Tuesday, July 28, 2009

World's 10 most expensive watches

Awatch is a watch after all, you wear it to learn the time. Well, there is no doubt about that, but to some people it's more than just a 'time machine'.
You wear it to make a statement -- about your social and financial status.
Guessing, and quite correctly too, that there is a niche market for obscenely expensive watches, some manufacturers have gone out of their way to design watches that cost many thousand dollars.

1. Zadora Timepieces

Manufacturer: Andreas von Zadora-Gerlof

The latest offering by Andreas von Zadora-Gerlof is a bee of oxidised palladium and micro pave. The bee is adorned with black and canary yellow diamonds, pear-shaped emerald eyes with a baroque south sea pearl in its mouth.

Price: $150,000

Image: A Zadora Timepiece

Also read: World's 10 biggest malls

2. Titanic Watches

Manufacturer: Romain Jerome

A Swiss jeweller is now offering watches made from the hull of the Titanic.

The metal has been mixed with shipbuilding steel to make the casing. The black dials have been made by mixing the recovered coal burned in the Titanic's furnaces with ceramics.

Price: $152,435

Image: Titanic watches

3. Double Tourbillon

Manfacturer: Breguet

The Breguet Double Tourbillion comes hand-engraved with an image of the solar system.

This double-tourbillon watch has a 95 per cent pure platinum case while the blued-steel Breguet hands are wound manually and do not contain springs.

Price: $329,000

Image: A Double Tourbillon watch

4. Opera One

Manufacturer: Girard-Perregaux

This beautiful platinum timepiece includes an alligator band and features a Westminster minute repeater and tourbillon with three gold bridges, manual winding, 75-hour power reserve and a see-through backing.

The watch has a power reserve indicator, a subsecond complication, a minute repeater and a truly elegant face.

What differentiates Girard-Perregaux's Opera Three from other luxury watches is its ability to sound passing hours not with a beep but with actual tunes.

Price: $495,000

Image: Opera One watches

5. Grande Complication

Manufacturer: Blancpain

This wristwatch has a minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, moon phase and an automatic winding mechanism.

The sleek crocodile wristband further adds to the look. It takes the maker eight to 10 months to piece together all 740 components and only 18 of a limited run of 30 watches have been assembled till now.

Price: $785,000

Image: A Grande Complication watch

6. Tecnica Skeleton Chronograph

Manufacturer: Parmigiani Fleurier

This watch hit the market early this year.

Each unit of the watch includes a platinum case and other interesting features like a minute repeater, tourbillon and chronograph, as well as a cathedral chime.

Price: $850,000

Image: A Tecnica Skeleton Chronograph watch

7. Classical Billionaire Tourbillion

Manufacturer: Corum

The shimmering wristwatch is adorned with 850 diamonds and boasts a dazzling skeleton dial with skeleton hour and minute hands. The watch is manually wound with 90-hour power reserve and features Caliber CO-372 by Corum and La Joux-Perret.

Rightly named so, the Billionaire Tourbillion comes in many versions with price ranging from $325,000 to $998,000. Only 10 pieces are in production.

Price: $998,000

Image: Classical Billionaire Tourbillion watches

8. Big Bang Chronograph

Manufacturer: Hublot, Bunter SA

The renowned watchmaker, Hublot, in alliance with a diamond-setting workshop, Bunter SA, designed and developed an elite watch dubbed Big Bang.

The $1-million Big Bang boasts a fully invisible setting that makes the material disappear. Only things that can be seen are the diamonds.

The credit goes to the craftsmen who accomplished the tedious job of making this exclusive watch, which was not feasible a few years ago.

Price: $1 milllion

Image: A Big Bang Chronograph watch

9. Tour de l'Ile

Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Costantin's Tour de l'Ile was designed in 2005. The collectible piece is also the most complicated double-face watch, and only produced in a limited edition of seven.

This 834-part watch took over 10,000 man-hours to be made and features an 18-carat silver gold dial with a hand-sewn alligator leather band and pink gold buckle.

It touts an original combination of horological complications and astronomical indications forming 16 different points, including a minute repeater, sunset time, perpetual calendar, second time zone, and a tourbillon device.

Price: $1.5 million

Image: Tour de l'Ile watches

10. Joaillerie 101 Manchette

Manufacturer: Jaeger-LeCoultre

In this watch, a unsystematic series of polished or gem-set links (a jewellery puzzle) hides the exalted Calibre 101.

It'ss wonderful to look for the time through the gold, diamonds and onyx cabochons.

The wristwatch is festooned with 576 diamonds and comes in 18-carat white gold. The versions with Onyx have 400 diamonds and 11 onyx cabochons.


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