I may have got a little bit carried away, since there are probably countless watches to be found between the 50,000 Swiss franc mark and those listed below. But with no upper limit, this should be the category to include dream watches. So here they are…
The movement is the hand-wound Caliber L043.1, that has 415 parts and steps 33.6 millimeters in diameter. (To read our evaluation of this original Lange Zeitwerk, click here.) This watch is significantly more than a conventional perpetual calendar. Turn it on and you’ll see among the very complicated and unconventional moon-phase screens ever made. In the center is a disk bearing a map of the Northern Hemisphere. Surrounding the ground is a disc decorated with 2,116 stars. (Their positions do not correspond to those of actual stars; Lange calls the arrangement a “dream sky.”) A third disc, for exhibiting the stage of the moon, lies under an aperture at the star disk.The earth disk rotates counterclockwise once every 24 hours; you can observe the time anywhere in the world by referring to the 24 hour mark on the ring surrounding the screen. The watch’s equilibrium, visible throughout the caseback, signifies the sun: when the moon is between the earth and the balance, the moon disk is all blue, representing the new moon. When it is on the other side of the planet, it is all gold, representing the entire moon. The moon screen is so true that it will be 1,058 years until it needs to be corrected by a single day.
Breguet Marine Running Equation of Time Ref. 5887: USD 215,000
Breguet Marine Running Equation of Time Ref. 5887 © Breguet
The sky is the limit in this category, so it’s appropriate that my first choice of watch houses one of the most complicated complications in watchmaking that helps us to understand just what is going on in the sky. The running equation of time shows the difference between mean time and solar time, coupled with day, month and a retrograde date indication plus an off-set tourbillon. Turn the watch over and you can admire some exquisite hand engraving on the back of the manually-wound Breguet calibre 581DR in the form of a compass on the barrel housing and a depiction of the French navy ship the Royal Louis.
Ferdinand Berthoud – FB 1.3: CHF 248,000
FB 1.3 © Ferdinand Berthoud
It’s difficult to choose between the four different versions of the award-winning FB 1 chronometer that are now available, especially since the FB 1.4 in full titanium uses sapphire bridges to show off even more of the movement. But in this case I have opted for the FB 1.3 in platinum and ceramic to highlight its price in this precious metal, compared with the other watches in this selection.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon : EUR 270,000
Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon © Jaeger-LeCoultre
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Gyrotourbillon was already a sight to behold, but in the Reverso Tribute model presented this year it is even more astounding. Visible from both sides thanks to the unique Reverso case, the tourbillon rotates about its central axis in one minute and a second axis in just 12.6 seconds, creating a stunning visual ballet that shows off the in-house balance spring and Gyrolab® balance wheel. The price may be high, but at least you get two watches for the price of one, with a second time zone and day/night indicator visible on the reverse side along with the finely decorated movement.
Richard Mille RM 50-03 : CHF 980,000
Mille RM 50-03 © Richard Mille
This is a watch that only Richard Mille could make, since it makes absolutely no sense! It celebrates Richard Mille’s partnership with McLaren and is crammed with high tech on the inside (new split-seconds chronograph, torque indicator, fast rotating barrel…) and outside (case in Graph TPT™, torque-limiting crown). It will set you back just under one million Swiss francs. For the same price you could buy two McLaren 720S super cars (perhaps one in “luxury” configuration and the other in “performance”?). Richard Mille seems confident that there are 75 people in the world who are happy to shell out this kind of sum on a timepiece.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S : CHF 180,000
Excalibur Aventador S © Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubuis accompanied the announcement of its new partnership with Lamborghini with a new Excalibur model dedicated to the Lamborghini Aventador S. With a case in forged carbon (not just any forged carbon, though, since it comes directly from the Lamborghini factory) and a brand-new “Duotor” movement featuring two inclined balance wheels, the Excalibur Aventador S is a highly technical watch but nevertheless meets all the strict criteria for the prestigious Geneva Seal. The model shown is a limited edition of 88 pieces.
Rebellion WEAP-ONE : CHF 450,000
WEAP-ONE © Rebellion
The name is meant to evoke the word “weapon” and on a careless wrist this unusually shaped watch could easily become one. In its cylindrical case the hours and minutes are displayed on rollers on the left and right-hand sides, while the seconds are shown by a mesmerising asymmetrical tourbillon that dominates the centre of the tube. Petrolheads can unclip the watch from the cuff strap and clip it into the dashboard of their favourite supercar. Limited edition of 20.