While most of us could never dream of owning a watch that’s valued over a million dollars, there is in fact an entire market of timepieces that carry a 7-figure price tag. Sure a million dollars gets you a beautiful house pretty much anywhere in the country, but it will also get you one of the most expensive watches to ever hit the market. 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.
After scouring the web, we found that the majority of the “most expensive watch” lists out there were outdated, featured low quality images, and many included “blinged” out watches (you know diamonds covering the majority of the watch). We’ll leave those diamond encrusted wrist watches to the rappers. This means that the grand daddy of all expensive watches, the $25 million Chopard 201-Carat watch will not be included in our comprehensive list of the 12 most expensive watches of all time. What you will find are a dozen timepieces that display beautiful craftsmanship, precision engineering, and a price tag north of $1 million.
12. Jaeger LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie
Price: $2.5 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.
11. A. Lange & Sohne’s Grand Complication
Price: $2.6 Million
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.
10. Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4
Price: $2.7 Million
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.
9. Patek Philippe 1953 Heures Universelles Model 2523
Price: $2.9 million
When it comes to luxury watches, there is no other maker that matches Patek Philippe & Co. 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. Basically 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.
8. Patek Philippe 1895/1927 Yellow Gold Minute Repeating
Price: $3 Million
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.
7. Blancpain Le Brassus Tourbillon Carrousel
Price: $3.85 Million
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.
6. Patek Philippe 1939 Platinum World Time
Price: $4 million
One of the rarest watches in the world, this is a timepiece with a history that 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.
5. Louis Moinet “Meteoris”
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.
4. Breguet & Fils, Paris, No. 2667 Precision
Price: $4.7 million
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.
3. Patek Philippe 1943 Watch Ref. 1527
Price: $5.5 million
This vintage timepiece 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.
2. Patek Philippe Caliber 89 Pocket Watch
Price: $6 million
Built back in 1989, this timepiece remains the world’s most complicated pocket watch with an impressive 33 complications. The watch was created to celebrate the company’s 150-year anniversary, weighs over 2 pounds, and 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.
1. Patek Phillipe Henry Graves Supercomplication
Price: $11 million
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.
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