There are watches that cost more than a house. A good house. In a good neighborhood. With a pool. The Patek Philippe above – one of only nine pink-on-pink reference 1518’s made – recently hammered for $3.57m. Let’s have a look at two expensive watches that make the Patek look like chump change and one that makes you look like Rafael Nadal . . .
Graff Diamonds Hallucination – $55m
Graff unveiled this horological diamond cluster at the now defunct Baselworld watch industry confab way back in 2014. We don’t know if Graff sold it, to whom (if so), or how much Gorilla Glue Graff’s artisans used to assemble this Gulfstream G600-priced farrago.
The Hallucination may not be the world’s most legible timepiece, but it would make an excellent learning guide for aspiring gemologists.
The watch is surrounded not to say dwarfed by 110 carats of diamonds, including Fancy Vivid Yellow, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Light Grey Blue, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Green and Fancy Orange, created in a variety of cuts (heart shape, pear shape, marquise, emerald, radiant and round). Fancy!
Here’s the kicker: the timekeeper at its heart is quartz. Accurate sure, but nothing bound to excite any horophile worth his UBS account. So let’s skip down the diamond-encrusted food chain to look at a more traditional enormously expensive watch.
Too bad you didn’t jump on this horological treasure when Franck’s folks revealed it back in 2010. Back then, the world’s most complicated wristwatch – alarm, tourbillon, mono-pushpiece split-seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar, coffee maker, etc. – cost a mere $2,249,864.17 (or thereabouts).
exquisitetimepieces.com scooped-up not one not two but all three examples of the ridiculously complicated watch, now for sale at $3m. Each. That said, the price is negotiable and they’re touting “multiple financing options.” I’m thinking $10k down, monthly payments of an equal amount and the world’s biggest balloon payment at the end of the loan.
As distinctive as it is, the Aeternitas Mega 4 8888 MGA T CCR QPSE is so ten years ago. The ultra-rich are afflicted by a regular need to update their wrist game with something new. While old money tends to prefer new old watches (or at least something old looking), new money often competes to own The Latest Greatest Thing™. And we all know where that takes us . . .
Back in 2014, building a watch with a sapphire case was a big deal. I suppose it still is, but you should know that Aventi’s sapphire-cased tourbillon A10 runs a mere three grand. Mille’s RM 056-02 Tourbillon Sapphire is way thicker, so there is that. And this:
The baseplate of the RM 56-02, created from grade 5 titanium, is entirely suspended within the sapphire watchcase by specially developed single braided cable of only 0.35mm thickness, woven within a system of 4 pulleys on posts at the movement’s corners and another 6 pulleys placed along the movement’s periphery. The tension of the cable is perfectly controlled by a miniature ratchet at 9 o’clock.
This entire cable unit is attached to a separate indicator located below 12 o’clock allowing an easy visual inspection of the cable tension, to ensure that it is always operating within the designated norms.
Mssr. Mille made 10 of these bad boys. I can’t find any for sale, but it would be interesting to see what they’d bring at auction/private sale. Mille has flooded the market – chrono24.com alone lists 392 unworn/new RM’s for sale and 340 preowned.
There’s got to be a ski resort owner somewhere who can spare a couple of mil for a ten-of-a-kind pulley-driven watch (like a ski lift!). Meanwhile, if your budget doesn’t quite extend into six figures, Swatch this space.