News & Knowledge

My top five vintage watches for investment


Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox 1960s
Price Range: £2,500 – £5,000

Rolex Datejust, late 1960s and 70s
Price Range: £3,000 – £4,500

Heuer Carrera, mid to late 1960s
Price Range: £3,500 – £6,000

Omega Speedmaster Professional Cal.321, late 1960s
Price Range: £ 6,000 – £10,000

Rolex Submariner Ref. 1680, late 1970s
Price Range: £7,000 – £9,500

The World’s Most Expensive Watch

Recently in Geneva, one of Patek Philippe’s rarest and most-admired wristwatches was offered by the auction house Phillips, smashing records to become the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.

The Patek Philippe ref.1518, a steel perpetual calendar chronograph, sold for $11,112,020. Seven collectors were in on the action; each contributing bids to drive up the price to this spectacular new level. The highly anticipated auction far surpassed the initial price estimate of $3 million.

Released in 1941 in the midst of World War II, the ref.1518 was the very first perpetual calendar chronograph ever manufactured in series, and this particular steel model is stamped “1,” making it a highly desired first of only four known models

The ref.1518 perpetual calendar chronograph features day and month apertures at the 12 o’clock position, two sub-dials illustrating a 30-minute register at 3, and seconds at 9 o’clock, with the date surrounding a moon phase indicator at 6. The outer dial of the wristwatch features a tachymeter scale, a device that determines speed by measuring the time it takes to cover a particular distance. Experts believe that the other three steel editions are safely housed in permanent collections, so the appearance of the Patek Philippe ref.1518 will most likely be the only time this particular reference will be sold at auction in our lifetime.

The most complicated
watch on the planet

Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin claims the title of the most complicated mechanical watch ever made with its Reference 57260. With 57 complications (the previous record holder had 33) and a wide array of functions, the Reference 57260 contains over 2,800 components, each one hand-decorated by one Master Watchmaker using traditional techniques.

The case is made of white gold, measuring 98 mm in diameter and 50.55 mm thick with a sculpted crown and discrete pushbuttons on the sides. There are full dials front and back, which are in turn divided into a complex area of subdials, retrogrades, indicators, and windows

The 57 complications embrace everything from simple time keeping to astronomy to extremely complex calendars along with some amazing bespoke features:

  • Six time measurement functions
  • Seven perpetual calendar functions
  • Eight Hebrew calendar functions
  • Nine astronomical calendar functions
  • One lunar calendar function
  • One religious calendar function
  • Four three-column wheel chronograph functions
  • Seven alarm functions
  • Eight Westminster carillon striking functions
  • Six other functions – including a power reserve indicator

Value: No official price, but rumours push it over the £4.5M mark.