The most expensive watch you wear (was Nardin Freak)

What is the most expensive watch you wear?

  • < $500

    Votes: 48 21.7%
  • $500 to $5,000

    Votes: 117 52.9%
  • $5000 to $20,000

    Votes: 40 18.1%
  • $20,000 to $50,000

    Votes: 10 4.5%
  • > $50,000

    Votes: 6 2.7%

  • Total voters
    221

M. Cross

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Nov 18, 2002
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Since my posting in 2012, I've upgraded to an Omega Speedmaster Professional 'Moonwatch' with a panda dial as my daily wear watch. Absolutely LOVE that thing, and use its chronograph functions all the time.

Funniest thing I've ever happen while wearing the watch is, since it has a white face, the black registers are pretty prominent, and their positions on the dial give a particular 'pattern', as will be shown in a moment.........I was standing in line at a ride at Disney World this past February when I overheard a lady point out my watch to her husband, and asked what it was? He proceeded to tell her it was a VERY rare Omega 'hidden Mickey' dialed Speedmaster that Omega only produced in the early 1970's, and that I was fortunate to own one....and then they moved off with her apparently being very impressed with my timepiece.

So, if you have a white dialed 'panda' Omega Speedmaster with the 3 black registers, you, too, own a rare Omega 'hidden' Mickey Mouse watch! (grins)

Regards! Mark
 

DavidA1

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Jan 3, 2014
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I find the entire subject laughable, to be honest.

If you analyse the motivation behind paying vast sums for anything you're actually left with a philosophical dilemma: ownership of anything is governed by a)necessity, b)utility, or c) luxury.

Sometimes it's a combination of A and B, but essentially C always stands alone.

I was given a Patek for my 21st birthday and it was my most prized possession until all £20k of it was stolen from me by a guy with a knife when I was 32. Gone. By an absolute miracle it was returned to me three years later when the moron tried to sell it to a registered dealer in Bond Street. I had it serviced, a scratch repaired, and then I sold it. This thing was an engineering and artistic marvel yet what was it to me but a cause of concern and obsession. My father wasn't remotely offended by the sale, fortunately. He knew I was never going to wear it outside the house again.

I've got three vintage Omegas from the 1920s-1940s that I bought broken and repaired, two Baume et Merciers, a Tudor, a lovely old Breitling, and a stunning 1920s silver Art Deco wristwatch which I adore. The prized possession is the converted "trench watch" my great-grandfather wore on his wrist at the Battle of Jutland. I look at it most days and realise it means far more to me than a £20k lump of luxury. I guess the point is that you can't buy something that truly matters, whereas you can spend a million pounds on all sorts of stuff.

If I inherit ten million pounds will I buy a £200k watch? Nah...
 
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novicetimekeeper

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It's true, I have things that mean a great deal to me that are worth virtually nothing, my family don't have a history of collecting antiques but I do and I have a house stuffed with them.

I tried to buy a patek philippe from a jeweller I knew in the seventies but he would not sell it to me. It was when I first came across the name. It was another 40 years before I bought one. I love it, but I don't wear it all the time because my job isn't suited, and I always wear a wristwatch day and night, the Patek Philippe isn't suitable. The idea of a robbery doesn't really occur to me, I'm more likely to get hit by lightning. It's insured anyway, and as I bought it for myself I can always buy another one.
 

mldenison

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I've always been fascinated with grand complication clocks and watches as well as moon phase dials. In doing an internet search, I ran across the Citizen Campanola series. These have been in production for a number of years but are only marketed by Citizen in Japan. The first ones made had. and still have, a quartz movement but they've expanded into ecodrive and mechanical movements as well. The echodrive and mechanical movements are, well, not as complicated.

The Campanola Grand Complication watch is hand assembled in limited numbers. In a large hand-polished steel case, the handmade dial is done in a style called "Japanese rosewood." It has the time, perpetual calendar, moon phase indicator, chronograph, GMT hand, and a minute repeater. A few find their way onto eBay - some new and some used which is where I found mine. The prices range from mid $2K to mid $4K. I paid around $1,300 for mine as it had some scratches which I've mostly buffed out.

The stainless steel band was a bit tight so I called Citizen and they do stock links. The person I talked with looked up the link price and one was $75. I then asked her what a complete band would cost. After a few seconds she said, "Oh my. Let me place you on hold to check the price.". When she returned, she had verified the price as being $850. I told her to just send the link.
 

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River rat

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Apr 4, 2009
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These two are the most expensive watches I wear the first a Tudor Snowflake submariner Cir 1970 has doubled in price since I got it I guess due to Tudor started selling the Snowflakes subs again and the vintage ones were rediscovered. The vintage ones use to be the poor mans Rolex not no more.
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And then my Hanhart 417 issued chronograph less of them are on the market so the price has been going up on them since I got this one I wear all my wristwatches don't care if they are high value they don't collect dust in the safe.
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renowatchmen

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Apr 19, 2011
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Re: The most expensive watch I wear (Omega PO chrono co-axial, etc,etc,etc.

This is a banner day as I am wearing my Orange bezeled Omega planet ocean chrono. I think this is one of the originals with the Co-axial movement, roughly 10 years ago, about? This watch was purchased for me by my current wife for reward for stopping smoking. Directly after buying this watch, we went to a water park in Texas and I wore it the whole time. The first test it passed with flying colors and has been my favorite ever since. At a price tag retail of $7,500.00, not paying for cigarettes has paid for itself time and time again. Cheap reward for a life without cigarettes.
 
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Larsson

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Jan 27, 2016
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I've just bought my dream watch Christopher Ward C9. And it is the most expensive watch I wear so far :)
 

AlAbernathy

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Jun 11, 2016
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@Accutronitis ... Brilliant! Not only is the watch amazing I love the history behind it. Very exciting. My father was in the Air Force and flew in Vietnam. When I asked him about whatever became of his pilot's watch he replied "It was just some cheap Bulova or something" ... my jaw dropped. Clearly, he's not a watch guy but to have captured that history and his story in a beautiful timepiece would have been timeless and (for me) priceless. Was this YOUR service timepiece or do you know the story of the specific wearer?
 

AlAbernathy

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Almost embarrassed to admit it here, but my daily wear watches are an ever growing variety of cheap Chinese watches that range from $2 - $10. I do have a $1000 Movado Elrio that I purchased about 12 years ago which I still wear quite regularly. Being on a very limited budget these days, however I have been enjoying the variety that these uber-inexpensive Chinese timepieces provide. I have always loved watches though and vicariously enjoy the Patek Phillipe's and Tudors through my more well-heeled fellow horologists. Keep posting pictures of those amazing timepieces!
 
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Mr. Time

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This is one magnificent watch!

Simply put this Hamilton watch has style and character all it's own and only one word needed to describe it.....beautiful.....regardless of price.

My most expensive watch is this 1931 Hamilton Pinehurst valued about $5K. Due to number of watches in my rotation, its turn comes up about 3 times a year.

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Mr. Time

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My humble watch collection consist of a dollar amount range from a couple hundred bucks $ to a couple of thousand bucks $ and everything in between.

So with that being said the two most expensive timepieces (sorry no pictures) are my Meistersinger No.1 and my recently added Wempe Zeitmeister Chronometer.
 

f2shooter

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Nov 26, 2016
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I've read through this entire thread now and as a newcomer here I feel like something of a piker. My favorites are three pocket watches, two of them Waltham and most recently an Elgin. I wear these only on nicer occasions for now and none cost more than $120. They all are railroad watches and date to about 1890. I am simply fascinated at having a watch that works so well and is into its third different century of use. For daily wear my most pricey was a very nice stainless Tag that mysteriously disappeared I suspect into the hands of a dealer of illegal items. My favorite is a Seiko digital dating back to 1992 and was expensive at the time. I'm wearing it now in fact. My nicest modern ones now are a Seiko and a Caravelle. The most practical? $30 Timex watches from Wal Mart. Inexpensive but durable and accurate, they run for years with nearly no attention. I have family members wearing some beautiful Rolexes every day but I don't see one in coming the near future.

Rick H.
 

roughbarked

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Some days I wear Rolex, others something else. Once I wore a Vacheron Constantin, another time I wore a Patek Phillipe. Not my watches. If I repair it, I test it on my wrist.
Mostly though I wear a range of Seiko, Omega, Bulova, Certina, Roamer etc, from my own collection. The Revue skeleton watch is the only watch I ever bought new. For a long time I loved the Seiko Bellmatic that I picked up for $20 and fitted out with new dial and extra jewels until I lost it in a peach orchard. Got it back a few years later, rusty.
 
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Tom Diss

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Sep 6, 2004
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This is one magnificent watch!

Simply put this Hamilton watch has style and character all it's own and only one word needed to describe it.....beautiful.....regardless of price.
Thank you. I've since replaced the applied gold numeral dial and blued steel hands with luminous versions. Much better looking now in my opinion.

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Tom McIntyre

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I have been very busy with other things and have not visited this thread for a few years. I am delighted to see that the poll has accumulated quite a few responses.

My thought when posting this was partly to discover "who we were" at some level beyond what we see in the discussions about watches and clocks. If the responses to the poll are genuine, then we do have a small cadre of 13 posters who at least occasionally wear watches worth more than $20,000.

Perhaps our members who are wealthy do not care to take the time to post here or may be too modest to "show off" their wealth. Many of the web sites that focus on high end watches regularly have posts from individuals who are "going to Geneva this weekend to pick up my xyz watch that I have been waiting a year for since purchasing." I would hope that some of those folks would feel welcome here as well.

Since my own collection consists primarily of pocket watches which I do not carry on any regular basis (only very rarely for "dress up") the value is in those items. I own a few watches that I believe are worth over $50,000 but I have never paid nearly that much for a watch. The reason I collect watches is to better understand the people and companies that made them. I find the watches themselves focus my attention and give the stories about them more body.

I gave a presentation in Louisville last year at the National Meeting of the NAWCC on the subject of "Personal Time" that focused on watches made specifically for individuals to have and wear. As part of that presentation, some members lent watches for the exhibit that exceeded $50,000 in purchase price. There were also a few watches with current values over $100,000 such as the Howard, Davis and Dennison 8 day watch No. 3 which probably belonged to Aaron Dennison when it was first made.
 

Mr. Time

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...The reason I collect watches is to better understand the people and companies that made them. I find the watches themselves focus my attention and give the stories about them more body.
Very interesting.

Personally, I view "manual wrist watch timepieces" as works of art and beauty. Such small mechanical device-instruments that were designed to have a significant roll on every day human life (but that can be said just about time in general) way before cell phones consumed the human way of life that is seen so prevalent today.

I feel that a timepiece/wrist watch says something about an individual.

Though, regardless of price I like all of the timepieces in my collection in each of their own way.
Some I wear for special occasions and others just for everyday use. But "never" for their brand name, price, cost or prestige.
 
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new2clocks

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Tom,

Since this thread is 5 years old and a person can only vote once, it may be prudent to open up a new thread (version 2.0, so to speak) to see how the answers have changed, if any.

Regards,
 

SuspectDevice

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Apr 5, 2021
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A large part of my interest in watches comes from working on them.
In view of my current level of horological expertise, It would be reckless to collect anything worth over one week of pay.

(It used to be one day of pay so I'm improving ;))

If I had a Nardin Freak, I'd feel compelled to tear it apart.
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I've sold my Patek Philippe now to pay for my early retirement, but my Rolex has appreciated to about the same, I still prefer the PP but I wasn't ever wearing it, haven't been anywhere for over a year.
 

MuseChaser

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I've never understood, and still don't, why the monetary value of anything means anything at all compared to the personal value. The horological item I own that means the most to me, by FAR, is a Majesti pocket watch given to me by my girlfriend (now my wife of 39 years) back in '79. It's worth almost nothing to anyone else. Second in line is probably my most expensive horological posession, a Seiko pilot's watch, given to me by my wife and sons on Father's Day shortly after obtaining my PPL.

If I had $50K to burn, it wouldn't be on my wrist. I understand percentages; a billionaire wearing a $50k watch isn't, proportionately, any different than me wearing a $325 Seiko, and I don't begrudge anyone enjoying the fruits of their labor or pursuing their passions. Personally, the status and societally-assigned value to certain items is of little interest to me, especially if it would replace my ability to do some good in this world with the money I have. If you can do both within an acceptable personal balance of priorities, then I'm all for it, and more power to you.
 

novicetimekeeper

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other people have expensive cars and children, I have neither. I collect clocks, but I wear watches to tell the time. I just happen to like good ones :)
 

sjammyers

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I appreciate the beauty, complexity, and just plain "magic" of high-quality time keeping offerings, but I have a confession. Will I be kicked out of the NAWCC if I say I wear a Timex Indiglo WR 30M daily? Honestly, it is the only ww I own. I bought it for something like $20 so many years ago I can't remember when (at K-Mart - remember K-Mart?) and replaced the battery only twice so far. I only have to adjust the time after replacing the battery, and I adjust the date when months are less than 31 days. I am not a collector type; my enjoyment comes from the repair of friends and family heirloom watches and clocks, which seem to show up at a regular pace as the word spreads, and then seeing their faces when they see them working again. Now if you want to talk expensive tools!!! :) Anyway, please don't hunt me down!

P.S. Lots of the young kids I know (20's) think it is a really expensive watch. I'm guessing most of them have never owned a watch. I do find that sad. :-(
-Steve
 

Lightwater

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I also have a Nomos Tangent 100m with date which is more expensive. They stopped selling it a few years ago. Bought them both when Australia had a seriously good exchange rate. Price has gone up a lot recently.

In some aspects I prefer the Ludwig without the date, but I do miss the glowing hands at night, not that they were overly bright, but handy.

The reasons I got these watches, firstly to avoid the big name "tax". Also I liked the un-busyness of the look, if that is a word!

They both have windows in the back which is nice to have. After almost a decade not a single scratch on the sapphire glass. All my previous watches were scratched before you knew it.

If I get another watch, number one requirement, it will be with sapphire glass or I won't bother.

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novicetimekeeper

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If I get another watch, number one requirement, it will be with sapphire glass or I won't bother.
That's what I don't get about vintage Rolex. I wear a Rolex because it is tough and takes the knocks. A vintage one with rare dial can cost many tens of thousands but it has a plastic crystal that scratches. I only wear watches with sapphire crystals.
 

svenedin

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I have some nice wristwatches by Rolex and Omega but I never wear them really. One of my Rolex watches is still in its pouch with protective plastic stickers 3 years after it was last serviced. That is because it has appreciated so much in value. I wear pocket watches routinely even when gardening or hiking in shorts. I’ve never broken a staff but I only wear “modern” pocket watches with shock protection in trouser pockets. If I must wear a wristwatch watch I wear a cheap quartz Swatch. The last time I wore that Swatch was 15 months ago in hospital when I was rather spectacularly impaled on a metal pole (yes that really happened). Hospital gowns don’t have button holes for t-bars of pocket watch chains. My pyjamas do though so I’ll still wear a pocket watch in my night attire.
 

svenedin

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You can replace any mineral glass with a sapphire crystal. These days they are inexpensive. Serving a lot of farmers, I always fitted sapphire crystals for anyone who regularly scratched their mineral crystal until the hands were no longer visible.
But sapphire crystals don’t come in pocket watch sizes do they?
 

svenedin

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Sounds like the impalement is a subject for its own thread. :) Sounds like a story worth telling. ;)
Yes indeed. It’s a dit (navy speak for a story) I’ll be spinning for the rest of my days!
 

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