As the popularity of expensive watches grows throughout a new generation of collectors and enthusiasts, Swiss watchmakers are adding bold new pieces to their lineups with even bigger price tags. These exclusive models separate themselves from luxury boutique watches as they are only offered to the affluent clientele that doesn’t think twice about purchasing a multi-million dollar timepiece. From the most expensive watch brands to high-end jewelry experts, these coveted examples embody precious materials and movement technology that shape them into some of the costliest watches ever made.
Shedding light on the niche market of eight-figure watches, we’ve compiled a list of the most expensive watches in the world. Our picks include some modern masterpieces while focusing on past horological milestones that will forever live on as museum-grade investments. While you may not see household names like Rolex and Audemars Piguet, this diverse group of grand complications will surely evolve your knowledge of keystone timepieces. Discover Haute Horology through our picks of the world’s most expensive watches by learning the origins of their creations below. Check back into duPont REGISTRY for more upcoming luxury watch releases and top-list specials.
The Graff Hallucination first debuted on the market in 2014 as the most expensive watch ever created. The entire construction of the timepiece features over 110 carats of rare diamonds and stones, completely covering the platinum bracelet in a rainbow-style design. The Hallucination remains in the ownership of the controlling shareholder of the South African Diamond Corporation, Laurence Graff. Although the watch focuses on the beauty behind the precious stones, its small quartz dial is hidden inside multiple small pink diamonds in the center of the piece.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime was originally launched in 2014 to celebrate the company’s 175th anniversary. The first and only example to be made in stainless steel features 20 complications, including five acoustic functions, two of which are patented global premières: an alarm that strikes the preprogrammed alarm time and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand. The Grandmaster Chime also includes a double-face case design that is quickly reversible using Patek Philippe's patented reversing mechanism. This example sold in 2019 for an astonishing price of $33,616,493, making it Patek Philippe’s most expensive watch ever.
Breguet Grande Complication Marie Antoinette
Styling itself in a more traditional pocket watch design, the Breguet Grande Complication Marie Antoinette received its name as the Queen of France took a liking to the watchmaker's creations. The Grande Complication watch was originally gifted to her in 1783 when a dinner guest ordered the piece from Breguet, fitting the all-gold example with a wide range of expert horological functions. In April 2008, after four long years of research and reconstruction, the new Marie-Antoinette timepiece was proudly placed in its impressive presentation case, carved from the wood of the very Versailles oak tree under which the Queen once used to rest.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Manchette
Jaeger-LeCoultre operates as one of the oldest watchmakers in the industry, known for iconic designs like the legendary Reverso. Showcasing Jaeger-LeCoultre's talents as technical craftsmen, its 101 Collection was launched in 1929 to offer the world’s smallest mechanical caliber. The Joaillerie 101 Manchette stands out as a pinnacle model for the brand, as it includes over 576 brilliant-cut diamonds through its minuscule square design. Lost in its small-scale construction is a single square that holds Jaeger-LeCoultre’s miniature movement. The Joaillerie 101 Manchette holds significance as it was created for Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year as a leader.
Jacob & Co. Billionaire
Since its introduction in 2015, the Jacob & Co. Billionaire has reached fame as the watch coveted by all with a price tag surpassing $18 million. With only one in existence worldwide, the Billionaire is a unique piece adorned with Emerald-Cut Diamonds with an approximate carat weight of 260 carats. The one-minute tourbillon of the Billionaire Ashoka is haute horlogerie's response to the high jewelry tour de force that surrounds it. The ASHOKA diamonds are all set by hand, placed to accentuate the light and the reflection. This work is accomplished by one gem setter over the course of many man-hours.
Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260
What first began as a tailor-made complication for a passionate collector quickly became the most expensive Vacheron Constantin watch ever created. The Reference 57260 pocket watch features six layers of technical excellence that result in an astonishing 57 complications, which include multiple calendars and a double retrograde split-seconds chronograph. The complex dial design is housed in a 98mm case crafted from 18k white gold. The 2,800 parts were all completely hand-decorated by one single Master Watchmaker, using traditional techniques. The 57260 watch is part of a legacy of exceptional creations that have marked the history of Vacheron Constantin.
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A Tiffany & Co.
The Nautilus 5711/1A Tiffany & Co. shocked the watch world in 2021 after Patek Philippe announced its exclusive series that features a vibrant blue dial. Demand for the $52,635 stainless-steel watch grew when Patek Philippe revealed that only top Tiffany & Co. clients would be offered the collaboration piece. The very first public sale of the Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co. 5711 came courtesy of a benefit auction from RM Sotheby's. The highly-anticipated sale ended with a final selling price of $6,503,500. Since then, athletes, celebrities, and other influential individuals have been spotted wearing the most talked about Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co. watch.
Hublot Big Bang
Differentiating itself from any other Big Bang model in existence, Hublot created this piece unique example in 2014 with star status in mind. Its 18k white gold construction is littered with 1,282 diamonds that flow throughout its dial, case, and bracelet. The exclusive diamond Big Bang was originally purchased by Beyoncé Knowles for her music mogul husband Jay-Z to celebrate his 43rd birthday. After selling for a record-breaking six-figure price, the watch claimed the nickname 'The $5 Million Big Bang'. To this day, it remains the most expensive Hublot ever made.
Louis Moinet Meteoris Collection
As a pioneer in the luxury watch industry, Louis Moinet began his pursuit of Haute Horology in 1800. The watchmaker is recognized for the birth of the Chronograph in 1816 and was officially awarded by the Guinness Word Records organization. Although its highest-priced timepiece comes as a collection of models, the Louis Moinet Meteoris line is comprised of four unique tourbillons models inspired by the solar system. The one-of-a-kind offering includes the Tourbillon Mars, Tourbillon Rosetta Stone, Tourbillon Asteroid, and Tourbillon Moon, all of which incorporate pieces of raw meteorite material. The Louis Moinet Meteoris Collection is priced at $4.6 million and is made for the ultimate horology collector.
Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega
The Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega demonstrates the pinnacle of success for the Swiss watchmaker, taking shape as its most expensive and complicated model of all time. With 36 complications and 1,483 components, the Aeternitas Mega is a wonder of micro-mechanic and watchmaking know-how. It's 42mm tonneau-shaped case features an 18k white gold design, while Franck Muller adorns the dial with an array of functions styled in a traditional font. The Aeternitas Mega was designed to blend modern design with the pure traditions of Franck Muller's oldest examples. The elegant Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega is available by boutique appointment only with a price of $2,580,000