In the fashion world, there is an entire market of timepieces that carry a 7-figure price tag. A million dollars can get you one of the most expensive watches of the world. At first, investing that much money into a watch may seem like an utter waste of cash, but it’s far from it. Watches like this are more than fashion statements – they are assets. These wrist pieces are more complicated than most care to know, and they will continue to appreciate in value over time.
Here you can find twelve timepieces that display beautiful craftsmanship, precision engineering, and a price tag north of $1 million.
Based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, luxury watch maker Jaeger LeCoultre was founded all the way back in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre. This particular timepiece was originally crowned world’s most’s complicated watch – a title which continues to be bounced around to this day. The watch is equipped with Calibre 182 movement with 26 complications, 1,300 parts, and a 44mm 18k white gold case.
A. Lange & Söhne is a german watchmaking company founded in 1845. For 2013, the brand announced that it would be releasing one of the most expensive watches of all time in the $2.6 million Grand Complication. This extremely complex watch is housed in a 50mm diameter pink gold case with 867 parts. The watch also sounds off 24 hours of chimes throughout the day, all of which were tuned completely by hand – a daunting task to say the least.
The Aeternitas Mega 4 Grande Sonnerie Westminster Carillon was built and designed by Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller. Founded in 1991, the Geneva based company packed their flagship wristwatch with 36 complications, and 1,483 individual components, making it the new world’s most complicated watch.
Patek Philippe & Co is unequaled when it comes to luxury watches. Founded in 1839, the Swiss watch maker is considered by horophiles to be the cream of the crop when it comes to to high end (and expensive) timepieces.If you’re looking for a timepiece that will appreciate, your best bet is to get your hands on any Patek Philippe watch. This particular model features an 18k gold case, several different timezones, and a polychrome and enamel dial displaying a map of North America.
With an original reserve of $600,000, this timepiece went on to be the most expensive watch ever sold at a Sotheby’s auction fetching exactly $2.994 million. Part of the collection of Henry Graves, Jr., the movement dates all the way back to 1895 while the case is from 1927.
Gravity is a mechanical watch’s worst enemy. Watchmakers deploy a handful of devices in order to reduce the adverse effects gravity has on movement. Tourbillon and carrousel (karussel) are two such methods, and this watch is extremely unique due to the fact that it uses both – a real engineering feat. In fact, Blancpain is the first to do so. Founded in 1735, the Swatch Group owned brand has earned the respect of watch aficionados everywhere for innovation like this. The Tourbillon Carrousel watch is equipped with a 44.60 mm diameter case, and composed of 379 parts.
The history of this rarest watche is mostly unknown. All we do know is that this thing sold for a staggering $4,026,524 at Antiquorum over a decade ago in 2002. Experts have speculated that this world time wristwatch was the only one of its kind.
PRICE: $4.6 MILLION
The inventor of the chronograph’s legacy lives on through collections like this. Technically this is a set of watches, but because these four tourbillons sell for $4,599,487, we figured they were worth a spot on the list. What makes these watches so unique (and expensive) are the construction materials. Collaborating with Luc Labenne, the watches have been made using pieces from not only the moon, but also a Mars meteorite and an asteroid. You also get a a complimentary planetarium depicting the solar system with your multi-million dollar investment.
Another member of the Swatch Group, Breguet is a Swiss luxury watch maker founded back in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet. The most expensive timepiece the brand built comes to us in the form of an 18k gold pocket watch with two movements. The watch originally sold for what now looks like a measly 5,000 francs back in 1814, but these days it’s valued at nearly $5 million.
This is a vintage timepiece that was made in 1943, and is considered the most expensive wrist watch ever made (the top 2 are pocket watches). The watch comes outfitted with a 18k yellow gold case paired with a silver matte dial measuring in at 37mm. This timepiece also features chronograph, perpetual calendar, and that beautiful moon phase display. The watch fetched its record setting price tag when it was sold at Christie’s auction in Geneva just a few years ago in 2010.
This timepiece was built back in 1989 and it remains the world’s most complicated pocket watch with an impressive 33 complications. By the company’s 150-year anniversary, this watch was created to celebrate the date. With weighs over 2 pounds, it took the team at Patek Philippe five years of research along with four years of manufacturing to make this watch a reality. With 1,728 components, this complex mechanical pocket watch can perform all sorts of functions, including displaying the temperature.
Before the Caliber 89 was born, the aptly titled Supercomplication was the world’s most complicated watch, and the story is quite interesting. Banker Henry Graves Jr. had the watch commissioned back in 1927 in order to win a competition he had with James Ward Packard of the Packard car company. The contest was to own the world’s most complicated watch. After a four-year build, this two face, yellow-gold pocket watch with 24 complications hit the scene in 1932. Sotheby’s experts predicted that the watch would fetch no more than $5 million at auction, but with the increased competition, this beauty ended up selling for a staggering $11,002,500.