At this time of the year, you’ll be reading about a bunch of new watches that will make great holiday gifts. This isn’t one of them. In fact, this new timepiece by Patek Philippe is so exclusive that only seven of them will be made—and so expensive that about that many buyers will actually be able to afford one. Meet the $2.5 million watch.
This new model from Patek Philippe may be the world’s most costly timepiece and is definitely the most complicated. The luxury Swiss watchmaker is celebrating its 175th anniversary in high style by creating a collection of timepieces called The Grandmaster Chime. Each of the limited edition line of watches will have two dials, 20 complications, 214 parts and 1,366 individual components. The 47.7 mm watch required eight years and 100,000 man-hours to develop, with 60,000 hours spent just on the movement.
What makes this watch so special—and expensive? The Grandmaster Chime, which Patek Philippe calls an “intelligent watch,” comes with an array of unique features including a minute repeater, second time zone and instantaneous perpetual calendar with four-digit display. Two more features are exclusive to the Grandmaster Chime: a function that chimes the date and an acoustic alarm that strikes the alarm time.
The Grandmaster Chime has two faces and both are stunning. The double-face watch may be worn with either side facing up and the owner can easily switch from one to another thanks to the “swivel case” feature that allows for smooth reversal. The entire watch shows meticulous craftsmanship with a hand-engraved 16 mm clasp of 18k rose gold and a hand-stitched alligator band.
How exclusive is this watch? So exclusive that even having a spare $2.5 mil in your bank account can’t guarantee that you will score one of these beauties. A total of seven of The Grandmaster Chime watches will be made with one of them going into the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva where the rest of us will be allowed to worship it from afar.
The remaining six won’t be going to the highest bidder on eBay or just one of the first billionaires to put in an order. Potential buyers will have to go through an interview process with Patek Philippe chairman Thierry Stern, who apparently wants to be sure the pricey timepieces will be going to a good home. As Stern told CNBC, “I would like to chat with the client and make sure he’s a watch lover and make sure he’s going to enjoy the watch for many years.”
Wonder how many years the lucky six buyers will have to wear their Grandmaster Chime watches to get their $2.5 million out of them?