Why did you buy an expensive watch

Pure luxury: 5 watches over 1 million euros

The most expensive watches in the world

In the world of haute horlogerie, models are regularly presented, the prices of which are in the five-digit range. But some luxury watches go beyond "expensive" and cost more than 1 million euros. Connoisseurs know that this proud price for a wristwatch can be reached quickly with the help of diamonds and other valuable gemstones. Watchtime.net shows you five timepieces from manufacturers that belong to this category even without expensive stones. These luxury watches are particularly complicated and show the highest horological craftsmanship.

# 1 of the most expensive watches in the world: Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie

At the SIHH 2017 Geneva watch salon, the Swiss brand Greubel Forsey presented its first Grande Sonnerie, which strikes the hours and quarters on various gongs. The striking clock also has a petite sonnerie, so that only the hours can be displayed acoustically. A minute repeater enables hours, quarters of an hour and minutes to be struck at any time (on demand). Of course, the striking mechanism can also be switched off completely. The striking mechanism has its own automatic winding, the movement is drawn up by hand. Typically for Greubel Forsey, it is inclined at 25 degrees Tourbillon, which makes a full turn every 24 instead of the usual 60 seconds. The 43.5 millimeter titanium watch is equipped with eleven safety devices so that the wearer cannot damage the complex mechanism of the striking mechanism. For 1,350,000 euros you can let the time ring at any time.

# 2 of the most expensive watches in the world: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Caliber 185

The 1.6 million expensive Reverso Hybris Mechanica Caliber 185, presented by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2021, is the most complicated version of the famous reversible watch. It has four functional dials and eleven complications. On the first dial, in addition to the time display, there is a tourbillon with seconds display, a jumping perpetual calendar with outsize date, weekday, month and leap year as well as a day-night display. On the second side, which can also be worn at the top, there is a jumping digital hour with a minute running around it. Large parts of the minute repeater can also be seen here, which has the brand's own system for eliminating the pause intervals.

On the inner base plate is the third dial with the synodic lunar cycle (moon phase in the northern hemisphere), draconic lunar cycle (height of the moon), anomalistic lunar cycle (distance and proximity to the earth) as well as month and year. Thanks to the three lunar cycles, the Quadriptyque can herald upcoming astronomical events such as a super moon or a solar eclipse. On the back, which is usually on the arm, the wearer sees the moon phase in the southern hemisphere. All functions are controlled by the In-house caliber 185 with manual winding. This has a power reserve of 50 hours and is housed in a white gold case. The case measures 51.2 by 31 millimeters, is 15.15 millimeters high and is three bar waterproof. Jaeger-LeCoultre builds ten copies of this complicated Reverso.

# 3 of the most expensive watches in the world: Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie 6301P

With the Reference 6301P Patek Philippe presents a spectacular striking clock. It has a Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and a minute repeater on three gongs. As a Grande Sonnerie, the clock independently strikes the hours and quarters every quarter of an hour; if Petite Sonnerie is selected, it only strikes the quarter hour every quarter hour and then only the hour on the full hour.

With a slider between the lower lugs you can choose between Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and Stille. Regardless of the position of the slide, the minute repeater can be triggered at any time with the pusher in the crown, which then strikes the hours, quarter hours and minutes. That is responsible for that In-house caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM.

It consists of 703 parts and measures an impressive 37 millimeters in diameter. For the striking mechanism, the manufacture was able to fall back on the Grandmaster Chime, presented in 2014, the most complicated wristwatch from Patek Philippe, which is priced at 2,424,074 Swiss Francs also belongs to the league of the most expensive watches in the world. The jumping small seconds of the reference 6301P was adopted from the Chiming Jump Hour reference 5275, which was also presented in 2017. To reduce friction, the mechanism has parts made of silicon. Applied white gold Breguet numerals on the dial indicate the hour. The 44.8 millimeter and 12 millimeter high case is made of platinum, a particular challenge for a striking mechanism. In addition to the sapphire crystal case back through which you can view the elaborately decorated movement, a solid platinum case back for traditionalists is also included. For the complicated Grande Sonnerie, the Swiss manufacturer demands Patek Philippe 1.2 million euros.

# 4 of the most expensive watches in the world: Richard Mille RM 62-01 Tourbillon vibration alarm ACJ

The 42 millimeter titanium case of theRM 62-01 Tourbillon vibration alarm ACJ by Richard Mille who worked in collaboration with the Airbus subsidiary Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) originated, is equipped with a new type of complication. This is a vibration alarm that is only perceptible to the wearer. Usually you try to keep vibrations away from the movement, but not with this watch: A rotating axis with an imbalance causes vibrations. The white gold weight rotates at 5,400 revolutions per minute and thus generates noticeable vibrations. 816 parts, two barrels, seven hands and eleven displays make the RM 62-01 the most complicated watch Richard Mille has ever built. In addition to the alarm, the travel clock has a second time zone, which is indicated by the green hand in 24-hour format, plus an AM / PM display for normal local time. There is an outsize date at twelve o'clock and a power reserve indicator at eleven o'clock. The latter indicates how much of the maximum force that is sufficient for 70 hours is still in the barrel. The alarm indicators are located in the lower half of the dial. This can be set to the minute on the orange 24-hour dial.

Five different functions can be selected using the push-piece in the crown: winding, setting the time, setting the alarm, setting UTC and neutral position. The selected function can be read off at three o'clock. The pusher at eight tensions the spring of the alarm. If it is pressed 12 times, the maximum energy is stored. A display at the seven indicates the corresponding spring tension of the alarm mechanism. The alarm can be switched on and off with the push-button at four, so that the on / off display corresponds within the orange alarm time scale. As is often the case with Richard Mille, a tourbillon further increases the complexity. The brand builds only 30 copies of the 1.32 million euros expensive watch.

# 5 of the most expensive watches in the world: Vacheron Constantin La Musique du Temps - Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication split-seconds chronograph Tempo

In 2020, Vacheron Constantin built its most complicated wristwatch to date: TheLa Musique du Temps - Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication split-seconds chronograph Tempo offers a total of 24 different functions. That is responsible for that In-house caliber 2756 with manual winding.

The Tempo - the short form of the watch - measures 50 millimeters in diameter and 21 millimeters in height, and it also has a second dial on the back of the case. It is not at all clear what the back is because, thanks to a strap changing system, you can wear the watch in such a way that either of the two dials can be seen from the front. Since the watch is rotated around the axis of nine o'clock and three o'clock, the crown and pusher are on the right-hand side and the slide on the left.

The slide is operatedMinute repeaterwhich gives the current time acoustically on request. The actual front of the watch is dedicated to the split-seconds function and the perpetual calendar: the chronograph's two seconds-counting hands - the regular and the one dragged along to stop intermediate times - are the only ones that come from the middle. They shape the face of the front just like the four sub-dials. At the top left are the eccentric hours and minutes as well as a 24-hour display that can also be used as a second time zone. The small seconds and the 30-minute counter of the chronograph are located at the top right, the date and day of the week at the bottom left. Finally, at the bottom right, you can read off the month and see whether we are in a leap year or how long it will be until the next. On the back are the large hands for hours and minutes, tourbillon, retrograde moon phase and moon age, sunrise and sunset and a display for the power reserve, which is 65 hours. And another special feature: The Tempo recorded the sound of the minute repeater from the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. This is part of a partnership that Vacheron Constantin has with the London institution. In the event of any repairs to the striking mechanism, this can then help to restore the original sound exactly. The price of the watch is only communicated to the potential buyer. However, since this is the most complicated wristwatch from Vacheron Constantin and a slightly less complicated model has already exceeded the threshold of 1,000,000 euros, we assume that this watch is in the league of these luxury watches.

Continuously updated article, originally posted in July 2013.

Text: Melanie Feist, Nadja Ehrlich and Katharina Studer


Keywords: perpetual calendar, Greubel Forsey, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, limited watch editions, manufacture chronograph, manufacture caliber, minute repeater, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Schlagwerk watch, Swiss watches, most expensive watch in the world, tourbillon, watches over 50,000 Euros, Vacheron Constantin