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The Most Expensive Watches in the World

April 10, 2014.

While we are proud to stock a selection of luxury designer watches like Issey Miyake and Junghans, we're the first to say we value efficient and affordable design over eye-popping bling and pretentious precious gems. However, that doesn't mean we're very intrigued by the price tags that some of the world's most famous watches demand. No doubt you also like to let your imagination wander (and your wallet weep), so in ascending order, here are ten of the most expensive watches ever made.

10. The Aeternitas Mega 4 by Franck Muller. Price: $2.4m.

Aertenitas Mega 4 - Most Expensive Watches in the World

Considered the world's most complicated wristwatch as well as one of the most expensive, the Aeternitas Mega 4 has over 1400 components and 36 complications (another word for "function" in horology) though the 99 jewels adorning this timepiece also help to boost its value.

9. The Emperador Temple by Piaget. Price: $3.3m

Piaget Emperador Temple Watch - World's Most Expensive Watches

A one-off that was sold as soon as it was released in 2010, this feast of diamonds is no doubt worth a lot more now. With over 1000 brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds sparkling on the casing, the two watch faces and around the strap this is a watch that dazzles.

8. The 1928 Single Button Chronograph by Patek, Philippe & Co. Price: $3.6m

1928_single_button_chronograph - Most Expensive Watches

The first of many Patek Philippe watches on this list, this white gold wristwatch released in 1928 was sold at auction in 2011. Its value is due to it being the only one of its kind and the fact that it was made just before the onset of The Great Depression when custom-made luxury wristwatches became a scarcity. It also has Breguet numerals (see below!).

7. 1939 Platinum World Time by Patek Philippe. Price: $4m

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Sold at auction in 2002 for $4m, the 1939 World Time watch by Patek Philippe was the only one of its kind made and upon release was the most expensive wristwatch in the world. With 24 time zones on display and a strap buckle and casing made from platinum, Bloomberg now estimate that this watch is worth $5.2m.

6. 1949 Stainless Steel Calendar Watch by Patek Philippe. Price: $4.1m

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This 1949 Patek Philippe stainless steel calendar wristwatch features hand painted Arabic numerals and is thought to again be a unique item. It was sold at auction in May 2008 and you can still read the original Christie's auction entry here.

5. Big Bang Diamond Watch by Hublot. Price: $5m

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Diamonds are a very rich girl's best friend and they are very much responsible for the price tag of this watch, not least because each one has at least 3 carats and was hand cut by one of New York City's most experienced jewellers. That and it took over a year to source the 1280 diamonds that make this watch Hublot's most expensive.

4. The Yellow Gold Calibre 89 by Patek Philippe. Price: $5.75m

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Sold at the expert antique auctioneers Antiquorum in 2009, this pocket watch is one of the most recognisable of Patek Philippe's watches, thanks to its 33 complications making its the world's most complicated pocket watch. However, the owner would be right to keep it out of sight thanks to the value of its 18 karat yellow gold casing and the extensive list of complications it boasts, including sunrise and sunset times, astrological clock and Westminster gong sounds. It also weighs over 1kg!

3. Henry Graves Supercomplication Pocket Watch. Price: $11m.

Henry Graves Supercomplication by Patek Philipee - World's Most Expensive Watches

Another pocket watch has found its way into the Top 5 most expensive watches in the world and this was one made by Patek Philippe himself back in 1933, a personal commission for US banker Henry Graves. It was commissioned in response to a rival collector coming to own the world's most complicated watch in 1927 and Graves - an avid art and watch collector - couldn't face being outdone. He was not and the watch's 24 complications made it the most complicated pocket watch ever made until Patek Philippe released the aforementioned Calibre 89. Taking inflation into consideration, it is estimated that the watch is now worth at least $15m.

2. 201-carat Watch by Chopard. Price: $25m

Chopard 201 Cart Gold Watch 2014 - World's Most Expensive Watches

You shouldn't need much explanation to see why this watch is worth so much considering it looks more like a diamond disco ball than a timepiece, but this wristwatch swamped with over 201-carats of diamonds is one of the most expensive items of jewellery ever made. Sold in 2000, it's mind-boggling to think what this watch and its 874 diamonds are worth now.

1. The Breguet No. 160 / Marie Antoinette Watch by Breguet. Price: Priceless!?!

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Arguably the most expensive watch in the world is one that will reportedly never be sold. This, of course, probably has a lot to do with its sky high price tag which is estimated to be in excess of $30m.

Designed by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself in the late 18th century for the controversial French Queen, in a tragic twist of events both died long before it was completed. (Well, it did take over 40 years to finish!) Breguet was one of the earliest pioneers of watch manufacturing being the first to create the tourbillon anti-gravity feature for watches and the first to create a wristwatch design in 1810.

The watch itself has had a turbulent history as it was stolen from an Israeli museum in 1983, though it was recovered in 2007 through a series of bizarre circumstances. It is now back on display - albeit shrouded in a bulletproof glass case - in the L.A. Mayer Museum in Jerusalem. Owned by the Breguet company that still produces beautiful high-value watches, they say they will never sell "The Queen" despite regular offers in the tens of millions.

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