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Luxury Watches You Never Knew Existed

Updated on July 19, 2009

With the number of luxury timepieces available in the market today, a lot of watch connoisseurs are getting bored by the seemingly homogenous selection. Fortunately, luxury watchmakers are not unaware of their needs and these manufacturers are constantly trying to step-up their offerings. From watches with telescoping antenna to ultra-luxurious watches, certain creations manage to stand out among the rest.

In some cases, only the most avid watch lovers are aware of these developments though. This is because the most unique timepieces are typically produced in limited pieces. Knowing what these watches are will give you a good idea about what’s possible in haute horlogerie. Below is a list of a few luxury watches you probably never knew existed.

Breitling Emergency - 42mm Brushed Titanium Case
Breitling Emergency - 42mm Brushed Titanium Case

Breitling Emergency Chronograph

Breitling gives a glimpse of what future technological advancements in watch-making will be like. Its Emergency 43mm Chronograph contains a built-in transmitter than can transmit on 121.5MHz aircraft emergency frequency. In case of an emergency, the watch’s transmitter can be activated by simply pulling out the antenna. It will transmit for 48 hours in a range of about 100 miles.

Patek Phillip Calender/Moonphase Chronograph
Patek Phillip Calender/Moonphase Chronograph

Patek Phillipe Sky Moon Tourbillon

The design house of Patek Phillipe introduced this watch in 2002. Until now, it remains one of the most complicated timepieces ever produced with its perpetual calendar containing retrograde date display, moon phases, and sidereal time. Its design is the most notable feature of this creation because it provides a complete portrayal of the night sky including the orbit of the moon and the movement of the stars.

Probably the biggest challenge in encountered by the designers is the heavenly display seen in this creation. Displaying the heavens as Galileo saw it is almost impossible to achieve given the limited space of the wristwatch. Of course, it takes a watch-making great like Patek Phillipe to make a fashion watch of this calliber. This piece has provided inspiration throughout the horological world. It pushes the boundaries on what is possible to achieve.

Urwerk Hammerhead
Urwerk Hammerhead

Urwerk 201 Hammerhead

In 1678, Henricus Jones created a watch with an expanding and contracting minute hand. It is one of the earliest watches that made use of balance spring and the minute hands points to the outer edge of the ring. This innovative concept can be seen once again today. 350 forward, the Urwerk 201 Hammerhead uses the same concept to create an innovative watch that has a telescopic pointer within the hour cubes.

George Thompson Pocket Watch by Patek Phillipe
George Thompson Pocket Watch by Patek Phillipe

George Thompson Pocket Watch

Made by George Thompson about a century ago, this Patek Phillipe Pocket Watch has a minute-repeating feature, perpetual calendar, and split second chronograph. This piece was placed on auction; Sotheby’s head of the Geneva Department, Alexander Barter, said that “complicated double-dialed Patek Phillipe watches are extremely rare”. Only a few of them are known to exist around the world. This particular piece is priced at $300,000-$450,000.

The luxury watches listed here are unique in their own right. They showcase the best practices in haute horlogerie, fulfills the greatest demand of watch collections, and provide an inspiration to the industry at the same time.


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