Every growing collection needs that one piece, that go to watch you strap on your wrist to make a statement. And there is nothing like wearing a watch that is endowed in complexity, in precious metals and in prestige. A truly high end luxury watch is meant to evoke emotion, a feeling of connection with the wearer. A luxury watch is often more than just a tangible item. It's an expression of a person's individuality, of success, of affluence and of personality. A luxury high end watch is, invariably, a trophy a person can wear on their wrist proudly.
In partnership with our friends over at Wrist Aficionado, the premier luxury watch retailer in New York for the last 30 years, we've put together a list of 5 watches, each very different and each representing a different take on the concept of a high end luxury watch, that we think fit the bill as being a true high end luxury watch. Enjoy!
Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire
Encased in sapphire and titanium, the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire is the ultimate expression of high end luxury watchmaking. Its complexity is mind blowing, it is full of intricate complexities and its aesthetic is one that is as polarising as it is incredible. The Double Balancier Sapphire combines two 30-degree inclined balances linked by a Greuble Forsey's Constant Spherical Differential supported by two fast-rotating barrels. This gives the Double Balancier Sapphire the inherent ability to produce an average rate for both balances, with the Constant Spherical Differential acting as the remontoire d'egalité (which is basically a constant force mechanism that provides energy to the balances via a spiral spring that is rewound every four minutes). The end result is stability against the forces of gravity throughout the timekeeping process.
The Double Balancier Sapphire's dial opening is where the theatrics of the piece comes to light, with the two 30-degree inclined balance wheels dancing away, harmoniously linked together by the most intricate of mechanics. The Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire is the pinnacle of high end luxury watchmaking and is one of the most revered and respected watches from the maison.
Panerai Luminor Tourbillon Moon Phases L'Astronomo
Panerai's Luminor Tourbillon Moon Phases L'Astronomo took the world by storm when it was released only a few years ago. It represented a direction no one expected from the Italian luxury watchmaker, yet it was one that was wholeheartedly well received by the watch community at large. The Luminor Tourbillon Moon Phases L'Astronomo was a spirited attempt at haute horlogerie from Panerai, and it's a piece that is truly spectacular, both conceptually and in its execution. Crafted in various metals with the rose gold model being the coolest by far, the Luminor Tourbillon Moon Phases L'Astronomo combines the typical hallmark traits of a luxury high end watch: a tourbillon, an equation of time indicator, a sunset and sunrise indicator, along with a moon phase register on the caseback.
The Luminor Tourbillon Moon Phases L'Astronomo takes almost a year to produce from the time of order, with Panerai dedicating one of its watchmakers to build the piece independently from start to finish. From the perspective of contemporary high end, high complicated luxury watchmaking, the Panerai Luminor Tourbillon Moon Phases L'Astronomo is a pinnacle example.
Richard Mille RM 011 Flyback Chronograph Black Phantom
Richard Mille invariably has a solid foothold in the world of contemporary haute horlogerie. Its timepieces are some of the most coveted and desirable in the world, and its use of exotic materials and highly complicated movements is one of its defining characteristics. Perhaps one of its most impressive timepieces is the flagship flyback chronograph model. This particular model, dubbed the Black Phantom, features two high-tech materials, one for the caseband and the other for the case. The caseband, along with the crown and pushers, are made out of NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon, which is essentially a very strong and light material made out of multiple layers of filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers which are then bound by resien and woven together. The case is made out of TZP (Tetragonal Zirconia Polycrystal). This ceramic has a sandblasted matte finish and is known for its high resistance to scratches and corrosion
The Black Phantom's movement has been heavily openworked and gives the wearer a virtually uninterrupted view of the innermost workings of the automatic flyback chronograph calibre. The RM 011 Black Phantom does have the advantage of being quite a subtle piece. Its black on black theme with the almost all-black movement lends itself to the Black Phantom's discreet look, but there is no doubting the RM 011's prowess.
Patek Philippe 6102R Grand Complications Celestial
The Patek Philippe 6102R Grand Complications Celestial is a crowning jewel in the maison's collection. Beautiful, romantic and of the utmost quality, the 6102R Grand Complications Celestial is the definition of a true high end luxury watch. Complex in nature and beautiful in its expression, the 6102R Grand Complications Celestial marries the worlds of haute horlogerie with astronomy harmoniously. Its beautiful aesthetic highlights the intricacies of its astronomical complication and is one of the most incredible celestial timepieces in modern watchmaking.
The aesthetic of the 6102R Grand Complications Celestial is further accentuated by the rose gold case which contrasts perfectly with the dark dial which depicts the sky chart, the moon phase and the orbit of the moon. High end luxury watchmaking doesn’t get much better than the Patek Philippe 6102R Grand Complications Celestial.
Rolex 116588TBR Daytona 'Eye of the Tiger'
Last but not least is the Rolex 116588TBR Daytona 'Eye of the Tiger'. Seen on the wrist of UFC champ-champ Conor McGregor, the 116588TBR Daytona 'Eye of the Tiger' is certainly not a piece for everyone but it does carry with it the ideals of a truly unique luxury timepiece. The 116588TBR Daytona 'Eye of the Tiger' features a tiger-print diamond-laced dial and a gemt-set yellow-gold bezel that is sure to bedazzle anyone even remotely close.
The 116588TBR Daytona 'Eye of the Tiger' is a marvel of diamond-encrusting and gem-setting, proving that diamonds truly are forever.