Pocket watches were introduced in a time when watches were still restricted to the rich and powerful. Combined with the fact that watches have remained one of the most popular male accessories since that time, it should come as no surprise to learn that there have been some rather expensive pocket watches made. With that said, the most expensive examples tend to have stories of their own, which can make for rather interesting reading in some cases. Here are five of the most expensive pocket watches ever made:
5. Patek Philippe Star Caliber 2000 – $4 Million
Patek Philippe is one of the best-known names when it comes to watch-making, so it should come as no surprise to see it pop up on this list. Regardless, this time-piece lives up to its name in the sense that it was created to celebrate the new millennium, meaning that it had to be something special. Thanks to a combination of precious materials, fine craftsmanship, and the rather curious ability to play the sound of the Westminster Chimes, it is certainly that, which is why it is estimated to be worth anywhere between $2.5 and $4 million.
4. Breguet Antique Number 2667 – $4.7 Million
Breguet is another one of the most famous watch brands that can be found out there, having started up in 1775 and is continuing to operate in the present. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that it has made some rather interesting time-pieces over the course of its existence, with an excellent example being the Breguet Antique Number 2667. In short, said pocket watch was an unusual time-piece with not one but two movements, which combines with the precious materials used in its construction to result in something outstanding. Due to this, it is no coincidence that it managed to bring in $4.7 million when put up for auction.
3. Patek Philippe Caliber 89 – $6 Million
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Patek Philippe makes a return here. However, what enabled the Patek Philippe Caliber 89 to earn $6 million at auction isn’t just its brand but also a number of other factors as well. For example, it is one of the most complicated time-pieces ever created, as shown by the fact that it encompasses 33 complications. On top of this, it should be mentioned that there are but four of these watches ever made for Patek Philippe’s 150th anniversary, which is not considering the fact that each one is unique because of its differing materials.
2. Breguet Grande Complication Marie-Antoinette Number 160 – $10 Million
Marie Antoinette has become a rather infamous figure in pop history, though it should be noted that a fair amount of her reputation was unearned because rumors were just as popular in those times as they are now. Regardless, this particular time-piece with an estimated value of $10 million isn’t actually a pocket watch that was created for Marie Antoinette but rather a replica of that same pocket watch, which was eventually presented to the French royals but winded up being stolen from the museum where it was placed. This particular time-piece is curious because it was ordered by Swatch when said watch-maker bought out Breguet, which was a request that took a total of four years to complete.
1. Patek Phillipe Henry Graves Supercomplication – $11 Million
The Patek Phillipe Henry Graves Supercomplication is another time-piece that took a total of four years to complete. However, this particular time-piece sold for $11 million when it was auctioned off, which is a much more reliable figure than the estimate produced for its counterpart. Regardless, since it is so expensive, it is natural for there to be a story of some kind attached to it. For those who are curious, this particular time-piece was custom-made for a banker named Henry Graves Jr. in the early 20th century, who wanted to win a contest involving the watch with the most complications. Eventually, the efforts of Patek Phillipe resulted in this time-piece, which boasted a total of 24 complications. However, what is most interesting might be the fact that one of those complications is a celestial chart that is based on the night sky as seen from the place where Graves’s home was situated in New York City. It is interesting to note that while the $11 million figure was impressive, this particular time-piece managed to break it own record in late 2014 when it sold for an astonishing $24 million. As a result, there can be no doubt about the fact that this is the most expensive pocket watch that have been auctioned off thus far.