Since the invention of the sundial by the ancient Egyptians, the idea of keeping track of time has become much more colourful and even opulent. Wristwatches have been used as status symbols, fashion statements, and practical items for ages. So here are some of the top 10 brands which you can look forward to.
Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, boyhood friends, founded Audemars Piguet in the little Swiss hamlet of Le Brassus in 1875. The company is still family-owned now as it was when the brand first began. Since they are created in such small quantities, these watches are rare, but not so rare that they fetch high prices. The Royal Oak Complication Audemars Piguet ever, which costs $869,00, is the priciest ever made by the brand.
Given that it was established in 1995, the Roger Dubuis brand is somewhat of a latecomer to the watch industry. Its watches are renowned for their avant-garde designs and complex construction. The 2013 Excalibur Quatuor, a sculpture that takes 2,400 hours to construct and costs $1.1 million to acquire, is the most costly Roger Dubuis creation to date.
Jehan-Jacques Blancpain started a watchmaking workshop at his residence in Villeret, France, in 1735, which led to the founding of Blancpain. It is thought to be the world’s oldest watch company. Blancpain, which promotes the slogan “innovation is our tradition,” is a pioneer in the watch industry while adhering to its handcrafted roots. The Specialites Tourbillon Diamonds Watch, which costs $1.34 million, is the most expensive Blancpain item.
4.A.Lange & Sohne.
Adolf Lange established A. Lange and Sohne in 1845. Lange worked as an apprentice under J.C. Friedrich Gutkaes before embarking on a successful career as a watchmaker in his own right. The brand was founded in Glashütte, Germany, where each A. Lange & Sohne piece is made. The Grand Complication by A. Lange & Sohne is the most expensive watch this company has ever made. It is also its most complicated, therefore the name. The price is $2,497,000.
Antoine LeCoultre, a Swiss watchmaker who created a pinion-cutting machine and a new winding mechanism that were both innovative in the watchmaking industry, founded Jaeger LeCoultre, also known as La Grande Maison, in 1833. For its watches, Jaeger LeCoultre has continued to create ground-breaking innovations, such as the Calibre 101, which comprises 74 parts and weighs just over a gramme. Queen Elizabeth II wore this expensive watch. The Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie, which costs $2.5 million, is the priciest item produced by Jaeger LeCoultre.
With a history dating back to 1775 in Paris, Breguet, another Swiss company, takes pride in being one of the oldest watchmakers still in operation. The firm relocated to Vallee de Joux, Switzerland, in 1976, and among their innovations are the Abraham-Louis Breguet tourbillon and the first wristwatch ever created in 1810. Their clocks currently cost between $6,000 to $400,000, but they may charge considerably more for unique creations. The Breguet No. 160 grand complication, popularly known as Marie-Antoinette, is a watch that Breguet even constructed for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It has every watch function that was available at the time and is housed in a gold case with sapphires within to reduce friction.
In the Swiss village of La Cote-aux-Fees, the watchmakers from Piaget also worked as jewellers. At first, they made watch movements; watches weren’t made until the 20th century. These days, their prices range from $10,000 to $210,000, and some of their timepieces, like the $152,000 Altaplano Calibre 1200D, which is dripping with stones and has an internal framework covered in diamonds, may even be considered trendy jewellery.
Since its founding in 1851 in Geneva, Patek Philippe has provided timepieces to Queen Victoria, and is often regarded as the most illustrious watchmaker in the world. Their clocks typically range in price from $10,000 to $780,000 and include some of the most intricate movements. The Henry Graves Supercomplication, which was sold in 1999 for $11 million and then again in 2014 for $24 million, is one of the priciest watches ever created by Patek Philippe.
Along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin is one of the three best traditional watch brands and the oldest watchmaker with a continuous history. They created the world’s first engine-turned dials as well as timepieces for Harry Truman, the Duke of Windsor, Pope Pius XI, and Napoleon Bonaparte.In order to have adequate room for all of their exhibitions, they produced a limited edition of seven pieces called Tour de I’lle for their 250th anniversary. These watches cost $1,538,160 and included a second time zone, a perpetual calendar, a sunset time indication, among many other features that make them one of the most intricate watches ever created.
The Louis Moinet workshop, founded by the creator of the chronograph in 1806, produced some outstanding clocks for famous people and international leaders like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander the First, King George IV of England, and Napoleon Bonaparte. His initial timepieces can be viewed in museums like the Louvre, Chateau de Versailles, or Palazzo Pitti. Louis Moinet’s watches were regarded as genuine works of art. His company’s standard watches range in price from $8,000 to $26,000.