There are many watches that are a lot more than instruments of fashionable expression and time telling; these watches are the delights of connoisseurs, collectors and buyers. These are high-end pieces made in gold, titanium, sapphire and crystal, and come fully equipped with all the functionality that one could imagine in a watch. Be it chronographs, cathedral bell gongs or moon phase indicators, these pieces have them all and more. Here are the top 10 most expensive wrist-watches in the world.
Breguet Classique Grande Compilation 1907BA-12
This classic watch from Bregeut released in the Classique Tourbillon series is a piece of art worn on the hand. This watch has a bezel and lugs both made in 18k yellow gold. It holds the world record for being the most expensive watch in the modern style made till date. With a back made of sapphire crystal, there are many cutouts in the dial made of gold through which one can have a glimpse at the intricate decorative work .
To add to the exceptional quality of the finish, there is a tourbillion regulator (one minute) and chiming function (grande sonnerie). The dial is guilloche and engine-turned made with blued hands in silvered gold. The hours display has been designed to be off the center and the watch boasts a hinged coverlid. It has a case size of 56mm and is available for a listed price of $873,400.
Blancpain 1735 Grande Complication
The Blancpain 1735 was released in 1991 well before the modern CAD techniques for watchmaking became well established. Given this fact, the exquisiteness of the design is truly remarkable. Even though the watch has a slim movement, it packs quite a punch even within this tiny thickness. Designed on a traditional combination of minute repeater, perpetual calendar and split-second chronograph, believe it or not, the watch designers have also been able to accommodate a moon phase and a tourbillon inside. The watch’s movement is visible through the back made of sapphire crystal, revealing intricate hand-crafted plates and a platinum rotor, which will likely send watch aficionados into squeals of delight.
Only 30 pieces of this exceptional watch were ever made and even today, we see frenzied bidding whenever a Blancpain 1735 comes up for auction. The strap is made of crocodile skin and the case out of platinum. It has a power reserve that lasts for 80 hours. The case size is 42mm with total thickness clocking in at 17 mm. The 1735 is listed for $800,000.
Louis Moinet Magistralis
The Magistralis is a majestic piece under the Grande Complication type with a chronograph, moon phase function containing a piece of real lunar meteorite material (the Dhofar 459), perpetual calendar and a minute repeater (featuring the gongs of a cathedral bell). The watch features the vintage Vallee de Joux calibre movement created in Geneva more than one hundred years ago. The glinting shimmer of the black guilloche dial stands in stunning contrast with 4 sub dials in old rose (light brown). The minute repeater comes built with an amplifying case which lends a richer and deeper tone to the sound. Along with this vintage -style piece comes an original 1856 edition of the great watchmaker Louis Monet’s reference work “Traite de Hologerie”. This watch is truly a collector’s delight, built into an 18-carat case made of white gold and is available online for $860,000.
Hublot Black Caviar Bang
Hublot’s Black Caviar is one watch that you would not miss even from a mile away, no exaggeration! Showcased in all black (case and bezel) and rhodium-plated hands, the bezel has 6 H-shaped titanium screws. The dial is made up of polished black-ceramic using sapphire crystals. Built with a self-winding, HUB1112 movement, this watch comes with an amazing power reserve of 42 hours. The watch is studded with literally hundreds of black diamonds and an 18k carat white gold case, totalling 34.5 carats in all. Now, this is one watch that would truly be a diamond-studded accomplishment, no pun intended. There are 179 diamonds on the bezel, 322 on the case and 30 on the face of the clasp, making for 531 in all!
This watch features a unique tourbillion movement and is listed at more than a million dollars apiece. It truly lives up to its name, being as exquisite and expensive as the finest of caviar.
Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon
The Patek Phillipe Sky Moon Tourbillon is not just a watch; it is a piece of art masquerading as one, a statement of lifestyle you would not be able to make any other way. This amazing watch costs a whopping $1.45 million. But you know what, it is worth every bit of it. The movement is of a manual winding type and its case is made of 18k white gold while it has 55 jewels in all. Among the available functions (complications) are a repeater and a perpetual calendar. The watch has two complications implemented via the front and back dials and includes retrograde date, moon phase, leap year, angular moon motion and a sky char on the front dial.
The functions on the back dial include sidereal time and the meridian passage of the moon and Sirius displayed against the blue gold background of the celestial chart. This is not just a watch; it is an astronomer’s delight.
Vacheron Constantin Tour de I’lle
This is claimed to be the world’s most spectacular, most complicated wristwatch ever. Only 7 of these are will ever be made, which may make it possibly the most exclusive watch ever made. This watch won the first prize at the 2005 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve for its outstanding design. The caseback is of a snap-in design made of sapphire crystal with an anti-glare coating on its inner face. The numerals on the front dial are made of 18k gold and the dial also has another 18k gold applied logo of the Poincon de Geneve on it. While the counters have been made in blue steel, the second hand is made of 18carat pink gold. The rear dial has three complications – The month of the year is displayed through a circular dial top and center. The day of the week is displayed via a subdial to the bottom right. It also has a sky chart on a blue dial. This watch is actually a steal for $1,400,000.
Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie
This is a diamond-studded classic with more than 1184 of them covering all the surfaces of the watch from the dial to the case and even the bracelet (Even the crown is encrusted with diamonds). The movement utilizes a manual winding of the Swiss type while the case is set in white gold with a face of 45 mm. Hours, minutes and tourbillon are the three functions available. It offers water resistance up to 30 metres and power reserve of 120 hours. This is one watch that breaths exclusivity from end to end for $1 million. Some say that this looks more like a bracelet, and maybe it does. But, does it matter? Only 8 of these would ever be created!
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor retails at $1.125 million for just one reason – the case which is made out of silicon, which is lighter and stronger than even titanium (half the weight and four times as hard). It is claimed that this is the first watch of its kind in history, which by itself would be enough reason for its claim to fame.
In addition, the watch is built with the RD101 movement which utilizes four spring balances pairwise in order to compensate for gravity, which makes it even more accurate than a tourbillon type watch. These balances pulse 4 times every second with no two balances pulsing at the same time. This brilliant design undoubtedly adds even more gravitas to this watch’s pedigree as one the of the finest luxury watches in the world. Only three such watches will ever exist in the world, believe it or not!
Jaeger LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica
Retailing at $1.474 million, this watch was the most complicated watch at one time a few years back, with 26 complications. The key complications that are available are the perpetual calendar and the unique sonnerie (chiming). This watch is claimed to be the only one in the world to accomplish specific chiming related tasks. The case is in 18 carat white gold while the face is 45mm wide. This watch features a conservative design with some modern elements incorporated gently.
Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1
The Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 is an artsy luxury watch that retails for $1.6 million. He unique aspect of its design is that this watch has a microscopically sized sculpture inside (It does!). Not only that, hold your breath, this watch also comes equipped with a real, tiny microscope set into the casing that will permit you to view the sculpture! When you get your breath back, remember this watch does come with the regular bells and whistles including a double tourbillon, a platinum case and a 72-hour reserve. This watch is a beauty with a wonderful secret, indeed.