It's hard to say whether there is any practical use for a watch anymore. The world has changed and now people have these things called smartphones that they never put away and have clocks on them. Think about the last time you asked someone if they had the time, did they look at their wrist or did they quickly reach into their pocket and pull out a phone quicker than an 1800's gunslinger? Be honest. No, forget that, when's the last time you asked someone for the time? You have a smartphone, you have the necessary technology.
Either way, the watch is now a fashion statement, rather than a practical tool for time management and situational awareness. The obvious exception is the smartwatch, whether the Apple product or otherwise. But when it comes to traditional watches, you know, the mechanical things that have hands, and can't order a pizza, they are purely fashion statements at this point.
You can get a watch at Wal-Mart that will look half decent, but anyone with a decent eye will see that you're wearing a mass-produced piece of garbage. There are plenty of great brands out there with pieces that range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousands. If your purpose in life involves mountain bikes or rock climbing, a bill or two can find you a watch that will accompany you to the depths of an ocean and can be run over by a truck (that may be an exaggeration).
But for those who want the Ferrari of watches, it will be more than a few thousands. Actually, it will be more than most Ferraris. Here is our list of the most expensive watches on the planet right now. Get ready for the kind of unnecessary jewelry and frivolity that might make MC Hammer say, "hmmmm, I think I'll save my cash instead".
15 Patek Philippe 1953 Heures Universelles Ref 2523 - $2,900,000
The company Patek Philippe is a name you are used to if you like fine watches and jewelry, and a name with which you will become familiar as you read through this article. The company is over 160 years old and for the employees and former leaders of the company, watchmaking isn't just a science, it is also an art and a way of life.
14 Piaget Emperador Temple - $3,300,000
13 Patek Philippe 1928 Single Button Chronograph and Patek Philippe Ref 2499 "Eric Clapton" - $3,600,000
We featured two watches in this entry because they were produced by the same company and sold for the same amount. The 1928 chronograph features 18 karat white gold, 28 jewels and as with most of the watches on this list, the majority of the visible parts are made of various precious metals.
12 Patek Philippe 5004T - $3,985,000
11 Patek Philippe Platinum World Time - $4,000,000
10 Louis Moinet Meteoris - $4,600,000
Known as an artist as well as a watchmaker, Louis Moinet lived in Paris, France for most of his life and is credited with inventing the chronograph. The brand associated with his name to this day is known as a maker of the finest watches in the world. Though they have relocated to Switzerland, they market themselves as carrying on the creativity and innovation of Moinet himself.
9 Breguet & Fils Paris 2667 Precision - $4,680,000
Abraham-Louis Breguet was a Swiss horologist (fancy term for watch maker or clock specialist) who founded his own company back in the 1770s. We'll see more of his company later on. Breguet's company was handed down a few generations before the family no longer wanted to be in the watch business, and it eventually became the possession of watchmaker Edward Brown. The Brown family held onto it until the 1970's at which point it was passed around by a few larger companies. Finally Swatch bought it back in 1999.
8 Patek Philippe Calibre 89 - $5,000,000
7 Hublot Big Bang Diamond - $5,000,000
6 Patek Philippe Reference 1527 - $5,700,000
5 Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication - $24,000,000
The highest valued of all watches created by Patek Philippe is the Supercomplication pocket watch. It took the company over three years to design, along with five years to assemble and was, in the 1930's the most advanced and complicated watch ever created.
4 Chopard 201 Carat - $25,000,000
3 Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillene 101 Manchette - $26,000,000
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a Swiss company founded by Antoine LeCoultre back in the early 1830s. What started out as a tiny watchmaking shop run by a man with brilliant attention to detail has turned into one of the most highly regarded timepiece manufacturers in the world. While it looks like a bracelet, the watch part actually has the smallest mechanical movement in the world according to record books. Queen Elizabeth II wore a similar piece on the day of her coronation in 1953 and this edition of the same series of timepieces was the company's gift to her sixty years later.
2 Breguet Grande Complication Marie-Antoinette - Estimated $30,000,000
1 Graff Diamonds Hallucination - $55,000,000
Graff Diamonds is a jewelry company founded and based in London, England. They pride themselves on procuring only the highest quality diamonds and adhere to the United Nations Kimberley Process, ensuring that their pieces do not feature conflict diamonds. In 2014 they came out with the Hallucination. They consider it to be the most expensive watch in the world and claim that their jewelers and watch makers have spent thousands of hours putting this piece together. It features diamonds of many shapes and colors, and is a piece of which company founder Laurence Graff, is particularly proud. If your wife or girlfriend asks you for this, run.
Sources: starcasm.net, coolmaterial.com, alux.com, richglare.com, forbes.com
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