Watches have been around since the 17th century. Over the last 400 years, watches have evolved greatly in ways that the first developers of wrist worn and pocket technology could have ever imagined. As we speak, new materials are being tested in concept watches of the 21st century. Using those materials and new control mechanisms, their applications have brought about some drastic designs and sometimes designers just want something outside the norm in their collection. So sit back and check out our pick of some of the craziest watch designs.
1 -Bugatti Type 370 – Originally this watch was only available for purchase by those who had signed for delivery of their Bugatti Veyrons, but the timepiece generated such high demand that they released it to open sale. The dial face sits on its side, known as a transverse movement and requires winding every 10 days. Included is an electric pen shaped tool that will wind it in just 5 seconds. Price $280,000.
2 – Time Orbit Watch – The Djordje (DjoDjo) Zivanovic designed Time Orbit Watch is as simple and straight forward as it gets. A very difficult look to pull off correctly and is achieved by using 3 lines of different shades of color and thicknesses that rotate around the bracelet as the seconds, minutes, and hours pass by. Each line has a number reading each hour, minute and seconds and can be adjusted by touching and dragging each line to the correct time.
3 – HYT H2 – The Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi design arm responsible for some of the most innovative movements in the game. Teamed with an aggressively groundbreaking company, the HYT H2 is the result. This partial skeleton has a huge domed 6 at the base of the dial. The minutes scale actually has TWO 30 minute marks. As the hand reaches the first one it jumps the dome to the second 30 minute mark to continue counting. The biggest party piece is the oil/water hour display around the dial with two Bellows that resets itself after the hour has passed. Price $45,000.
4 – Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 – Christophe Claret simply refuses to be held by boundaries. This partial skeleton will have 3 versions and only 8 of each will be made. Visually it is hands down one of the most striking pieces on the list. The movement has magnets that move steel balls on each side to display the minutes and hours. Price approximately $300,000.
5 – Haruo Suekichi – Suehichi’s story is about as crazy as the watches themselves. While working at a toy store he simply asked the watchmaker across the street he had become friends with to teach him how to make watches. A one armed man told him “with only my left arm, I can’t put on a watch.” That statement opened his mind to new designs and now Suekichi designs one-off pieces, each hand made by Haruo himself, and has a futuristic look with retro materials, a style known as Steampunk.
6 – Romaine Jerome – Unique is the only way to describe the RJ collection. He is known to include materials like Moon dust (no seriously, dust from the moon), Volcano lava, the Apollo 11 Space Shuttle and even recovered steel from the Titanic like the 100 piece limited edition seen here.
7 – Exmocare BT2 – While technically not a watch, this wearable device monitors your emotions. Almost a bit scary when you think about it but the BT2 is designed to measure things like heart rate, location, body temperature, even skin moisture levels. That data can be sent real time to a console via bluetooth for analysis and the data is accessible anywhere in the world. Sure, your boss can tell if you actually need that sick day, but if you’re trying to stay productive you can actually track the effects of non productive situations and influences.
8 – MB&F – If this is to be a true discussion of watch designs, we can’t forget the design genius that is Maximilian Busser & Friends. With several designs which they call “Hourologic Machines” I was forced to include two of his designs in this list. The first is the HM No.3, and the first thing you notice are the frog eyes that display the minutes and hours. This makes the HM No.3 one of the few true 3D movements. Limited to just 18 pieces expect to pay about $90,000 new.
9 – MB&F – Heavily inspired by aviation and particularly jet engines, our last spot goes to the HM No.4. There is something about a horizontal display. These two display the hours and minutes on one and the Power Reserve on the other. The center Sapphire section takes 185 hours to machine. And while the watch is very artistic, MB&F say that every component, 300 in total, is functional. 3 versions of the watch will be limited to 8 pieces each with a RT limited edition of 18 pieces. Prices will range from $158,000 to $230,000.
10 – DeWitt WX-1 – This, is truly an amazing watch to aspire to own. The vertical tourbillion is visible but recessed into the cases rear next to its winding mechanism. Time is told on a face that protrudes from the opposite side with a minutes disk that rotates clockwise, and a hours disk that rotates counter clockwise. You can also open the watch and pull the mechanism out to view the 21 day power reserve display. Each “dot” you see around the case edges aren’t machined or stamped studs, they are actual screws that keep the case and movement together. There will be only 33 of these pieces made. New, these watches will break your bank at over $570,000.