Most /least expensive...
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  1. #1
    Member GrouchoM's Avatar
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    Most /least expensive...

    In another thread, there's discussion of what is High End, haute horology, in watches. So, I'm curious what others think is the least expensive High End watch (currently available, based on list price) and most expensive not High End watch (currently available, based on list price).
    Some examples of class ambiguous are the Speedmaster Moonwatch, the Gold square Gshock released this year, and the Tag Hueur Mikrograph.

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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    I feel that this thread is going to raise questions on what is high end or not. It would be easier based on grey market/resale price than it is with MSRP, but since it's the rule of the game, I'll play by the rules.

    I would say that the Piaget Polo S on leather ($8,200 MSRP, $9,100 on bracelet) is the cheapest high end watch available. Why high end? When you handle it, I find the finishing superior to the GP Laureato on the case, while the movement is arguably slightly inferior, and it has a mix of hand finished and machine finished parts.
    The Chopard Alpine eagle comes close, but I have never handled it and the finishing looks maybe a notch above the 2 aforementioned watches. And Blancpain and Breguet both have offerings very close to the $10k mark (FF Bathyscaphe and type XX/XXI).

    Now, there are some independents coming close, like Linde Werdelin's Spidolite and Oktopus, or Sarpaneva, but for the sake of the comparison, I will leave them out since their products are too different for me to compare.

    Edit: I forgot about the most expensive non high-end watch, and I have to say I would be hard pressed to decide. Maybe a full gold Navitimer on bracelet? Around $40k, but it's such an iconic watch, and with a manufacture movement, it's not a peasant watch either. Or a Hublot in solid gold with an ETA movement maybe? Not sure also since their "king" gold is an ingenious material. The Speedmaster moonshine is also very expensive, but it looks soo good.
    Last edited by ar7iste; March 20th, 2020 at 01:18.
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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    Hmm. Well, for the second category, take a perfectly fine, mid-level watch (say, one from a brand whose name starts with an R and ends with an X), make it all gold on a gold bracelet (or platinum if you prefer), then add a bunch of tacky gems all over it. Done.

    For the first category, perhaps something like this:

    Name:  VC Front 1 Small.JPG
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  5. #4
    Member GrouchoM's Avatar
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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    Thanks for your response. I chose MSRP because it's more stable. Gray can fluctuate with market demand quite rapidly. As for what defines haute, that's kind of the point of the thread except I'm looking at the edge cases.

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    Member GrouchoM's Avatar
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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    Mlcor - does RX's handsetting of bling constitute high end workmanship or, as that's not timing related, is that not related to haute horology?

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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchoM View Post
    Mlcor - does RX's handsetting of bling constitute high end workmanship or, as that's not timing related, is that not related to haute horology?

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    Honestly, I don't know how much skill is required for that, so I can't really answer the question intelligently. I know there is a lot of skill in properly cutting and polishing precious gems, but I'm willing to bet they don't do that themselves. But even without the gems, I think a case could be made for one that is platinum with a platinum bracelet. For the record, I have nothing at all against the brand--I own a Hulk and very much like it. I also have a guilty secret pleasure--I think their platinum Cosmograph, the one with the light blue and chocolate brown dial, is very cool, and I'd totally wear one if someone gave it to me (but I'd never buy one, way too much money for it). But I still wouldn't call it high end.

  8. #7
    Member GrouchoM's Avatar
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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    I guess my (subjective) question becomes - Is it only the time related elements that contribute to haute horology (face, hands, timing bezel, movement) or is taking an Invicta and doing $100k of gem-setting, cloissonne, and intricate engraving on its steel bracelet (there's plenty steel high end out there) enough to make it haute? To me, the strap /bracelet contribute very little to my designating a timepiece as high end.

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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post
    For the first category, perhaps something like this:
    Personally, I would say that the entry level VC, PP, ALS and FP Journe, just around $20k, are not the "bottom" of the high end.
    Bottom of the high end for me is roughly around $10k, with in-house movements, hand finishing and ideally steel cases. Jaquet Droz is probably in between for the Swatch Group, with Blancpain being fully high end and Breguet just above. For Richemont it would be just above Panerai and IWC with the Piaget Polo S and altiplano. Girard Perregaux with the 1966 (Orion for example or earth to sky edition) forms probably the entry level into high end for the Kering Group just above UN. LVMH has some Bulgari and Hublot that are definitely high end, but a big part of those brands' bread and butter is not.
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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    Quote Originally Posted by ar7iste View Post
    Personally, I would say that the entry level VC, PP, ALS and FP Journe, just around $20k, are not the "bottom" of the high end.
    Bottom of the high end for me is roughly around $10k, with in-house movements, hand finishing and ideally steel cases. Jaquet Droz is probably in between for the Swatch Group, with Blancpain being fully high end and Breguet just above. For Richemont it would be just above Panerai and IWC with the Piaget Polo S and altiplano. Girard Perregaux with the 1966 (Orion for example or earth to sky edition) forms probably the entry level into high end for the Kering Group just above UN. LVMH has some Bulgari and Hublot that are definitely high end, but a big part of those brands' bread and butter is not.
    Valid answer. All of this is of course subjective. But otherwise it wouldn’t be any fun on this forum, right?


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    Member GrouchoM's Avatar
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    Re: Most /least expensive...

    How important is in house (none to me)? If PP uses a JLC movement, could it be haute?

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