Some of the most sought-after and appreciated pieces of technology are luxury watches. Price tags will soar into the millions by incorporating the best of craftsmanship, tradition, and architecture. We have assembled a list of record-breaking timepieces from a $55 million colorful diamond wristwatch to a timepiece commissioned for the French queen Marie Antoinette in the 1700’s.Keep reading to take a close look at the world’s top 10 most pricey watches and why they demand such high prices.
WHAT ARE THE MOST EXPENSIVE WATCHES IN THE WORLD?
- Graff Diamonds Hallucination – $55 million
- Graff Diamonds The Fascination – $40 million
- Breguet No. 160 – $30 million
- Chopard 201-Carat Watch – $25 million
- Patek Philippe Supercomplication – $24 million
- Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch – $18 million
- Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona – $17.8 million
- Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 – $11.1 million
- Vacheron Constantin 57260 – $8 million
- Hublot Big Bang – $5 million
1. GRAFF DIAMONDS HALLUCINATION – $55 MILLION
The Graff Diamonds Hallucination is at the top of the list of the most expensive watches. Unveiled at the Baselword watch and jewelry fair, 110 carats of diamonds make up this unparalleled watch. To build this magnificent timepiece, diamonds of all colours, including Fancy Pink, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Green, and Fancy Blue, and cuts, including emerald, heart, pear, marquise, and round, are mixed.
2. GRAFF DIAMONDS THE FASCINATION – $40 MILLION
Graff Diamonds, renowned for their luxury diamond jewelry pieces, created The Curiosity watch, containing a 38.14-carat D Perfect pear form of 152.96 carats of diamond with a middle diamond. In a ring that can be worn separately, the middle diamond detaches.
3. BREGUET NO. 160 – $30 MILLION
One of her lovers had reportedly commissioned the original edition of this work for Marie Antoinette. In 1782, Abraham-Louis Breguet started working on the watch, and Marie Antoinette was executed by Breguet’s son until its completion in 1827. Every recognized complication at the time, including a thermometer, chime, and perpetual calendar, was included. The timepiece was on show in L.A. Jerusalem’s Mayer Museum until it was looted in 1983. Eventually, the item was rescued and is still on display today at the Mayer Museum.
4. CHOPARD 201-CARAT WATCH – $25 MILLION
In an array of shades, this exquisite watch features 874 diamonds, totaling 201 carats. Three heart-shaped diamonds in gold, pink and blue are at the core of the Chopard watch.
5. PATEK PHILIPPE SUPERCOMPLICATION – $24 MILLION
This gold pocket watch was made for banker Henry Graves Jr. by Patek Philippe in 1933. It took 5 years to plan and create and has 24 complications, including a permanent clock, times of sunrise and sunset, and a celestial calendar from the apartment of Graves on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
6. JACOB & CO. BILLIONAIRE WATCH – $18 MILLION
There are 260 carats of emerald-cut diamonds in the Billionaire Watch, 167 individual elements, and 19 jewels. One smooth construction made of 18K white gold is the cuff and the watch face.
7. PAUL NEWMAN’S ROLEX DAYTONA – $17.8 MILLION
Movie star and race-car enthusiast, Rolex Daytona by Paul Newman, which sold back in 2017 for a whopping $17.8 million. The 1968 Daytona reference 6239 was etched with “Drive Carefully, Me” in design by Joanne Woodward’s wife and actress. Paul went on to gift it to the boyfriend of his daughter at the time, who donated a large portion of the sale to the Nell Newman Foundation.
8. PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 1518 – $11.1 MILLION
The stainless steel-cased Patek Philippe ref 1518 sold for just over $11 million at a watch auction in late 2016. The 1518 model was developed by Patek Philippe in 1941, making it the first ever calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in a series.
9. VACHERON CONSTANTIN 57260 – $8 MILLION
The 57260 watch by Vacheron Constantin is a technical and artistic achievement, featuring 57 complexities, 2826 individual elements, and 242 jewels. It took 8 years to plan and build, and a private client is believed to have been commissioned for $8 million.
10. HUBLOT BIG BANG – $5 MILLION
There are 1,282 diamonds in total in Hublot’s Big Bang watch, including more than 100 carats of baguette diamonds and 6 emerald-cut diamonds weighing more than 3 carats each. Back in 2012, Beyoncé famously ordered a Hublot Big Bang for her husband Jay-Z as a birthday present.
WHAT MAKES LUXURY WATCHES SO EXPENSIVE?
The major variables deciding how much a luxury timepiece is worth are:
- Materials used
These variables all function together to determine a timepiece’s overall value. What sets them apart from others is the accuracy, craftsmanship, labor and expertise that go into luxury watches. For example, Rolex watches are all assembled with handles and the brand has its own foundry that produces the gold they use in their parts.