An expensive watch is seen as a sign of wealth and influence; we expect to see luxury watches on the most powerful individuals in the world.
How much would you spend on a luxury watch? Some of the most expensive watches in the world sell pieces for over a million dollars each.
Bought from the right luxury brand, a watch can be seen as an investment that only increases in value as time goes on. The most expensive watch brands in the world create watches that are often seen as collector's items.
Read on to discover which brands create the most expensive watches in the world with help from the Slingo lifestyle blog.
Most Expensive Watch Brands
The most expensive watch brands justify selling their expensive watches at these prices because they often make them with high-quality materials like precious metals like white gold.
While they already carry a hefty price tag, they usually get even pricier when they go to auction and are bid on by watch collectors.
Often, the watches that sell for the highest prices have an interesting history. Typically, having belonged to a famous or historical figure at one point or another.
As a general rule, brands that have been manufacturing watches for many years can sell their pieces at a higher price point. Name and reputation go a long way with expensive watches.
1. Patek Philippe
This Gevena watchmaking business is still family-owned to this day and was founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbert de Patek.
Jean Adrien Philippe invented a mechanism for winding a watch's movement without using a separate key. This invention led to Patek seeking him out, and the two formed a partnership in 1845. This mechanism is still in use in modern watches today.
Patek and Philippe were a winning partnership because Patek focused on the more ornamental part that made the watches luxurious, while Philippe focused on the mechanisms of the watches.
Patek Philippe repeatedly appears on every list of the most expensive watches ever sold. In fact, the most expensive watch ever sold at auction is a Patek Philippe.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 sold for $31.19 million in Geneva in 2019. This expensive watch was made specifically for auction and is the only Grandmaster Chime made from steel.
This watch is supposed to be one of the most complicated watches manufactured by Patek Philippe.
The starting price for a Patek Philippe watch is around £15,000, and the most expensive is about £9,104,000.
2. Richard Mille
This watch brand has been in the industry and creating luxury watches since 1999, while Richard Mille himself has been in the watchmaking industry since 1974.
Richard Mille inspires his work from materials, technologies, and techniques from Formula 1 cars, aeroplanes, and racing yachts into their watches.
The production of these watches is extremely limited due to the process and materials used. The curved shape of the watches makes the production longer and more intricate.
The watches have a tonneau shape, and it's not uncommon for these watches to have precious gemstones inlaid in the dials.
The most expensive Richard Mille watch ever made is the RM 52-01 Blue Sapphire Tourbillon Skull Edition. The watch features a skull on the watch face with blue Sapphire along the casing. One of these watches retails for $2.625 million.
The starting price for a Richard Mille watch is about £25,000, and the most expensive is about £1,650,000.
Jaeger LeCoultre was founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre and is sometimes known as La Grande Maison. This Swiss manufacturer invited a new winding mechanism and a pinion-cutting machine, effectively revolutionizing the watchmaking industry.
The most expensive Jaeger LeCoultre ever sold at auction is the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson Clock, which was made for auction and sold for $425,000.
The starting price for a Jaeger LeCoultre watch is about £12,400, and the most expensive watch they currently sell is the Joaillerie 101Manchette for $26 million. This delicate, bracelet-style watch is decorated with over 576 diamonds.
4. Vacheron Constantin
This luxury watchmaker is considered the oldest fine watchmaker in the entire world. They were founded in 1755, and in 1790 they were credited with creating some of the mechanisms for watches that we still use today.
In 1839, Georges Auguste joined the company and managed to standardize the watch movements into calibres.
The high-end watches from this brand possess the hallmark of Geneva and have since 1901. This means that they follow the traditions of Genevan craftsmanship; their watches are durable and manufactured with ethically sourced materials.
The most expensive Vacheron Constantin watch ever sold is the 1929 King Fuad I Pocket Watch, which sold at auction for $3,630,000 in 2005. the watch had originally been gifted to King Fuad of Egypt.
The starting price for a Vacheron Constantin watch is about £12,400, and the most expensive is about £9,900,000.
While this is a French luxury watch brand, it is now headquartered in Switzerland and was founded by a Swiss watchmaker named Abraham-Louis Breguet.
This brand is famed for creating the Marie Antoinette pocket watch, the Marie Antoinette Grande Complication, which was commissioned for her by one of her many admirers. The watch is worth about $30 million and took 44 years to complete.
The brand's motto is actually "In every woman is a queen". In the watchmaking industry, they are best known for creating the Tourbillon. Its purpose is to work against gravity to maintain the balance and weight of the watch and its mechanisms; to prevent any errors.
The starting price for a Breguet watch is about £7,800, and the most expensive is over £8,270,000.
One of the most iconic luxury watch brands everyone has heard of a Rolex. Most people wish to own a Rolex, and that desire is not unfounded. Rolex watches have come to be a symbol of wealth globally and are some of the most collectable watches in the world.
Initially named Wilsdorf and Davis, this company was formed in 1905 in London. Originally, the company's purpose was to import watch movements from Switzerland into the UK, but they expanded and made a name for themselves. In 1926, they created the first completely waterproof watch, the Oyster.
One of the brand's most famous watches, Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona, sold at auction for a final price of over $17 million. At that point, it was the most expensive watch ever sold at auction.
The starting price for a Rolex watch is about £12,400, and the most expensive is about £9,900,000
7. Audemars Piguet
This luxury watch brand was founded in 1875 by Edward Auguste Piguet and Jules Louis Audemars. Their luxury watches are inspired by the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland; they combined traditional watchmaking with evolving techniques to create luxury timepieces.
One of their most popular watches, the Royal Oak watch, was not well received when it launched in 1993. By the 40th anniversary in 2012. the watch was a favourite of celebrities like Jay-Z.
The most expensive Audemars Piguet watch ever sold was the Tourbillon Openworked Only Watch, which sold for $1,093,169. There is also an edition of this watch that is made from rose gold and white gold.
The starting price for a Richard Mille watch is about £12,000, and the most expensive is about £719,000.
8. Louis Moinet
This watchmaker is another pioneer in the world of making luxury timepieces. Louis Moinet invented the chronograph in 1815 and unveiled it in 1816.
He is considered the father of high-frequency management, and it would take 100 years after his invention for someone to beat his record. He would also go on to divide time into sixtieths of a second.
The most expensive Louis Moinet watch ever sold was the Tourbillon Openworked Only Watch, which sold for $1,093,169.
The starting price for a Louis Moinet watch is about £12,400, and the most expensive is about £9,900,000.
In the world of the most expensive watch brands, Piaget stands out for combining watchmaking with a jeweller's refined eye.
To understand this unlikely pairing, one only has to look at their Traditional G0A37043 watch, which features a case that's set with 42 diamonds. There are also 12 Sapphire hour markers, and the dial is set with 290 diamonds.
Founded in 1874, the Swiss watch brand initially made pocket watches for other high-end watch companies but switched to making their own timepieces when Georges Piaget's son took over.
The most expensive Piaget watch ever sold is the Emperador Temple, decorated with 481 diamonds and pearls. It sold for $3,300,000.
The starting price for a Piaget watch is about £3,100, and the most expensive is about £2,700,000.
10. A. Lange & Söhne
This luxury German watchmaker was founded in 1845 by Adolf Lange, and they're known for their mechanical movements. They were one of the first watch brands to set up shop in Glashutte, Germany.
Adolf Lange introduced the three-quarter plate to the brand's movements, which they still use today. He also replaced the system of lignes with the metric system, introducing the millimetre to watchmaking.
The most expensive A. Lange and Söhne watch ever sold is the Grand Complication which sold for $2,500,000.
The starting price for an A. Lange & Söhne watch is about £10,000, and the most expensive is about £1,650,000.
This is the oldest luxury watch manufacturer in the world that is still in operation today. It was founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in a small swiss village, and that watch brand was family run for the next 200 years.
In 1953, this brand manufactured the world's first modern diver's watch featuring a brown leather strap and a stainless steel case.
The most expensive Blancpain watch ever sold is the Pain Le Brassus Tourbillon Carrousel which sold for $3,850,000.
The starting price for a Blancpain watch is about £7,500, and the most expensive is about £1,100,000.
12. Roger Dubuis
This is one of the younger watch brands, as it was founded in 1995. Their expensive watches are renowned for being in the Avant-grade style, featuring intricate designs.
The most expensive Roger Dubuis watch ever sold is the Excalibur Quatuor which sold for $1,125,000.
An Excalibur Quatuor takes 2400 hours to build and took seven years of research. With this level of work and dedication, it's no wonder his brand uses high prices with low supply.
Their limited edition pieces make them one of the most expensive watch brands in the world.
The starting price for a Roger Dubuis watch is about £12,400, and the most expensive is about £909,767.
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