By Rebecca Doulton
Have you ever been warned that if you have to ask the price of something, you can’t afford it? Well just when you thought you had recovered from the astronomical price obtained by the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication, which sold at auction for a staggering $24 million last November, we have lined up some of the most expensive watches in the world to heat up the summer.
The Graves Supercomplication, dubbed the Mona Lisa of luxury watches, came with the added bonus of historical fetishism and was in fact a pocketwatch. The five of the world’s most valuable watches we have chosen are wristwatches, and whether or not they are used to consult the time is another matter altogether.
In pride of place is the Graff Hallucination watch, which will remain just that for 99.9% of mortals. This overwhelming, one-off high jewellery watch, presented in 2014, takes the cake with its $55 million price tag. This dizzying concoction of 110 carats of rare multi-coloured diamonds was created by Graff Diamonds and is estimated to be the most valuable watch on the planet.
Plunging back into the single six-figure department, Hublot unveiled its explosive $5 million Big Bang baby back in 2012. Dripping with 1,282 white diamonds - which took 14 months of work to cut and set into the large 44mm white gold case and bracelet - the watch caught Beyoncé’s eye, who decided to give it to her husband Jay-Z as a 43rd birthday present.
Patek Philippe watches are constantly outdoing the record for complicated timepieces. Last year was the grand 175th anniversary of the Genevan brand par excellence and, to celebrate, Patek presented its Grandmaster Chime, the most complicated wristwatch to date with 20 complications and a $2.6 million price tag. If the Graves Supercomplication is anything to go by, this herculean wristwatch might soon be popping up at auction houses and creating spectacular headlines around the world.
Hot on the heels of the ornate and baroque Grandmaster Chime and floating in a galaxy of weightlessness and transparency is the Richard Mille RM 56-02 sapphire tourbillon. Costing just $2.2 million, the high-tech wizardry that is packed into this Richard Mille watch is exposed through the clear sapphire crystal case, including the revolutionary cable suspended movement - an idea Richard Mille borrowed from his very own RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal watch. Unlike the other contenders in the most expensive watches in the world category, the RM 56-02 is not a unique piece, although the 10 models produced worldwide were snatched up very soon after its launch.
If buying in bulk is more your thing, then these four Louis Moinet tourbillon watches have your name written on the dial. Made from out-of-this-world materials - literally - the Louis Moinet Meteoris watch collection, going for a cool $4.6 million, is composed of four unique tourbillon watches made from meteorites and asteroids. The Mars watch is the first in the world to feature a piece of Martian meteorite embedded on the dial, the Rosetta Stone watch has a chunk of the oldest known meteorite ever found on earth (Sahara 99555), the Asteroid tourbillon features a slice of the Itqiy meteorite, and the Moon model boasts a lunar meteorite dial.
As a freebie to complement your collection, Louis Moinet has thrown in a mini-planetarium depicting the entire solar system.
The $5 million Big Bang from Hublot watches is encrusted with 1,282 diamonds and was given by Beyoncé to her husband Jay-Z on his 43rd birthday.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime wristwatch - Ref. 5175 - features a grande sonnerie and a date repeater, and costs $2.6 million.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime wristwatch was created to celebrate the brand's 175th anniversary and has no fewer than 20 complications spread across its two dials.
Richard Mille RM 56-02 sapphire tourbillon exposes its high-tech mechanics and unique cable suspended movement through the transparent sapphire crystal glass case.
Richard Mille RM 56-02 sapphire tourbillon was made in a limited series of 10 models and has a price tag of $2.2 million.
Louis Moinet Rosetta Stone tourbillon watch contains a sliver of the oldest meteorite found on earth on its dial.
Louis Moinet Mars tourbillon watch is the first in the world to include a slice of a Martian meteorite on its dial.
The Louis Moinet Meteoris Planetarium depìcts all the planets gravitating around the Sun and has accelerated the rotation to 37 seconds instead of the usual 365 days.