The World’s Most Expensive Watches for Men 

When it comes to the most expensive watches for men, we enter a rarefied world where exquisite craftsmanship, innovative complications, and precious materials combine to create true works of horological art. 

From steroid Swiss luxury brands to bespoke creations encrusted with rare diamonds, these timepieces represent the very pinnacle of the watchmaker;s craft. DIscover some of the world’s most expensive watches for men- magnificent creations that transcend mere timekeeping to become enduring symbols of status, prestige, and collectability. 

The Crème de la Crème of Swiss Watchmaking

Switzerland has long been synonymous with luxury watchmaking, and venerable Swiss brands dominate the uppermost echelons of the most expensive watches for men.

1. Patek Philippe

  • Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010
  • Henry Graves Supercomplication

Patek Philippe, founded in 1839, is renowned for its exquisitely crafted and highly complicated timepieces. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 made headlines in 2019 when it sold for a staggering $31 million at a charity auction, making it the most expensive wristwatch ever sold. 

This one-of-a-kind creation, the only Grandmaster Chime model in stainless steel, boasts 20 complications including grand and petite sonneries, a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and more. 

2. Audemars Piguet

  • Royal Oak history
  • Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet, another revered Swiss manufacturer, is famed for its iconic Royal Oak sports watch. Designed by Gerald Genta and launched in 1972, the Royal Oak began the era of the luxury steel sports watch and remains highly coveted by collectors. 

One of the most expensive watches for men in the Royal Oak line is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon, a unique piece that sold for $5.2 million in 2021.

3. Rolex

  • Paul Newman’s Daytona

Rolex, perhaps the most globally recognized luxury watch brand, has created numerous models that rank among the most expensive watches for men. The Rolex Daytona owned by Hollywood icon Paul Newman sold for $17.8 million in 2017, setting a record for a wristwatch at auction. Vintage Rolex models with notable provenance regularly command multi-million dollar prices.

4. Other notable Swiss brands (Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Blancpain)

Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, and Blancpain are other historical Swiss brands known for their high-end complicated timepieces and often realize astronomical prices for rare vintage models and bespoke creations.

Independent Watchmakers and Bespoke Creations

Alongside the heritage Swiss brands, a number of independent watchmakers have made their mark crafting some of the most expensive watches for men. These artisanal brands combine traditional techniques with avant-garde designs and innovative materials.

1. Richard Mille

  • RM 52-01 Skull Tourbillon “Vanitas Vanitatum”

Richard Mille, founded in 2001, has shaken up haute horlogerie with its boldly styled, highly technical timepieces. Utilizing cutting-edge materials like carbon nanotubes and graphene, Richard Mille creates lightweight yet extremely shock-resistant watches. 

Among the brand’s most expensive creations is the RM 52-01 Skull Tourbillon “Vanitas Vanitatum” which sold for over $7.8 million in 2021.

2. Greubel Forsey

Greubel Forsey is another independent manufacturer that combines boundary-pushing innovation with meticulous hand-finishing. Its GMT Quadruple Tourbillon, featuring four tourbillons, holds ten patents and is strictly limited in production, with prices north of $1 million.

3. F.P. Journe

F.P. Journe, a brand known for its unique style and innovative movements, has seen prices for rare models appreciate rapidly on the secondary market. In 2022, a unique F.P. Journe Élégante Titalyt sold at auction for $420,000.

4. Jacob & Co.

  • Billionaire Watch
  • Jay-Z’s Caviar Tourbillon

Jacob & Co. is renowned for its extravagant, jewel-encrusted designs favored by celebrities. The Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch, covered in 260 carats of emerald-cut diamonds, has a price tag of $18 million. In 2023, rapper Jay-Z sold his Jacob & Co. Caviar Tourbillon at a charity auction for $1.5 million.

Famous Watches with Remarkable Provenance

For serious collectors, a watch owned by a notable historical figure or celebrity can catapult its value into the stratosphere. Timepieces with fascinating backstories and illustrious former owners are among the most expensive watches for men ever sold.

1. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona

In 2017, a Rolex Daytona owned by Hollywood legend Paul Newman became the most expensive wristwatch sold at auction up to that point. Given to Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward and inscribed “Drive Carefully Me”, the watch embodied the star’s passion for motorsports and sold for an incredible $17.8 million.

2. Prince Mohammed Tewlik A. Toussou’s Patek Philippe Ref. 1518

Sotheby’s sold a Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 once owned by Prince Mohammed Tewlik A. Toussou, King Farouk of Egypt’s cousin, for $9.57 million in 2021. Made in rose gold, it is one of only 281 pieces of this reference ever produced.

3. Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank

Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank was another famous watch that captured collectors’ imaginations. In 2017, Kim Kardashian paid $379,500 for the elegant timepiece, which was originally a gift to the First Lady from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw Radziwill in 1963.

4. Amelia Earhart’s Patek Philippe

In 2022, a unique Patek Philippe timepiece once owned by aviatrix Amelia Earhart fetched $1.8 million at auction. Earhart received the watch from her friend the department store magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge in the early 1930s, shortly before her ill-fated round-the-world flight attempt.

5. James Bond’s Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

Perhaps the most famous “celebrity” watch, however, is not from a person at all but from a fictional character – James Bond. In 2012, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean worn by Daniel Craig in the film “Skyfall” sold for $200,660 at Christie’s. The watch was a unique piece made specifically for the movie.


As we’ve seen, the upper echelons of the watch market continue to reach ever more rarefied heights, with several timepieces breaking the $30 million mark in recent years. What drives these astronomical prices?

Rarity, complexity, and historical significance all play a role, as well as the enduring fascination with owning a small piece of history. ANd of course, for some, this is the investment potential of an ice out watch 14k gold timepiece that may appreciate in value over time.

Yet ultimately, the appeal of the most expensive watches for men is not just about cold, hard numbers – it’s about craftsmanship, tradition, and emotion. To strap on a mechanical marvel like a Patek Philippe Grand Complication or a Richard Mille RM 52-01 is to wear a testament to human ingenuity and artistry on one’s wrist.