A watch is the ultimate fashion statement; it’s the classic moment of style but there are watches and then there are watches. While the average watch isn’t all that expensive and a nice watch might set you back a few thousand dollars – there are watches that cost an awful lot more. These 10 watches probably cost more than your home:
Bulgari Magsonic Sonnerie Tourbillon (Estimated Value: $600,000)
Bulgari’s watches are always refined and distinctive but perhaps none more so than the Bulgari Magsonic Sonnerie Tourbillon. This is a seriously complex timepiece with more than 900 working parts which were all hand-finished. Its tourbillon heart which regulates the overall performance was combined with a special system to deliver unique chimes. There’s even a rare alloy “magsonic” used in the casing in order to enhance the chimes.
Ulysse Nardin Triplejack Minute Repeater (Estimated Value: $350,000)
It’s a triplejack minute repeater because of the three Jacks on the face that hammer out bells every quarter of an hour in a way to differentiate them from the minutes. It’s one of the most distinctive watches ever made and it comes in with a very hefty price tag. As you’d expect from Ulysse Nardin – it’s a work of incredible engineering but we’d understand if you’d rather have a house.
Chopard L.U.C. Tourbillon Baguette (Estimated Value: $250,000)
If you were expecting total exclusivity for a watch that’s worth a quarter of a million dollars; you’d be disappointed to find that the Chopard L.U.C. Tourbillon Baguette is in fact one of twenty five identical time pieces. To make up for that disappointment – you’ll be ecstatic to discover that all that diamond bling on the face contains 27 carats of diamonds.
The Patek Caliber 89 (Estimated Value: $5,000,000)
So you could probably buy more than one house if you have a Patek Caliber 89 lying around your current abode. It is considered to be the most complicated watch ever made and unlike the majority of our watches – it’s also not worn on your wrist. This elegant and insanely expensive model is a pocket watch.
Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence (Estimated Value: $550,000)
How long does it take for a watch to become an incredibly valuable heirloom? Not as long as you might think. The Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence made its debut in 2008 as the “watch boom” reached its peak. With nods to the past history of elegant watches as well as to the future of design – it’s a fantastic model which is now worth more than half a million dollars.
Split Seconds Patek Philippe References 1436 by Tiffany & Co. (Estimated Value: $220,000)
You could probably tell that this watch was going to be expensive as not only is it presented by Tiffany & Co. (where nothing is ever cheap) but it’s also made by Patek Philippe (one of the world’s most exclusive and prestigious watch brands). Yet compared to our other watches on this list; it’s a perfectly reasonable $220,000 enough to buy a nice home in most places but not in the most desirable neighborhood of a big city either. The “Split Seconds” part of the Split Seconds Patek Philippe References 1436 by Tiffany & Co. is a reference to the two blue hands on the dial which allow you to time two separate events at once.
Christophe Claret Dual Tow Night Eagle (Estimated Value: $600,000)
The Christophe Claret Dual Tow Night Eagle fetches more than half a million dollars and yet it’s one of 68 pieces. That means if you can’t snap one up at auction; you might get another chance in the next decade or two. It has a fairly unusual face and is based on some seriously complicated engineering principles. The time is told using a belt action revolving plate on either side of the face. The center shows the planetary gearing used to achieve this neat trick.
The Breguet Marie Antoinette (Estimated Value: $Millions)
Designed for Marie Antoinette (she of “let them eat cake” followed by her head being lopped off by an angry mob) by one of the world’s finest designers Breguet – you’d expect this to be more than a few dollars’ worth of watch. When you discover that this watch took more than 40 years to make and has more than 823 parts (all of which were made by hand) and the inventor (and the intended recipient) died before the watch was finished – you know that you’re looking at a truly unique watch. The Breguet company is now owned by Swatch but despite receiving offers in excess of $10,000,000 for the watch – they’re not parting company with it. So if a man approaches you in a bar offering to sell you it “at a bargain price” – they’re probably not being entirely truthful.
Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 (Estimated Value: $2.5 Million)
Another incredibly complicated time piece is the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 – in fact it has 36 complications (complications are, in fact, a discrete piece of horological terminology). It contains more than 1,500 individual parts and enough dials and readouts that you can probably tell the future on it without having to read the entrails of a sheep. All that X factor doesn’t come cheap though and you’d get a nice apartment in Manhattan for the price of this watch.
George Daniel Co-Axial Chronograph (Estimated Value: $650,000)
We leave you with a watch from the Englishman, George Daniels, said to have been the most important figure in watch making during the 20th century. He invented the “Co-Axial Escapement” which would later be purchased by the watch maker Omega for serious amounts of cash. He also produced very few watches because of the intricacy and complexity of the ones he did make; the Co-Axial Chronograph last appeared at auction in 2012 where it fetched over $600,000.