People who don’t wear watches often argue that your smartphone is the most accurate timepiece ever.
And that’s true. But it’s also true that watch collectors and lovers wear watches because they love them, not because they need them.
Sometimes, watchmakers go the extra mile and create timepieces that you can’t basically use to keep track of time, even if you wanted to – because they’re so complicated.
But they are still beautiful.
1. Urwerk UR-100V ‘Time and Culture’ (ca. $77,000)
Most Urwerk watches are designed to look exactly like this: an over-designed face and complicated functions.
And that’s exactly what collectors love about the brand.
This is its latest model, dubbed ‘Time and Culture’, and it comes in with a steel and titanium case that also incorporates a bezel and most of the dial.
Only the bottom section of the face visible.
You can use it to tell time, barely, and it also has a function allowing you to follow the Aztec calendar.
Amazing stuff. And the price is amazing as well – $77,000.
2. Ressence x Alain Silberstein Type 1 REV ‘Carpe Diem’ Grail Watch ($24,300)
Alain Silberstein is the name of the artist behind a watch brand that specializes in artsy timepieces.
Ressence is an independent brand that made a name a name for itself by creating a bezel-less watch with sub-dials and elements that look like they’re printed on when they actually aren’t.
Together, they’ve created this, a unique and quirky timepiece with a beautiful – albeit barely intelligible – face.
It looks like a smartwatch but it’s actually entirely mechanical.
The tulip shows the hours, the blue triangle shows the minutes and the rotating skull shows the seconds.
It’s pricey: $24,300
3. M.A.D. 1 Red by MB&F ($2,900)
MB&F, an independent watchmaker, introduced a nearly identical version of this watch about a year ago as a ‘thank you’ to his collaborators and partners.
This one is basically the commercial equivalent of that, as in – anyone can buy it.
Same size, same dial, same movement, the only difference is the strap is black, not white, and it has red accents and tones, rather than blue.
It’s made from titanium and the only thing you can see through the dial is the automatic movement.
So how do you tell the time? You have to look at the watch sideways, using the ring that runs around the entire circumference of the watch.
It’s priced at $2,900.
4. Fossil Meridiana (ca. $99)
‘Meridiana’ is Italian for sundial, and this watch is literally a sundial.
It has no hands, no batteries, no nothing.
The case is made of stainless steel with copper and stone inserts, and there’s a little rubber triangle designed to deflect the sunlight on the dial, depending on where the sun is positioned.
It is nigh on impossible to know what time it is looking at the watch, especially when it’s cloudy outside, but for about $99, this is a great collectible item.