WTNY 2019

4 of the Most Expensive Timepieces Seen at WatchTime New York 2019

WatchTime New York 2019 has come to a close, and reflecting on such a great event we have been recalling some of the most expensive, once-in-a-lifetime pieces we were fortunate enough to see. While the show featured a wide range of brands, from value-driven to haute horlogerie luxurious, a few manufacturers stood out with timepieces that were undoubtedly some of the most exquisite in the world today.

  1. Greubel Forsey Grand Sonnerie

The first on our list is, no surprise, Greubel Forsey. This maison was founded in 2004, and in its short history has established itself as a go-to haute horlogerie inventor, producing some of the most complicated and expensive watches on the market. At WatchTime New York, Greubel Forsey showcased its pinnacle invention, the Grande Sonnerie. This model was eleven years in development, has an assembly of 935 components, and costs right around $1,200,000 — making it one of the most expensive non-vintage watches on the market, today.

The actual grande sonnerie mechanism is quite interesting. Upon each passing hour it independently chimes out the time — which the brand was kind enough to demonstrate to myself and a few other onlookers. This complication differs from the related minute repeater in that the latter requires manual activation. While the Grande Sonnerie can also act as a minute repeater in its silent mode, it also features two other modes of chiming: Grande Sonnerie (striking the hours and quarters in passing), and Petite Sonnerie (striking only the full hours in passing).


  1. Breguet Classique “Grande Complication” Double Tourbillon 5349PT – $780,000

The next very special timepiece we checked out was the Breguet Classique “Grande Complication” Double Tourbillon 5349. This impressive model, as its name indicates, has two rotating tourbillons affixed by a bridge to a center plate, allowing consistent rotation around the dial every 12 hours. The watch is also produced in a solid, 50-mm platinum case, uses 107 baguette-cut diamonds on its bezel, lugs, and case sides, and features another 310 diamonds on its center rotating dial. Between the double tourbillon movement, platinum case, and excess of gems, Breguet prices this rare timepiece at $780,000.

To put into perspective the caliber of wealth needed to wear this watch, it was recently spotted on the wrist of renowned soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who was seen wearing the model in an ad campaign last month.

  1. Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One – $318,000

The third watch on our list is the incredibly interesting Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One. This was a model we knew we would see going into the show, but it was nonetheless one of the most intriguing pieces on display. The intrigue comes from the combination of a sapphire version of Bovet’s famed “writing desk” sloped case, alongside an array of complications including Bovet’s patented, double-face flying tourbillon.

Together— between the sloped shape of the case and the matching design of the movement— developing this piece presents Bovet watchmakers with some unique challenges. We had the opportunity to speak with one at length on the model, and in his own words, “To produce this movement, it is a nightmare. … To produce this sapphire, it is a nightmare.” For this incredibly difficult effort, the 60-piece limited edition also carries a massive price tag of $318,000.

  1. Romain Gauthier Logical One Baguette-Set Unique Piece – $285,000

Our final wallet-buster watch is independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier ‘s Logical One Baguette-Set Unique Piece. The original Logical One was first released by the brand in 2013, and went on to win the Men’s Complication prize at that year’s GPHG. Since that point, the Logical One has been a favorite in haute horlogerie circles, and so for this year’s WatchTime New York, Gauthier released a unique, white gold, diamond-set model of the watch. Though made unique and significantly more expensive by its use of 92 baguette-cut diamonds and a precious metal, the actual movement of the Logical One is quite interesting also, featuring a clever push-button winding system, with an ergonomic pusher set into the side of the 43-mm case at 9 o’clock. This one-of-a-kind watch is priced at $285,000.

Did you have an opportunity to attend this year’s amazing WatchTime New York, and if so did you see any of these super-expensive models? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below!


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  1. Gerry Dimatos

    Why do the Swiss persist in making irrelevant watches for the super rich made of Platinum or complete sapphire crystal with diamonds inside them and double tourbillons ?
    Whilst I’m not a fan of smart watches I can see their relevance for most people.
    Do the Swiss not realise they will fast become irrelevant if they don’t change their direction ?

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