In January 2009, one of the bleakest months of the latest recession, a watch collector from the Middle East dropped $3.3 million on Piaget’s new, one-of-a-kind tourbillon watch studded with 1,200 diamonds and shaped like an ancient temple. Though sales like that are as rare as the watches themselves, buyers from the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America helped to mitigate both a drastic drop in demand from Europe and the U.S. and a spike in gold prices in 2009.

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Watches under 1 million dollars

Diamonds, platinum, fancy tourbillons, chronographs, and perpetual calendars are only a few of the features watchmakers use to create the world’s rarest and most expensive timepieces. Bloomberg BusinessWeek asked the world’s most prestigious luxury watch manufacturers to name their priciest products currently in the sales rooms. Of course, diamond-studded designs come with large price tags, such as Piaget’s Emperador Temple at $3.3 million and Cartier’s phoenix-shaped wristwatch at $2.7 million. Other pieces stand by their technical merits, such as Frank Muller’s Aeternitas Mega 4, with 36 complications, at $2.7 million. Louis Moinet’s new piece, Meteoris, is a $4.6 million set of four tourbillion watches, made using four meteorites from space and comes with a planetarium of the solar system.  Note:  Prices from 2010 Bloomberg BusinessWeek article

Baume & Mercier, William Baume Flying Tourbillion
Price: $75,000

Tag Heuer, Monaco V4
Price: $80,000

Glashütte Original,
Julius Assmann 4 in white gold
Price: $161,000

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