Why are some Watches so Expensive

A lot has changed in the last decade with the smart phones gaining popularity. This has caused watches to slowly shift from a necessity to a luxury item, more like an accessory. However, people have been wearing watches not just for time sake, but also as a style statement since long. That’s why there’s a wide variety of choices available to us when it comes to watches, some being much more luxurious than others.

In this article, we are going to dive in the arena of some of the most luxurious watch brands. We will try to find out why some timepieces cost us a fortune.

Table of Contents
  • Why are Luxury Watches so Expensive?
  • Who makes the most expensive watches in the world?

Why are Luxury Watches so Expensive?

Brand Value and Marketing Costs

Watches are not just about the product itself. Just like in any other industry, just making a good product doesn’t necessarily mean that it will sell enough. Marketing in the short term and creation of a brand value in the long term are essential components of any business.

Afterall no one will buy your watch if the target audience is not even aware that a good quality watch is being offered by a certain company.

But marketing isn’t cheap!

This is one of the main reasons why some watches are very expensive. Either they spend a lot of money in marketing, or have been spending a lot since long to build their brand. Obviously, they will pass on that cost to their consumers.

Just compare the marketing budgets of premium brands like Patek Philippe with that of brands like Frederique Constant. You will get a fair idea.

Big watch brands like Patek Philippe do not just employ watch technicians, but also keep a big marketing team on their payroll. The big bucks spent by this Swiss watch brand has created an unsurmountable brand awareness among the target audience.

This is not something unique to the watch market. Probably you or some of your friends must be a proud owner of an Apple company’s product. Apple’s marketing budget is bigger than the GDP of some countries.

Demand-Supply Balance

One other reason behind some premium watch brands putting a huge cost tag on their products is the limited supply aspect. Brands like Patek Philippe keep their products exclusive, as these brands only produce a limited number of watches per year. Low supply and huge demand for such branded watches obviously shoots up the price.

This is also true in case of brands in some other industries too. Say, Harley Davidson and Rolls-Royce Holdings in auto sector.

One of the reasons behind their low production volumes is that a large part of their production process is manual, wherein skilled personnel spend a significant amount of their time crafting each watch. So, in a way each of their watches is unique, rather than produced in a production line by machines as done by many watch companies now, say SEIKO.

Cost of Manual Labour

Some of the premium companies like Rolex and Patek Philippe rely heavily on skilled labour as they do not make use of the production line. Such skilled labour may be expensive, especially if they are from first world countries like Switzerland.

Quality of Components and Material

Of course, such premium watches are made up of best quality components, and it shows in their accurate time-keeping and performance. A case in point - Rolex uses 904L steel, which is difficult to acquire and pretty expensive.

Rolex made its name in the early 20th century because of its precision in timekeeping. It won various awards for this in Switzerland, UK, etc. It was also a frontrunner in innovation and came up with the first waterproof watch of the world. All this helped in building its brand value. Everyone wanted to have a piece of this pie. Naturally, its prices got a boost.

Most of such expensive watches have a long life. In many cases, you may keep on wearing one for decades (well, unless you lose them). Another testament to their quality.

Expensive Peripherals

Some watches may be expensive just because of some peripheral attributes, such as use of gold, embedded expensive stones, etc. However, some of such watches are custom-made and we can ignore such aberrations.

Smart Watches

Now, many tech companies are coming up with smart watches that are expensive due to the technology used in them. Companies like Apple, Samsung and Google are leading players in this field.

Who makes the most Expensive Watches in the World?

Listed below are some of the top-notch watch companies & brands and their frontline products. That is, the most expensive watches for men and women.

Patek Philippe

Some of its top-tier watches are:


You may go and check out their website.


Rolex is probably the most well-known premium watch brand the world over. Many of its watches may cost over a million dollars.

Though some of its watches are in the medium price range and very much affordable if you have a decent source of income.

Rolex watches have a huge fan following and can easily be resold. In fact, these watches do not lose much value with time. If you are lucky, you may even get more money than what you paid.

Some of its top-tier watches are:

  • GMT-Master II
  • Cosmograph Daytona
  • Sky-Dweller
  • Sea-Dweller
  • Submariner
  • Cosmograph Daytona

You may go and check out their website.


Apple is the leading player when it comes to smart watches. Some of its luxurious premium smart watches are:

  • Apple Watch Hermès
  • Apple Watch Nike
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2
  • Apple Watch Series 9

You may go and check out their website.

Winding Up

Most of these premium watches are mechanical watches. Such watches require more effort, time and precision in production. It’s no surprise that these will be more expensive than most digital watches out there, especially if you add in the ingredients of exclusivity, brand and quality.

These watches are more of a style statement, a declaration of your personality and the fact that you have arrived. Choose the one that calls out to your heart and soul. You will wear one with as much charm in young age, as you will do once your hair turn grey. With time, the pain of the cost incurred will diminish, but the pride of such an exquisite possession will keep on compounding!

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