Why are watches so expensive?


Watch Wise

Website Admin


We'll explore 'Why are Watches so expensive?' and look at how many different factors intertwine to create incredible watches

Why are Watches So Expensive?

As we embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind their steep price tags, this blog post delves into the intricate factors that elevate certain timepieces to the echelons of opulence. From the storied heritage of renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe to the meticulous craftsmanship found in A. Lange & Söhne's masterpieces, we'll explore the question 'Why are Watches so expensive?' and look at how brand reputation, material choices, handcrafted details, and cutting-edge complications intertwine to create watches that transcend the concept of mere timekeeping. Join us in demystifying the allure of luxury watches, as we highlight iconic examples and dissect the elements that contribute to their undeniable prestige and pricing

Brand Reputation

  • Heritage and Legacy: Established watch brands with a long history in horology often have a legacy of producing high-quality timepieces. The reputation built over decades or even centuries contributes to the perceived value of the brand, allowing them to command higher prices.
  • Exclusivity: Exclusive brands often limit the production of their watches, enhancing their desirability. The exclusivity associated with these brands can drive up demand, leading to higher prices.
Example: Rolex

Rolex is a renowned Swiss watch brand with a rich history dating back to 1905. The brand is synonymous with precision and luxury. The Rolex Submariner, for instance, is highly sought after for its iconic design, durable construction, and association with exploration, contributing to its high price.


  • Precious Metals: Watches crafted from precious metals such as gold, platinum, or titanium are more expensive due to the inherent value of these materials. These metals not only add to the aesthetics but also contribute to the durability and longevity of the timepiece.
  • Gemstones: Watches adorned with diamonds or other gemstones can significantly increase the price. The quality, size, and rarity of these gemstones play a crucial role in determining the overall cost.
Example: Patek Philippe Nautilus in Rose Gold

Patek Philippe, known for its exceptional craftsmanship, produces the Nautilus model in rose gold (As well as other metals). The use of precious rose gold not only enhances the watch's aesthetics but also significantly increases its price due to the inherent value of the material.


  • Handcrafting: Handcrafted watches require skilled artisans to meticulously assemble and finish each timepiece. The labor-intensive nature of handcrafting contributes to the higher cost, as it ensures a level of precision and attention to detail that is often unparalleled.
  • Intricate Details: Watches with intricate details, such as hand-engraved dials, complex engravings on the case or movement, and hand-painted elements, showcase a level of craftsmanship that adds to the overall value of the watch.
Example: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1

A. Lange & Söhne is renowned for its handcrafted timepieces. The Lange 1, featuring an off-center dial and distinctive design, is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans. The intricate details and manual finishing contribute to its extraordinary price.


Movements & Complications

  • Mechanical Movements: Watches with mechanical movements, especially those crafted in-house by the brand, often come with a higher price tag. The engineering precision and craftsmanship involved in creating mechanical movements contribute to their cost.
  • Complications: Complications like tourbillons, perpetual calendars, and chronographs add complexity to the watch. The design and implementation of these features require additional expertise and can increase production costs.
Example: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar

Audemars Piguet is known for its intricate complications. The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, with its perpetual calendar and moon phase features, showcases the brand's expertise in complicated movements, warranting a higher price.

Heritage & History

  • Historical Significance: Watches associated with historical events or milestones can have a higher perceived value. If a brand has played a role in significant moments in history or has been favored by influential individuals, this heritage can contribute to the watch's prestige and cost.
  • Innovation Over Time: Brands that have consistently contributed to horological innovation and technological advancements may command higher prices due to their continuous pursuit of excellence in watchmaking.
Example: Omega Speedmaster Professional

The Omega Speedmaster Professional is known for its historical significance as the "Moonwatch." It was the first watch worn on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. The watch's association with space exploration and its historical role contribute to its prestige and pricing.

Omega Speedmaster Courtesy Mainspring Watches UK

Read & learn more about how the WatchWise Platform Can Help Your Business and Private Individuals Looking To Sell Luxury Watches

Looking to sell your watch for the best price? List your pre-owned luxury watch on the WatchWise Marketplace today.

New post in your inbox

No spam. just a latest exclusive post on watches interviews and articles