One of the most memorable ad slogans of all time was introduced in 1956 by John Cameron Swayze, a popular and trusted news commentator (Camel News Caravan), game show panelist (Who Said That?) and spokesperson for Timex, an American watch company: “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” Wristwatches have been around since the early 1500s; Peter Henlein, a German clockmaker, is considered the inventor of the wristwatch in 1511. Wrist watches became more popular during the late 1880s, and became mainstream after World War I. A number of innovations in the 1950s helped to make wrist watches lighter, more accurate, and more fashionable — the introduction of battery power, waterproofed cases, and the use of affordable jewels. In the 1950s you could buy a Timex watch for $6.75 to $12.95. Today, Timex sells watches that range from $15 to $550. The price of the newly announced Apple watch, the iWatch, is expected to fetch $350 for the basic model and up to $5,000 for the gold model. High-end watches, for example those made by Rolex, have a retail value of $1,000 or more. According to one watch industry trade group, the average price a consumer is willing to pay for a wrist watch is $290. And despite the advent of smart phones that display the time, the sale of watches has remained fairly steady; in 2012, Americans spent $7.2 billion on watches. But the cost of these aforementioned watches pales in comparison to the cost of the most expensive watches in the world, proving that time really is money.
The Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire: $2,020,000
The watch features a three part nested sapphire case that contains a cabled movement time mechanism.
The Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1: $1,600,000
The watch has an inclined tourbillon and its crown features a nanosculpture by artist Willard Wigan.
The Vacheron Constantin Tour de I’Ile: $1,538,160
One of the most complicated watches in the luxury category, this watch has faces — one the front and back — that displays a perpetual calendar, sunset time indicator, and a second time zone, among others.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica a Grande Sonnerie: $1,475,070
Containing 1,300 parts, this luxury watch can play the entire Big Ben chiming sequence.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor: $1,125,000
The case is made out of silicon, containing four sprung balances that compensates for the effects of gravity and achieving greater accuracy.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joallerie: $1,000,000
This luxury watch is completely covered with a total of 1,185 baguette diamonds. For the case, a team of 15 craftsmen spent almost 2,000 hours cutting the diamonds.
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For further reading: www.watchtime.com/blog/million-dollar-watches/