When it comes to collecting vintage watches, it’s all about finding something rare and unique. A higher price is generally one of the indicators that a watch is rarer than most, so it comes as no surprise that some of the rarest watches have been auctioned off for a high sum.
However, the higher price tags are nothing compared to the heritage and beauty of vintage timepieces.
Below are five of the rarest watches that have ever been created and sold.
- Patek Philippe Ref. 1518
Patek Philippe is one of the most esteemed manufacturers of high-end watches in the world. The Patek Philippe Reference 1518 In Steel is one of the most expensive watches ever sold at an auction. While the watch was originally valued at $3 million, it sold for just over $11 million. There is said to be only four watches with the reference number 1518, with the first one being manufactured in 1943. This particular model was also only made for the Italian market, making it even more exclusive.
- Rolex 4113
Manufactured in the 1940s, this beautiful timepiece is one of the rarest in the world and was auctioned off for just under $1.2 million back in 2011. While 12 watches were manufactured, only 8 have ever been seen. The 44mm wide and thin bezel is one of the features that make this watch so distinct. There is also a unique button that juts out from the crown. The 4113 is the only split-second chronograph to be created by the renowned brand.
- Patek Philippe 3974
There is another rare watch by Patek Philippe that makes it onto this list – the 3974. Many watch fanatics have named this one of the most complicated timepieces to ever grace the earth. The 3974 has a Calatrava cross symbol at the dial’s 12 o’clock position and a leap-year indicator at 3 o’clock. Produced in 1989, the 3974 is said to be a custom-made watch and includes gold numerals, a black dial base and italicised fonts, which gives it a very classy touch. The timepiece sold at auction for $470,660.
- Bao Dai Rolex Ref. 6062
In 2017, this rare watch sold for over $5 million. This is the only Rolex with a reference number of 6062 with a black dial and diamond indexes. The watch was named after the last reigning emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai, who owned it at some point. Some of the other most notable features of this watch include an Oyster case and a triple date calendar and moon phase.
- Vacheron Constantin Chronometre Royal Ref. 4907
The final watch on this list is the Vacheron Constantin Chronometre Royal Ref. 4907, one of the rarest vintage timepieces the market has ever seen. This collection of watches was first launched in the early 1900s and is known as one of the first attempts at a precision timepiece. The long, solid lugs and substantial case really make it stand out on the wrist of the wearer.
These rare watches are truly something to behold and an inspiration to us here at Martins of Glasgow. We look forward to helping you repair and restore your treasured timepieces.