On this site you will find a lot of very, very expensive wristwatches. These are hand-made works of art and can only be owned by the very rich who commission them. Although inexpensive Polanti has been included here, not merely for their design and artistry, but because they have an unusual business model that have made them iconic. Read the rest of this entry »
Approximate Cost: 20 278.00 GBP
The company has set up a watch-maker’s college in Read the rest of this entry »
I have attempted to draw attention to the wonders of hand crafted wristwatches, the most exclusive, valuable and prestigious being those made by the likes of Roger Dubuis, Patek Philippe, Parmigiani, Girard-Perregaux, Chopard, Blancpain, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, and IWC, all of which draw on a long tradition of precision engineering, ingenuity and intricacy.
In 1999, Richard Mille seemed to herald a new chapter to this horological history, using new techniques and materials to threaten the established “big boys”.
- But these “big boys” were already under threat — from FP Journe!
François-Paul Journe is the man behind the “Chronometre à Resonance” and the “Tourbillon a Remontoir d’Egalité” (launched in 2000), and is one of the most talented and exciting watch maker of his generation. A true maverick.
His Geneva factory is Read the rest of this entry »
Pierre Jaquet Droz (1721-1790) was actually famed for making clockwork robots or androids, and many claim that these mechanisms are in fact the world’s first computers! They are on permanent display in a museum. Jaquet Droz wrist watches have a fresh, clean modern design while retaining credibility and a long tradition of Swiss clock work manufacture. Part of the extended business of Swatch, Jaquet Droz seems to be competing with the likes of newcomers Hautlence by aiming at the lower end of a market that has for so long been dominated by Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Gucci, etc
In 1999, Richard Mille began creating a range of exclusive and expensive wristwatches that marked a total departure from the long traditions of watch making.
Approximate Cost: 374 000.00 GBP
Mille started afresh, and used computers — CAD — and explored new hi-tech materials, metallic and non-metallic alloys, ceramics, carbon nanofibre, silicium, and so forth, all to create a watch that would withstand being dropped on a hard floor, was water resistant, could withstand extremes of heat and cold, and went days without rewinding.
In my previous post/ article, I raised the subject of Wristwatches in order to begin some appreciation for such an everyday and commonplace object. Although most wristwatches are now cheap and electronically powered or operated, there exists a long tradition of clockwork wristwatches that have to be wound up in some way — some merely by the motion of being worn.
Hand made wristwatches such as a Roger Dubuis, Patek Philippe, Parmigiani, Girard-Perregaux, Chopard, Blancpain, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, or IWC are incredibly expensive and rare, and have the longest traditions and best credentials.
There is a long waiting list for such timepieces, so — even though these items are valuable and exclusive — Mille has shown that there is still room in the market for the new.
Hommage, H43 2610 0 N94.1 by Roger Dubois (Swiss, Founded 1995)
Approximate Cost: 164 997.00 GBP
Roger Dubuis’s laboriously numbered Hommage watch has a 43 mm, 18K white gold case, a ‘mother of pearl’ dial, white gold and blue steel hands, applied and painted numbers, and is fully mechanical and manually wound.
The Hommage’s complications include bi-retrograde perpetual day and date calendar, week, month, leap year and moon phase indication, and minute repeater with hours and minutes struck by gongs.
In a limited edition of a nine pieces, each with its own hand-sewn crocodile strap with 18K white gold buckle.
Ten Day Tourbillon by Patek Philippe (Swiss, Founded 1839).
A small second hand gives you something to watch on the commuter train. A rectangular platinum case with a 32 mm movement diameter surrounds a rose gold dial. Water resistant down to 25 metres.
- In 1999 the most expensive watch ever sold was a 1933 gold Patek Phillipe with 24 complications.
It was auctioned off at Sotheby’s for 11 million USD (over 6.2 million GBP)