In a time where practically everyone uses their smartphone (or their computer screen) to check the time, watches –and especially men’s watches – have become a popular accessory. The pricier watches of the lot – those who cost at least several thousands of dollars – have evolved into status symbols. Some of those symbols, naturally, cost more than others, and a diamond studded gold wristwatch from a top maker can reach millions of dollars.
Here are some of the most expensive watches sold in 2015; some of them are still available for purchase, if you can spare a few bucks.
Graff’s Hallucination Watch: $55 million
The most expensive watch ever made, beating the second in the list by about $35 million. Graff Diamonds unveiled this slightly bizarre, and as of yet unsold, creation in BaselWorld fair 2014.
The Graff Hallucination is a ladies wristwatch featuring 110 carats of extremely rare colored diamonds: Fancy Vivid Yellow, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Light Grey Blue, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Green and Fancy Orange. In addition, the watch features many different cuts – heart shape, pear shape, marquise, emerald, radiant, and round.
Chopard’s 201-carat watch: $25 million
Chopard’s watch, the second most expensive diamond in the world right now, features three heart-shaped diamonds – a 15-carat pink, a 12-carat blue and an 11-carat white. Add to that about 800 diamonds totaling 163 carats, and you get to the mind-blowing figure of 201 carats in a single timepiece. The watch has a spring-loaded mechanism which, when pressed, allows the three heart shapes to open up.
Patek Philippe 5016A: $7.3 million
In November 2015, a Patek Philippe timepiece called the 5016A became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. The watch sold for $7.3 million at Phillips auction in Geneva – more than ten times its low estimate of $700,000.
The value comes not from its bling: the watch has no diamonds and is made of simple stainless steel, with a blue enameled dial and blue, alligator leather strap. Its value springs from its scarcity (Patek made just one 5016A) and its features: a tourbillon (a device that counters the effects of gravity), a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar.
Louis Moinet’s Meteoris: $4.6 million
In 2010, Swiss watchmaker Louis Moinet introduced the Meteoris: a set of four tourbillion watches, each made out of other worldly materials – a meteorite from Mars, the moon, an asteroid, and a meteorite called “Rosetta Stone”. Meteoris must be purchased as a set for almost $4.6 million.
Take the Tourbillon Mars, for example – one of the four watches in the set. It features a hand-crafted fragment of the Jiddat al Harasis 479 meteorite, an authentic piece of the planet Mars that fell to Earth. According to Louis Moinet’s website, the Jiddat al Harasis 479 is probably more than 180 million years old.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime: $2.6 million
In honor of the Swiss watchmaker’s 175th anniversary, Patek Philippe unveiled a watch with 20 complications, two dials, and 214 parts. The Grandmaster Chime took eight years to develop, and only seven timepieces were produced, each retailing for $2.6 million.
According to the manufacturer, six such watches will be sold to collectors and enthusiasts, while the seventh will join the collection at the Patek Philippe Museum.