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Why are luxury watches so expensive, and are they truly worth it?
- Jun 08, 2018 -

The answer is yes and no.

Let’s try to advance step by step. What are the componoents of a luxury watch? BTW, when I mean luxury, I’m not talking about Rolex. I’m talking about A.Lange & Söhne, Patek Philippe, Voutilainen, Journe etc..

  • Mechanism

  • Case

  • Dial

Mechanism

The hardest part of watchmaking is undoutably the mechanism part. That’s why you see so many mechanism suppliers in watch industry and that’s why building an in-house mechanism seen as an amazing feature of the manufacture and brand.

So what makes building mechanism so hard?

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The mechanism you see up there belongs to Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite ref. L072.1. What 072 means is that this caliber was started to produced in 2007. And the watch came alive in 2011! Can you believe it? 4 years of research and development just to built one mechanism and one watch model.

As you may know, human power in Switzerland and Germany is not cheap. So, when you bound some people to produce one watch that you hope to sell, you have to put a big price tag on it. I’m not even talking about production phase and finishing on these mechanisms that can last for months.

Case

Most of the time, people think case material has a big impact on the price. Yes it does, but not as much as the mechanism and human power I mentioned earlier. Correct ordering in this case should be (from cheap to expensive) Steel - Gold Alloys - Platinum. I’m not including exotic materials like titanium or ceramic etc.. So, case material is an important aspect of the price as well.

Dial

This is where craftsmanship strikes again. In these days, while many of the dials are fabricated, some of them are still hand crafted; like enamel dials.

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Look at this beauty. This is Breguet 7147 with enamel dial. The craftsmanship and mastery on this 35 mm marvel is extreme. It requires years of work just to create that much of a smooth dial. And if you want such beauty, you have to pay that person’s salary, right?

Overall, expensiveness depends on person. But if you have fine craftsmanship in this world, you have to pay the price. Because that man needs to feed him/herself too. If he/she gives his/her years to create such marvel, you have to respect them and pay the price

-by Alperen Sever

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