Expensive watches have become an indispensable part of a serious person’s wardrobe. And a serious person needs a serious watch.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, wears a Tag Heuer 1500 Professional Series. Former President Bill Clinton, on the other hand, sports a Panerai. Their French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, has a Rolex.
In Hollywood, Daniel Craig was seen wearing a Rolex Daytona, and not the Omega that is a fixture in James Bond movies. Tinseltown’s bad girl Tara Reid also sports a similar watch. Sylvester Stallone, meanwhile, prefers a Panerai Submersible, while multiple Academy Award winner Tom Hanks has been seen with either an Omega PO or a Rolex Milgauss GV.
In the world of sports, Miami Heat superstar and the reigning Most Valuable Player in the National Basketball Association Lebron James was once seen in a late night talk show wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. The manager of the English football team, Roy Hodgson, wears the Hublot Big Bang. So does Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina of the Liverpool Football Club.
So what exactly makes an expensive watch? Is it the expensive stones and jewelries encrusted into it? Chances are, adorning a wristwatch with diamonds and other gems would definitely jack up its price. What about the watches with complicated mechanisms inside that make time telling as accurate as it could be? It may be equipped with the tourbillion, an intricate mechanism that counters the effects of gravity, which tends to throw the time off by a split second. Such complexity in a timepiece would surely increase its selling price.
Here then is a list of the top ten most expensive watches in the world. If you are expecting the likes of Rolex, Hublot and Panerai to dominate the list, then you have another thing coming.
10 Chopard 201-Carat Watch - $25 million
Of course, when we talk about luxury, precision Swiss watches come to mind. Chopard has been around since the middle of the 19th century and they are also known for their jewelries, perfumes, and even eyewear. Sometime during the turn of the millennium, somebody bought this 201-carat watch in an auction for a whopping $25 million. Ridiculous, you might exclaim? But then again, this is actually more of a collection of expensive jewelry than a timepiece. It features 3 heart-shaped diamonds, 289 pear-shaped diamonds, 139 round diamonds and 443 yellow diamonds. Those are 874 diamonds all in all, and they come in various shapes, colors, weight and sizes. You just have to trust Chopard that there is indeed a watch somewhere there hidden beneath the gems. It has a unique design and apparatus that allows the face of the watch to open up like petals of a flower.
9 Patek Philippe Henry Graves Super Complication Pocket Watch - $11 million
During the roaring 20s, two rich American friends with a lot of spare money in their hands decided to have a competition for ownership of the most complicated watch in the world. James Packard, an automobile manufacturer, initiated the battle in 1927. Henry Graves, a banker by profession, did not want to be outdone. He commissioned Patek Philippe to manufacture a one of a kind timepiece, paying an amount nearly five times as that allotted by Packard. The result is the Super Complication, which at that time featured the most advanced horological technique. It was made of 18-karat solid gold, with a chronological function for each hour, a chiming repeater for the minutes, and a chart of the skyline of New York City. It is one classy and expensive watch. An anonymous bidder got the watch in a 1999 auction, and the piece is now displayed in the watchmaker’s museum in Geneva in Switzerland.
8 Patek Philippe Reference 1527 Wristwatch - $5 million
Originallly thought to be an uncomplicated watch, this watch belonged to the Stern family themselves, the owners of Patek Philippe. It has a rounded appearance and its curve contours nicely around the wrist. Made of 18 karat gold, it has 23 jewels, a perpetual calendar, silver dial, and gold Arabic numerals.
7 Breguet & Fils, Paris, No. 2667 Precision Watch - $4,682,165
This watch is extremely rare. Made of 18k gold and featuring two movements, the watch was originally sold in 1814 to a Mr. Garcias of London for 5,000 francs. It is now worth nearly $4.7 million.
6 Louis Moinet Meteoris Watch - $4,599,487
When Moinet asked Luc Labenne to get pieces from a meteorite, asteroid and the moon, little did they know that they would be creating a watch now worth more than $4.5 million. This series came in a set of four tourbillion watches.
5 Patek Philippe 1939 Platinum World Time Watch - $4,026,524
Perhaps the only one created, the 1939 Platinum World Time watch sold for $4 million in a 2002 auction.
4 Patek Philippe 1928 Single-Button Chronograph Watch - $3,637,408
This is a 34mm cushion-shaped, single-button chronograph made of 18k white gold. It features Breguet numerals and sold for $3.6 million in a 2011 auction.
3 Piaget Emperador Temple Watch - $3.3 million
This is a one of a kind watch that has diamonds and gems encrusted all over it. The design is similar to a pyramid and it opens up twice, thus allowing hundreds of diamonds to fit into the watch. It first opens up over a mother-of-pearl and diamond face. It opens up a second time to a larger face with a tourbillion and power indicator.
2 Patek Philippe 1953 Model 2523 Heures Universelles Watch - $2,899,373
Sold at an auction in 2006, this watch is made of 18k yellow gold. It features a polychrome and enamel dial that resembles the North American continent.
1 Cartier Secret Watch with Phoenix Décor - $2,755,000
The watch itself is already made out of 18-carat white gold plated with rhodium. It also features a 3.53-carat portrait-cut diamond. To top it off, it is covered with 3,010 brilliant-cut diamonds.