Although a post is forthcoming about all those wacky, insane Japanese watches which force you to tell time by making a series of complicated calculations every time you look down at your wrist, our first feature on the most insane watches your money can buy is going straight for luxury.
That’s right, these here are the top selections, the limited editions, the watches made by the finest European watchmakers (with one exception). They cost more than most cars, which is why we’re profiling them today. If you win the lottery or make good on a big investment (well.. it could still happen, right?), you know where to put your money. That’s right, forget your wallet or that stuffy old bank account. You want to wear your newfound riches right on your damn wrist, and here’s how.
The JeanRichard Bressel 1665
The Details: This comes in two different editions: silver/platinum and black/gold. Both are gorgeous and feature that ever-so-coveted 45 hour power reserve found in today’s top timepieces. It’s also water-resistant to 30m, and the time mechanism is manufactured in-house in France.
The Price: This edition is new enough that a price doesn’t seem to be floating around, but you can expect nothing under 10,000 euro for this, your newly adopted child. More information at JeanRichard.com.
The Cartier Skeleton Santos
The Details: Just introduced at SIHH 2009, the annual Swiss exhibition of the world’s most elite watches, this is part of Cartier’s entry into making its own watch movements. Featuring the popular ‘skeleton’ style, it’s one of the best examples of the trend, and the gorgeous metallic face and integrated roman numerals look beyond incredible.
The Price: Once again, unknown, but it won’t be cheap. Try somewhere above 15,000 euro, and keep watching Cartier’s website.
The Baume & Mercier William Baume 8796 Limited
The Details: Limited to ten (10!) pieces for the visible-workings model (others are limited to the very specific number of 178) and featuring a hell of a lot of 18k gold, this ridiculously exclusive watch with its hand-sewn alligator strap and sapphire crystal case is stricly for masters-of-the-universe only.
The Price: Around $10,000 US dollars for the non-ultra limited. You’ll need to arrange a formal dinner with the ghost of William Baume himself to find out the price of the we-only-made-ten model. Check their website for more.
The A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Pour le Mérite
The Details: Beautiful enamel dial, and check out those hands—blued steel. There are 50 of these in platinum and 200 in pink-gold cases. Painted by hand and extremely legible, this has to be one of the most beautiful watches we’ve ever seen. There are 915 individual parts in this watch, but the front is the model of refined European elegance.
The Price: Again, not made very public, and therefore not so cheap. But hey, if it were cheap, it wouldn’t be “Pour le Mérite”, now would it? Check out the stunning internals here.
The Void V01
The Details: We had to put something that fell outside the parameters of classic Euro-watches while still retaining some kind of cool European tradition, and here it is. The Void V01 is the only ‘middle class’ watch you’re going to find on this list, but it’s a fine example. Fashioned after the traditions of Scandinavian design, this Swedish watch—introduced only last year—is one of the top examples of a minimalist digital watch you’re ever going to see. With its stainless-steel frame and reversed LCD (ie, the display is at the bottom), it defies traditional design while hewing to some vestige of tradition, albeit obscured.
The Price: Ah, here’s the sweet spot: 129 euro. Yep. Get it today at their website.