Top Ten Most Expensive Watches
Horology is an art that is nearly as old as time itself and is something that people have dedicated their lives to, resulting in the creation of exceptional and stylish timepieces. Listed below are the top 10 most expensive watches of all time and some detail into what makes these incredible timepieces so valuable.
10. JP CHAMPION PLATINUM OBSERVATORY CHORONOMETER – £2.2 million
This watch was made especially for a criminal defence attorney, known as Joe Ben Champion, who also happens to be one of Patek Philippe’s most important clients. This particular timepiece is the only reference 2458 to be made in platinum. It also came with a platinum bracelet and an additional diamond-set dial. A prestigious and expensive order from Patek Platinum.
9. PATEK PHILIPPE WORLD TIME 1939 MODEL – £2.3 million
This watch is one of a kind. The watch can show its bearer the time in all of the 42 cities it has engraved on it, through its self-winding mechanism and rotating ring. Despite the lack of information surrounding this watch’s history, it sold for approximately £2.3 million in 2002 at the Antiquorum.
8. LOUIS MOINET ‘METEORIS’ COLLECTION – £2.7 million
Four wrist watches make up this collection, each imbued with a piece of extra-terrestrial material from four different meteorites. Individually these watches aren’t as expensive as the other timepieces featured on this list, but due to the fact they have components made from materials that cannot be sourced from our planet makes them exceptional.
The Tourbillon Rosetta stone – This watch features a fragment of a meteorite from Mercury. The age of the meteorite from which the fragment was taken has been reported to be only a million years younger than that of our solar system (4.6 billion years).
The Tourbillon Mars – This model has a piece of Martian rock residing within it, if you hadn’t guessed from the name. The rarity of Martian meteorites has set the materials value at around nearly £600 per gram. That’s currently 15 times more than the price of gold.
The Tourbillon Asteroid – The third watch in the collection has a hand-crafted fragment of the Itqiy meteorite. The meteorite is thousands of years old and is known to of slowly formed close to the sun, before crashing into the Western Sahara.
The Tourbillon Moon – The final watch in the Louis Moinet ‘Meteoris’ collection comprises a fragment from the moon. It was taken from the asteroid designated at Dhofar 459 that fell to the Earth in 2001.
7. BREGUET & FILS, PARIS, NO. 2667 PRECISION – £2.7 million
This pocket watch was signed by Breguet himself and was originally sold in 1814 to a gentlemen known as Mr. Garcias of London for the sum of 5,000 francs. In 2012 the watch was purchased by the Breguet Museum in the Christie’s auction for approximately £2.7 million. Not a bad profit margin. The timepiece was designed in order to establish Breguet’s theory that when in close proximity, two oscillating bodies can have an effect on one another.
6. THE PATEK CALIBER 89 – £3 million
This watch may not quite live up to the value of The Queen watch, however, a more complicated timepiece there is not. It has 33 complications, meaning it is more complex than Queen Marie Antoinette’s love life. Four models of the Patek Caliber 89 were produced: one in yellow gold, another in pink gold, a third in white gold, and an additional one in platinum. All four models were purchased by a single Royal family which dispersed the collection to various buyers in the early 21st century. Financially speaking it hardly matches up to the Marie Antoinette, with the white-gold model featured above selling for just under £3 million at auction, but this watch model is still worth more than most Lamborghinis, including the Veneno Roadster.
5. PATEK PHILIPPE 1943 WATCH REF. 1527 – £ 3.2 million
This watch may look plain in comparison to some of the others featured on this list of the world’s most expensive watches, however the original owners of this timepiece were the Stern family; owners of Patek Philippe. It features 23 different jewels and is 18 karat gold. It is the third most expensive wrist watch in the world and features a moon calendar, as well as a chronograph perpetual calendar. Its origin and the value of its components managed to fetch it approximately £3.2 million at Christie’s auction in 2010.
4. THE FIRST KALLISTA DIAMOND WATCH – £5–7 million
The third most expensive wristwatch in the world, the Kallista. The name of the watch translates from Greek into ‘The most beautiful’, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether it is worthy of such a title. It is another timepiece meant for royalty; currently owned by an Arab Sheik and is believed to rise in value by over £2000 a day. The Kallista was the first of a collection of watches produced by Vacheron Constantin in 1979, weighing in at 130 karat of yellow gold and imbued with 118 emeralds.
3. PATEK PHILLIPE HENRY GRAVES SUPERCOMPLICATION – £ 15 million
Before the creation of the Caliber 89, The Patek Supercomplication was constructed. Its genesis story lies within the heart of a friendly competition between the banker Henry Graves Jr. and James Ward Packard, an original founder of the Packard car company. The challenge they set one another was to become the owner of the world’s most complex watch. Henry Graves Jr. decided to commission the watch in 1927 in order to ensure his victory in the contest. It took four years to construct the Patek Supercomplication, with 24 complications. The watch itself was estimated to raise nearly £3 million at auction by auctioneer experts within Sotheby’s, instead it sold for over double the predicted amount; just under £6.4 million.
2. CHOPARD – 201 CARAT WATCH – £16 million
The Chopard 201 is one of the most expensive watches in the world, but you may have already guessed that from the picture. The watch has been designed to resemble a flower, is coated in 874 diamonds, one which is a heart-shaped pink diamond, which is of course internally flawless. The watch itself features a mechanism which when activated, releases the three heart shaped diamonds to reveal the yellow diamond-studded watch face. The word excessive springs to mind when attempting to describe this wrist watch, but I believe the term beautifully extravagant comes closer. The watch itself is created under extreme high security circumstances, with even its parts being manufactured in secret locations (undoubtedly a necessary precaution considering the notorious theft of The Queen).
1. JAEGER LECOULTRE JOAILLERIE 101 MANCHETTE – Priceless
Another watch commissioned for another Queen. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II received the watch as a gift from Jaeger LeCoultre, in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. It has the smallest mechanical movement in the world, features 576 diamonds and a sapphire dial. The face of the watch demands sharp eyes in order to find it, let alone read the time. It is believed that Queen Elizabeth II wore a similar watch when she first ascended to the throne in 1952.