Time to save up — Take out your hard earned wad of bills and invest in a timepiece that will spread jealousy and wow all over the place! After all, isn’t a luxury watch one of the greatest indulgences a modern man can enjoy? But for you to be able to feel the cold press of one of these beauties on your wrist, some cold hard cash is necessary. So gentlemen, here are the most expensive and luxurious watches in the world that money can buy.
Chopard is known as one of the greats — and with good reason. The L.U.C All-in-One combines exclusivity with well-known myth. Only ten watches in each edition (rose gold and platinum) were made and it was inspired by the Roman god Janus — famed for his two faces — this watch has two dials. It also bears some godly insides, too, with features that include a perpetual calendar, astronomical readings and a tourbillon – a complex rotating mechanical system which takes great skill to make.
The mythical Rolex gifted to Paul Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward (it’s engraved with the message “Drive Carefully” in reference to his love for racing) in 1968, the Paul Newman Daytona has been considered a holy grail timepiece amongst collectors and fans for decades, but even the most fervent Rolex fanboys could not have imagined just how much it would reach in auction. Sold to an undisclosed phone buyer for the humble amount of €15,000,000 — the equivalent of 9,030 2017 Rolex Daytonas. But those other watches never touched the wrist of Paul Newman, did they?
When Italian jewelry Bulgari purchased Swiss watch brand Gerald Genta, the most celebrated (and money-spinning) result was this: the ‘Magsonic Sonnerie Tourbillon’. It’s loud-and-proud and is packed with an array of chimes that have been enhanced by a special “magsonic” alloy. At €690,905, it’ll make just as much impact on your wrist as it will on your life-savings.
It would appear watchmakers have an appreciation for Roman culture. The Ulysse Nardin Hannibal Minute Repeater Tourbillion includes a motif nodding to the Hannibalic War. However, the engraving is not the only thing that makes this watch so extravagant and expensive. Every component is hand-finished, from the main plate to the top bridge.
With 36 different complications, 1,483 individual components, a 1,000-year calendar and a wealth of other eclectic features, the ‘Frank Muller Aeternitas’ will leave you more scared and confused than a worker trying to manage an index. Labelled as the “Master of Complications” by ticker aficionados, the Swiss watchmaker has managed to cram an unprecedented number of utilities into the ‘MEGA 4’ model, which also features a glass sapphire case back and a piece of tourbillon on the dial.
This isn’t just a grail piece. It’s in the holiest-of-holies tier of the grail pyramid: there were only four examples of the Patek Phillipe 1518 steel ever made, and when it was introduced in 1941 it was the first watch with a perpetual calendar and chronograph. It’s an unbelievably complex, rare and historically significant piece from a very collectable maker. On pretty much every level, it’s a world-beater.
Named after Louis Monet, the celebrated 18th century-born father of chronograph watches, the ‘Meteoris Collection’s astronomical price tag is pretty fitting, all things considered. The collection – four watches in total – feature precious stones and meteorite pieces integrated into the dials. Each watch showcases a unique piece of rare space rock: for example, the ‘Tourbillon Mars’ includes a fragment of the Jiddat al Harasis 479 meteorite, an authentic, 180 million year-old piece of the planet Mars that fell to Earth. So yeah: pretty special. Martian meteorites can sell for as much as $1,000 per gram – more than 15 times the price of gold. It’s for sure the closest you’ll get to experiencing space.
So you’ve found a spare 28 million nestled in the pocket of some forgotten skinnies, and now you’re torn on how to spend it? Don’t worry: we’ve all been there.
You could do a lot worse than splash it on the ‘Breguet Grande Complication Marie-Antoinette’ — officially and easily the priciest watch in the world. Commissioned by a mysterious lover of former French queen and cake lover Marie-Antoinette, work began on the pocket watch (yeah, we’re going off-piste, but just look at it) in 1782. Legendary horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet started the project, before his son finished the job in 1827.
Encased in gold, the glass showcases the intricate mechanism inside, based on the most revolutionary technologies of the time. Only the best for queeny. Problem is, they probably spent a little too long fussing over it. As luck would have it, Mary-Antoinette was guillotined 34 years before the watch even saw light of day or the inside of a pocket. The watch was then stolen in the late 1900s from a museum in Jerusalem, and only re-emerged in 2007. It’s now locked away in the L.A Mayer museum, waiting for you to march in with a suitcase full of fifties.