a classic among wristwatches” created by one of the worlds most recognised luxury brands.
Patek Philippe: Split Seconds (5370)
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Price : $260,000.00
The 5370 is an interesting synergy of innovation. It utilizes the calibre CH 29-535 PS that the brand released in 2009 with a manually wound column wheel horizontal clutch. Patek Philippe breathes new life into a watch that was released in the 1920’s. The beautiful 5370, showcases a split-seconds chronograph in a sleekly curving case and with a black dial. The 5370 by Patek Philippe watch is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful watches of 2015.
Greubel Forsey: Signature 1
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Price : $350,000.00
Introducing the Signature 1, this is the first watch in a new line made between Greubel Forsey and independent watchmakers. The Signature 1 is part of a project led by Didier J.G. Cretin.
Cretin has been a partner of Greubel Forsey for a long time. He has produced a manually wound three-hands watch, this also happens to be the first ever at Greubel Forsey. The Signature 1 is limited to only 33 pieces in gold, platinum, and steel.
Girard-Perregaux: Cat’s Eye Tourbillon
Price : $500,000.00
The Cat’s Eye Tourbillion has been crafted by world renowned watchmaking firm Girard-Perregaux. The watches dial is hand built from mother of pearl, showcasing the watchmaker’s expertise in producing this brilliant watch. The watch also features more than 1,000 diamonds cased in white gold. Completing this amazing timepiece, a unique rose-cut diamond has been placed on the crown of the watch.
Rolex: GMT Master II Men’s Diamond Ice
Price : $500,000.00
This is the most expensive Rolex wristwatch to date. Brad Pitt and David Beckham are among the lucky few to own one of these beautiful watches. This unique watch showcases a white gold case and bracelet crusted with diamonds. The watches face has specked precious stones, the dial of the watch is diamond wave with dotted markers. The glass has been made from scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
Piaget Limelight: Party Disco Ball
Price : $540,000.00
The Party Disco Ball is made from a number of 18K white gold spheres. This watch is so unique that it is hard to tell the time if you are not wearing it, the dials blend with the watch’s hue making them hard to see from specific angles. This wristwatch is more of a household ornament than a watch.
Piaget Limelight have created a unique work that showcases true watch craftsmanship. This uniquely shaped watch is covered in diamonds, which are angled to reflect light in all directions just like a disco ball.
Cartier Masse: Secret Panther Decor
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Price : $600,000.00
Introducing the Secret Panther Décor by Cartier Masse, their most well-known watch.
The movement has been created to make the three-dimensional panther look as if is stalking prey. There is a panther prowling inside the bezel, set with a black mother-of-pearl dial. To make this watch even more valuable, there is 633 diamonds encrusted around the bezel. Not only this, but the 18k white gold case is also covered in diamonds.
Chanel: J12 Haute Joaillerie
Price : $700,000.00
The J12 Haute Joaillerie by Chanel is the result of the exceptional setting techniques performed in the workshops of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. This watch has a total of 5976 baguette diamonds, that have been used to decorate the face.
The dial, bracelet, and the indexes makes this watch unique because they have been crafted from high grade, scratch-proof ceramic, enhancing the vibrancy and allure of the diamonds. This watch comes in two colours, black and white. You can be assured that no expense has been spared when creating this elegant timepiece.
Audemars Pigue: Royal Oak Grande Complication
Price : $741,000.00
Introducing the Royal Oak Offshore Grand Complication from Audemars Pigue. This limited edition three piece timepiece comes in titanium and ceramic. Featuring the massive Movement (AP calibre) 2885, with split-seconds. The golden rotor has been finished to match the sleek grey titanium case. The Movement is 31.60mm wide and 8.55mm thick, requiring all that space which comprises a total of 648 parts.
This incredible piece of watchmaking is rated to 20 meter water resistance and comes on a black rubber strap with a titanium buckle – essentially making this an incredibly wearable grand complication.
The repeater’s hammers combine a mirror finish so fine that “a glance could scratch it” with bevelling on both the interior and exterior angles.
Genghis Khan: Ulysse Nardin Minute Repeater
Price : $750,000.00
Introducing the Minute Repeater by Genghis Khan.
A clear example of true watch craftsmanship from the world renowned Swiss maker Ulysse Nardin. It is obvious to see this is a special piece as soon as you see the gorgeous hand-carved 18K rose gold figures depicted on the black onyx dial.
The Minute Repeater is defined by the novel tourbillon displayed at 6 o’clock that defies the effects of gravity on the movement. The stylish, highly-legible and partially open-worked onyx dial, features brilliant hands and graffiti background. The case is made of platinum while the strap is made from black alligator leather.
Vacheron Constantin: Kalla Lune
Price : $800,000.00
Veering away from conventional watch construction, This Gold Ladies watch has fixed bezel set with 826 baguette-cut diamonds, 23 brilliant-cut diamonds, and one rose-cut diamond for the crown. (only) 170 of the diamonds cover the face of the dial, featuring the power reserve and moon phase indicators.
All the diamonds are set in 18k gold. Apart from the diamond gems, this piece also includes 22 rubies. Completing this beautiful watch is strap made of alligator leather.
Breguet: Marie Antoinette
Price : $1,000,000.00
The Marie-Antoinette is a case watch designed by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. Said to have been fascinated by Breguet’s watches, Marie-Antoinette acquired over the years a number of his timepieces, notably a perpétuelle fitted with a self-winding mechanism. Work on the watch was begun in 1782 and completed by Breguet’s son in 1827, four years after Breguet’s death.
In 1783, a mysterious admirer of hers ordered from Breguet, as a gift for the Queen, a watch that was to be as spectacular as possible. When this watch was ordered, the instructions set that wherever possible, gold should replace metals and auxiliary mecha¬nisms should be as numerous and varied as possible. This piece is one of the most complicated yet admirable watches in existence.
Roger Dubuis: Excalibur Quatuor
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Price : $1,100,000.00
Roger Dubuis was founded by Carlos Dias and Roger Dubuis in Geneva. This watch has been made from Silicon to ensure this watch is uniquely low in weight and is durable, Silicon is half the weight of titanium, which is still half that of steel, yet 4 times harder.
Despite each piece taking over 2,400 hours to create and the amazing price tag, Roger Dubuis plans to create and other 35-40 more pieces each year. To prove this is not just a one off piece, Roger Dubuis has created a Limited Edition (188) technical model, in black DLC treated titanium.
Roger Dubuis has used many specialists who use advanced techniques to produce this case in a metallic crystal. The Quatuor has become much more than a talking piece, the first piece arrived on time and the owners of the three pieces in silicon collected them up in December 2013.
Greubel Forsey: Art Piece 1
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Price : $1,500,000.00
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey who are known for their innovative and stunning multi-tourbillon watches have created the beautiful Art Piece 1.
They joined forces with artist Willard Wigan, to craft the beautiful Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1. This unique piece has a 30 degree dual tourbillon, and showcases a microsculpture the owner can see through a magnifier on the crown.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s: Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie
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Price : $1,500,000.00
Introducing the Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie, this amazing timepiece has been made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
While crafting this beautiful watch, Jaeger‑LeCoultre completely redesigned the idea of the minute repeater. This timepiece has over 1472 parts and is one of the most complex watches ever made.
Patek Philippe: Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref 6002
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Price : $1,500,000.00
Patek Philippe has crafted this brilliant watch, the Sky Moon Tourbillon 6002. This timepiece is based on the original Sky Moon Tourbillon. It contains the same technicalities, what really makes this watch different from all other timepieces from Patek Philippe is the way the watch has been decorated with ornaments.
This watch has a repeater with two gongs and tourbillon. The main dial has the standard time, a perpetual calendar, and the moon phases. On the other side of the watch, there is another dial showing a map of the northern sky and stellar time, it even shows the angular progression and phases of the moon. This timepiece is possibly one of the most elegant watches you will ever see.
Vacheron Constatin: Tour de I’lle
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Price : $1,550,000.00
The Vacheron Constantin Tour de l’Ile is one of my favorite watches.
The watch was released on Vacheron Constantin’s 250th anniversary in 2005 priced at $1.5 Million. The watch is a limited edition with only 7 produced in the world, being one of the most complicated double face watch. The Tour de l’Ile has a minute repeater, two timezones, perpetual calendar, sunset time, and a tourbillion device.
Patek Philippe: Reference 1563 Split-Second Chronograph
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Price : $1,572,789.00
The Reference 1563, Split-Second Chronograph was created in 1947 by Patek Philippe. This brilliant timepiece was sold in 1950, and is only one of three that are known to exist.
The design of this piece is based on the 1436, this watch comes in a waterproof screw-in case with a bi-compax chronograph. The difference between the 1436 and the 1563, is the added feature of the complicated mechanism, the split-seconds chronograph. This mechanism is one of the most complicated and difficult to assemble.
Blancpain Tourbillon: Diamants
Price : $1,800,000.00
Introducing the beautiful Diamants made by Blancpain Tourbillion, this is one of the rarest timepieces you can get your hands on.
This watch has a total of 480 baguette-cut diamonds that decorate this hand crafted wristwatch. These precious stones cover the bracelet, bezel, and the case and are layered like a brick wall. The waterproof case and bracelet are crafted from white gold with the glass on the face being made with sapphire crystal.
Richard Mille: RM 56-01
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Price : $1,850,000.00
The RM 56-01 made by Richard Mille made its first appearance in 2013 at SIHH.
This amazing watch is not a surprise that it has been created by Richard Mille, they also make a watch more expensive than this. Making this timepiece even more special is its casing, which has been made entirely from sapphire. Some of the top watches are made from plated gold and glass, sapphire is ultimately unique and make it look like an old see-through MAC PC.
Richard Mille: Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire
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Richard Mille does it again with the 56-03 Sapphire.
This watch is about two main innovations: first, the unprecedented use of sapphire to create transparent components and second, the cable and pulley system that suspends the movement from the sapphire case. The case, front bezel, case-band and back bezel are all produced from solid sapphire. The base plate of the watch has been finished in titanium which is a corrosion resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, enabling the gear train to function flawlessly.
A. Lange & Söhne: Grand Complication Timepiece
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Price : $2,100,000.00
One of the most complicated timepieces ever made is the Grand Complication Timepiece by A. Lange & Söhne.
This timepiece has 876 hand-wrought parts, seven complications and 14 functions, a function is anything that performs a task. There will only be six pieces available for sale. This watch has a 50mm diameter and over 20mm thick rose gold case with the movement being 40mm across. The grand Complication’s movement is a split-seconds chronograph with a foudroyant, or flying seconds at 6 o’clock, just to perform these tasks 248 components have been used.
Patek Philippe: Reference 3448
Price : $2,338,219.00
Making its first appearance in 1962, the Reference 3448 made by Patek Philippe was the first automatic calendar wristwatch ever made.
Only 586 pieces of this watch was ever made, over a total span of 20 years and the majority of the production was cased in yellow gold. In 1981 Patek stopped producing the 3448 and replaced it with a slightly updated version, the 3450.
Patek Philippe: The Grandmaster Chime
Price : $2,600,000.00
The Grandmaster Chime made by Patek Philippe & Co. The Grandmaster Chime is said to be the world’s most complicated watch. It is a wristwatch-format of absolutely unprecedented complexity.
The case of this piece has a diameter of 47 mm, it has four spring barrels and 20 complications, including a Grande and Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater, an instantaneous perpetual calendar, a second time zone, an audible alarm and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand.
Cartier Secret: Phoenix
Price : $2,700,000.00
Bold, brave, and totally out of the box, this fine piece from Cartier is just something that is hard to describe.
More than just a timepiece, the finely crafted phoenix conceals the dial, which makes the watch seem more like a bracelet. A total of 3,010 brilliant-cut diamonds are set in 18-karat rhodium-plated white gold. Precious emeralds act as the phoenix’s eyes.
Franck Muller: Aeternitas Mega 4
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Price : $2,700,000.00
The Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 is also considered as the most complicated wristwatch in the world.
Featuring 36 complications with more than 1,483 individual components. The Aeternitas Mega is the pinnacle in the art of watches in terms of complexity and complications. Every single piece of the 1,483 components, has been designed to give the watch an elegant design traditions of the old cadraturiers mechanisms.
Piaget Emperador: Temple
Price : $3,500,000.00
The Piaget Emperador Temple timepiece was a specially commissioned watch. It is two watches built into a bracelet set with 481 brilliant-cut diamonds, 207 baguette-cut diamonds, and one emerald-cut diamond in this magnificent timepiece.
360 of the diamonds have been set in the bracelet and the rest of the diamonds have been placed on the bezel and dial. Making this watch even more unique is the secret watch which has been hidden underneath the first one. Open it up, and you will see 162 brilliant-cut diamonds and 11 baguette-cut diamonds in the inside.
Louis Moniet: Meteoris
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Price : $4,600,000.00
Including this watch in the list is technically cheating, the Louis Moinet Meteoris is actually a set of four tourbillon watches which are only sold as a set.
Each watch has dials made from materials that aren’t from this planet. This includes materials such as meteorite from Mars, the moon and an asteroid. When you purchase the Meteoris set, you will receive a planetarium that displays our solar system.
Hublot: Big Bang
Price : $5,000,000.00
The one-of-a-kind Big Bang, is famously known as the watch Beyoncé gave to her husband Jay-Z, on his 43rd birthday.
This masculine timepiece took the expertise of 12 master cutters, 5 stone setters and over 14 months of labor to produce. Comprising 1,282 diamonds which have been carefully selected to form a design that mimics the concept of the Big Bang.
Patek Philippe: Caliber 89
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Price : $5,500,000.00
The Patek Philippe Calibre 89 is a timepiece fit for a King, it is a commemorative watch created in 1989, to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary. This piece has more than thirty complications, weighs 1.1 kg, and has 24 hands and 1,728 components in total, including a thermometer and a star chart.
The Caliber 89 was the most complicated mechanical watch at its time of construction. The Calibre 89 was built as a four-piece series of pocket watches, only four pieces were ever made. Each unique piece was made in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.
Patek Philippe: 1928 single button chronograph
Price : $7,600,000.00
This is the only known surviving example of a single button chronograph in white gold from the house of Patek Philippe. Produced in 1928, the Single Button Chronograph Watch is made from 18 carat pure white gold and the dial of Philippe 1928 was designed with silver matte.
Patek Philippe: Supercomplication
Price : $24,000,000.00
This famous watch is the product of the rivalry between two moguls to produce the most complicated timepiece ever made. Banker Henry Graves and automobile magnate James Ward Packard both share their interests in watch making. Commissioned in 1925 and was finally delivered in 1933 this watch is the result of both men’s desire for perfection.
The $24 million price tag of Super Complication isn’t really a testament to its real value, but rather a testament to the appeal in fantasy of the unattainable and the unique. Some lucky fancier of fine timepieces has ultimate trophy in their collection. This is the world’s most famous watch, the Patek Philippe Super Complication.
Chopard: 210 karat
Price : $26,000,000.00
Introducing the 210 Karat by Chopard, there is no public listing of the actual price of this item but it’s valued to be over $26 million.
Chopard is a Swiss-based luxury watch company founded in 1860. This timepiece is adorned with a 15-carat pink diamond, 12-carat blue diamond and an 11-carat white diamond. This watch also has 163 carats of white and yellow diamonds, bringing the total to 210 carats of diamonds. Technically this is a piece of jewellery before being a timepiece, this watch is more suited to royalty and princesses.
Graff Diamonds: Hallucination
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Price : $55,000,000.00
Graff Diamonds is a British jeweller based in London, their Hallucination watch is a sculptural masterpiece rather than a watch. This value of this unusual timepiece’s does not come from its age or complications, but the value comes from the rare multi-coloured diamonds which adorns this piece.
Topping off the list at the world most expensive watches is the Hallucination by Graff Diamonds. This watch is famous for its hand crafted jewels, featuring unprecedented kaleidoscope of over 110cts of extremely rare coloured diamonds. As far as we can tell, this multi-coloured diamond timepiece is the most valuable watch ever created.