When it comes to pricey timepieces, most people think of brands like Rolex, which sells watches that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But in reality, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The 12 watches outlined below are the latest crop of the most expensive watches on the market today, and many of them are going for millions of dollars. Most were recently unveiled at Baselworld 2016, the luxury watch industry’s biggest trade show that takes place annually in Basel, Switzerland.
Why so costly? The complexities of the mechanics and the additions of precious gems — think lots of diamonds — up the ante for these accessories.
Check out the best of the best, below.
Gruebel Forsey created a $2 million 'Art Piece' watch back in 2014, but their latest creation is much more reasonably priced -- and is a striking piece of art itself. The half-revealed timepiece has, among many other innovations, two angled balance wheels. Together, they ensure absolutely perfect timekeeping.
A 'horological machine', this year's update to the MB&F Sapphire Vision family incorporates 11 pieces of sapphire crystal to create an indestructible and unique watch made of 475 components, including a flying tourbillon. It will definitely turn heads.
You may not expect this almost sporty-looking watch from Harry Winston, whose brand is usually associated with ornate jewels. But look closer, and there are, indeed, jewels: 84 of them, along with 500 components in an 18k white gold case. The big technological development is the introduction of two biaxial tourbillons, which required 'extraordinary technical intensity.'
Jacob & Co., best known as a high-end jeweller, has also made a splash in the horological scene in recent years; last year, designer Jacob Arabo debuted the one-off $18 million 'Billionaire' watch. This year's update on the Astronomia model, the Clarity Baguette is a critical favourite, with a sapphire-coated crystal-clear domed casing and a single-karat 288-facet blue diamond. The Astronomia Sky and Twin Turbo updates also fall in this price range.
Also coming in at just under a million is a diamond-encrusted platinum Breguet model. It's a double tourbillon Grande Complication from the brand that is credited with inventing the tourbillon, complete with 107 baguette-cut diamonds totaling over 30 karats, and a sapphire case back. (Pictured above: a similar model, although it's lacking in the diamonds.)
Hublot introduced ten watches in this anniversary collection, each priced at $1 million, and continues to update the collection. It's the diamonds that rocket the prices up; the white diamond version, for instance, has 653 baguette diamonds totaling 40.02 carats.
This Jaeger-LeCoultre masterpiece has 1,406 parts; it's one of the most complex movements ever created for a wristwatch, with ten patents filed for its design. It's called a 'Grand Sonnerie' because it chimes every quarter hour, playing the Westminster Chimes -- the longest melody ever sounded by a striking timepiece. It also houses a perpetual calendar and flying tourbillon.
The A. Lange & Söhne Grand Complication has 876 parts; each watch takes a master technician at least a year to assemble. It has both a grande and petite sonnerie, a perpetual calendar, a chronograph, and a minute repeater, making it the most complex watch crafted by the storied horological house. First introduced in 2013, only one model is produced each year.
This newest model of the iconic Grandmaster Chime line, released in March, has streamlined the classically ornate surface design for a smooth, white-gold facing. It's the most complicated watch that Patek Philippe makes, with two dials, five striking chimes, 20 complications, and 1,580 components. Last year's engraved yellow-gold version (seen above) -- of which only seven were produced -- retailed for $2.5 million. While this one has the same technical specs, the simpler exterior makes for a lower price.
The timepieces of Graff Diamonds are known for setting records: they previously unveiled show-stopping, diamond-encrusted women's watches worth $55 million and $40 million over the last few years. This year's big reveal is a bit more scaled back than those extravagant confections, but it's just as technically complex: the 278-diamond watch was designed using 3D printing technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. It's set with a mother-of-pearl dial and quartz movement.
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