Top 10 Most Expensive Watches in the World In History
|Top 10 most expensive watches in the world in history|
Watches are among the very few things that combine luxury, admirable craftsmanship, and technology. To some they might be a daily necessity, for others they might be a sought after piece of jewelry or gadget, but whichever the case, watches can truly be pieces of fine art worthmillions.
The List of top 10 most expensive watches in the world of all time
10. Hublot Big Bang – $5 Million
9. Vacheron Constantin 57260 – $8 Million
8. Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in Stainless Steel - $11.1 Million
7. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona – $17.8 Million
6. Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch – $18 Million
5. Patek Philippe Supercomplication – $24 Million
4. Chopard 201-Carat Watch – $25 Million
3. Breguet Marie-Antoinette Grande Complication Pocket Watch - $30 Million
2. Graff Diamonds The Fascination - $40 Million
1. Graff Diamonds Hallucination - $55 Million
What are the most expensive watches in the world of all time?
10. Hublot Big Bang
The Big Bang is all about the case. The complex construction, incorporating traditional and modern techniques and materials embodies ‘the art of fusion’ – a philosophy at the centre of the brand’s identity. In 2005 the combination of steel, ceramic and rubber was novel, but in the subsequent decade the rest of the industry has caught up with Hublot’s trend-setting ways. Still, the 44mm case holds up well, and is a pleasure to wear.
Fusion is about more than just unconventional material hybrids as the Big Bang demonstrates a stylistic fusion too; the traditional tropes of luxury sports watch design are partnered with a far more industrial aesthetic – heavy knurling on the bezel edge and exposed screws (the proprietary H-shaped bit is a nice touch) really works. It might sound like something cribbed from a press release but to appreciate the Big Bang you really do need to understand the importance played by the concept of fusion in their design process. The interplay of materials and textures is key to this watch’s appeal and what makes it so fun to wear.
9. Vacheron Constantin
|Photo: Vacheron Constantin|
Flawless and precise – those two words best describe watches from Vacheron Constantin. The wrist and pocket watches from this Swiss manufacturer are some of the most exquisite timepieces the world has to offer. This is why Vacheron is one of the "Big Three" Swiss watch brands, along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. These three manufacturers represent fine craftsmanship of the highest quality.
The reference 57260 pocket watch is one of the most famous pieces to come from Vacheron Constantin. This watchmaking masterpiece houses 57 complications, making it the world's most complex wearable watch. Its complications include a split-seconds chronograph, a minute repeater, an alarm, and a moon phase display. It also features several calendars such as a lunar calendar and a perpetual Hebrew calendar. Price estimates for this extraordinary pocket watch range anywhere from 5 million to over 10 million USD. Vacheron Constantin presented this multi-functional timepiece in 2015, after eight years of development.
The Patrimony collection is one of Vacheron Constantin's most successful and sought-after collections. It is composed of classic dress watches, including flat two or three-hand wristwatches, diamond-studded women's watches, and complicated pieces with a perpetual calendar. The collection's top models are extra-flat platinum watches with a minute repeater.
8. Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in Stainless Steel
In 1941, during the turmoil of World War II, a small but momentous event took place in Basel, Switzerland, which forever changed Swiss watch manufacturing. It was at the Swiss Watch Fair Basel (today Baselworld) that Patek Philippe introduced what was a revolutionary wristwatch – the reference 1518.
It was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever produced by any brand in series, and in those uncertain times, demonstrated the brand's remarkable courage. Now considered an important milestone watch in horological history, the reference 1518 set the course for Patek Philippe's dominance in the world of high-end Swiss watchmaking. So ahead of its time was its design, Patek Philippe continued to use its timeless aesthetic as the foundation for a long line of successful and highly sought-after complicated wristwatches, including the references 2499, 3970, 5970 and, 75 years later, even today's 5270.
Along with variations in the hour markers, Patek Philippe changed their hard enamel signature afer World War II from the long format "Patek Philippe & Co." to a shortened form removing the "Co.". In addition to the long format signatures, early dials featured larger weekday and month apertures, which had less angled framed facets, and a squeezed tachymeter scale with smaller calibrations.
The masculine 35mm diameter case was the epitome of mid-20th century modern design with classic clean lines and extended downturned lugs. The architecture of the simple case never changed, but Patek Philippe made subtle modifications over the course of its production. Early cases were thick with a narrow band, and the chronograph pushers centered on the band, with the date correctors placed closer to the upper edge. Later cases became thinner with a more prominent bezel, and both the chronograph pushers and date correctors were moved to the lower edge.
7. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona
The Rolex Paul Newman Daytona is one of the most sought-after watches in the world. Defining features of vintage Paul Newman Daytonas include their multicolored "exotic" dials and Art-Deco-style numerals. Back in the 1960s and 70s, this look was not nearly as well-received as it is today, resulting in very low production numbers. This rarity – combined with the fact that famous actor and race car driver Paul Newman wore his watch every day – has only fanned the flames of the Daytona legend. In turn, this chronograph is now one of the most expensive vintage watches on the market.
If you'd like to own the same model Paul Newman wore, you should look at the ref. 6239. Its sister model, the ref. 6241, comes with an acrylic bezel. The rarest version is the 6262. Other references include the 6263, 6264, and 6265.
Be sure to keep your eyes out for an "exotic dial." Many watches bear one of the aforementioned reference numbers but feature a standard Daytona dial. You should always do your research before making a purchase, as some watches will come with an "exotic dial" that is not original to that timepiece. The original papers and an easy-to-understand service history are good places to look for this information.
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6. Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch
|Photo: Jacob & Co.|
Swiss watchmaker Jacob & Co. is no stranger to whipping up lavish timepieces, but its latest launch may just take the cake for its most extravagant yet. Dubbed the Billionaire Ashoka, it’s an update on its Billionaire watch encrusted with 189 carats of William Goldberg’s Ashoka diamonds. The unique cut is named after King Ashoka Maurya, a famed third-century warrior also regarded as one of India’s greatest emperors.
Because less than one percent of all diamonds are appropriate candidates to become an Ashoka, only one of the Billionaire Ashoka will ever be produced never to be replicated again. Every portion of the singular piece––from the case to the bracelet to the clasp––is covered in 62 examples of the exclusive gem, all faceted with precision. Jacob & Co. claims the cut makes it appear up to 30 percent larger than a standard emerald-cut diamond of the same weight.
Highlighting its strong angular shape is the skeletonized caliber JCAM09 tourbillon movement that lies behind the diamond façade. The intricate, handcrafted movement is composed of 167 elements and 19 jewels with a 72-hour power reserve. And, because there’s always room for more diamonds, a final rose-cut jewel affixed to the crown completes the design.
The first iteration of the Billionaire watch was unveiled at Baselworld in 2015, where its price point and unique composition made waves. Set with 260 carats of emerald-cut diamonds, it used a special bead setting in an inverted pyramid style to cover the full length of the case, bracelet and clasp. Every stone was GIA-certified with some of the largest weighing up to three carats all on their own, and all were laid upon an 18K white gold foundation. The dial appeared to float in space thanks to a sapphire crystal case and caseback lightening the overall look in the process.
5. Patek Philippe Supercomplication
|Photo: Lux Expose|
In Geneva, Switzerland, on November 11, 2014, the hammer fell, signaling the end of a highly anticipated Sotheby's event that would once again return the famous and completely unique Patek Philippe Supercomplication pocket watch to the auction block. In the hours after the end of the auction, a bevy of luxury lifestyle and financial world journalists eagerly reported on the record-setting value not only of the Supercomplication watch itself, but of any previously auctioned timepiece. The final price, bid via proxy for an anonymous entity was 23,237,000 Swiss Francs - an amount that converts to over $24,000,000 USD.
$24 million dollars is the most anyone has ever paid for a timepiece, including both pocket watches and wrist watches.
A gold, double dialled and double open-faced, minute repeating clockwatch with Westminster chimes, grande and petite sonnerie, split seconds chronograph, registers for 60-minutes and 12-hours, perpetual calendar accurate to the year 2100, moon-phases, equation of time, dual power reserve for striking and going trains, mean and sidereal time, central alarm, indications for times of sunrise/sunset and a celestial chart for the night time sky of New York City at 40 degrees 41.0 minutes North latitude.
4. Chopard 201-Carat Watch
Chopard is known for making watches that are a cut above the rest. Not only does every timepiece in the company's collection boast superb quality, but each one has a highly unique design that sets it apart from other styles. This is especially true of the 201 carat Chopard watch, a dazzling accessory made in 2000 that brings a whole new meaning to luxury.
So what exactly makes this piece so special? The watch features an array of colored diamonds in unusual hues and fancy shapes that add to the glamorous appeal - and the value.
In fact, the watch is worth a whopping $25 million, making it one of the most expensive timepieces ever after the $55 million Hallucination by Graff. Rest assured that the entirely handmade watch is well worth its price tag, however. Rich Glare revealed that it contains 874 high-grade diamonds of different colors and sizes.
At the center of the gleaming white gold and yellow gold hardware is an internally flawless heart-shaped pink diamond that weighs 15.37 carats, a 12.79-carat heart-shaped blue diamond, and a flawless heart-shaped D-color diamond weighing 11.36 carats. Each of those stones is set in a bracelet that also contains clusters of 260 pear-shaped D-color flawless diamonds and 91 round D-color flawless diamonds weighing 10.29 carats total, which are arranged into flower shapes that feature a round 8.81-carat yellow diamond in the center. Additionally, 26 pear-shaped yellow diamonds that together weigh 17.07 carats are scattered throughout the bracelet.
3. Breguet Marie-Antoinette Grande Complication Pocket Watch
Long a purveyor to the French court, Breguet thus had a free hand. Alas, the Queen never got to admire her present, watch number 160, known as the “Marie-Antoinette” in her honor. It was only finished in 1827, 34 years after her death, 4 years after Breguet’s and 44 years after he’d accepted the order.
A work of art in its own right, the new Marie-Antoinette perpétuelle, or self-winding, watch features a minute repeater that on command strikes hours, quarters and minutes as well as a full perpetual calendar showing the date, the day and the month at two, six and eight o’clock respectively. At ten o’clock, an equation-of-time display expresses the difference between civil and solar time. At centre, jumping hours and a minute hand accompany a large independent seconds hand, the forerunner to the chronograph hand, while a subdial for the running seconds is situated at six o’clock. A 48-hour power-reserve indicator and a bimetallic thermometer are positioned side by side.
The watch’s self-winding movement ( called perpétuelle in Breguet’s day ) comprises 823 parts and components, all finished with exceptional care. Plates, bridges and bars, every moving part of the motion-work, calendar and repeater mecha¬nisms are made of wood-polished pink gold. Screws are of blued and polished steel. All friction points, sinks and bearings are fitted with sapphires. The watch’s sophisticated design extends to its special escapement with natural lift, a cylindrical balance spring in gold and a bimetallic balance. A double pare-chute shock-protection device protects the balance-wheel staff and the oscillating weight arbors against blows and jarring.
In April 2008, after four long years of research and reconstruction, the new Marie-Antoinette timepiece was proud¬ly placed in its impressive presentation case, carved from the wood of the very Versailles oak tree under which the Queen once used to rest.
Following a long dry spell and a violent storm, the Domaine de Versailles had to have the once-mighty oak cut down, pre¬senting its wood to Nicolas G. Hayek as a birthday gift.
2. Graff Diamonds The Fascination
The Fascination features 152.96 carats of Graff’s finest white diamonds, with a rare, fancy-cut 38.13-carat pear-shaped diamonds at its center. This diamond is interchangeable with a diamond watch face which can be inserted into the bracelet instead, thus creating a splendid, glittering timepiece. The aforementioned pear-shaped diamond can then be fitted into a bespoke shank and worn as a ring.
Easily convertible and comfortable to wear, The Fascination is a stunning example of Graff’s craftsmanship, bringing out the best from the brand’s London-based jewelers and the Swiss watchmakers. Recently unveiled at Baselworld, it is expected to find its way somewhere in Asia, according to the company’s CEO, Francois Graff. The new owner will, however, have to dig really deep into his or her pockets, because The Fascination comes with a price tag of $40 million!
1. Graff Diamonds Hallucination
The sense of unreality was probably the result of one really expensive quartz watch – the Graff Diamonds Hallucination, priced at fifty-five million dollars ($55 million), undoubtedly, the most valuable watch ever created. The incredible worth stems from 110 carats of really rare and really big colored diamonds set into a bracelet of platinum. Some of the rare diamond colors are Fancy Vivid Yellow, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Light Grey Blue, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Green and Fancy Orange. In addition, many different cuts are used, such as heart shape, pear shape, marquise, emerald, radiant, and round. I have detailed the colors and cuts to indicate the vast array of rare diamonds included in the Graff Diamonds Hallucination watch.
Where does the timepiece aspect come into all of this? Well, if you look really closely, you can make out the tiny quartz dial, framed by pink diamonds, delicately displaying uber-accurate time. No need for a power reserve or automatic winding, this baby keeps on ticking for months on end. The Graff Diamonds Hallucination is perfect for the ladies… or one very lucky lady, whose net worth will suddenly escalate in leaps and bounds.
Laurence Graff’s comments on the Hallucination: “The Graff Hallucination is a sculptural masterpiece, a celebration of the miracle of colored diamonds.”
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