There are few pieces of jewelry that provide a function as beautiful as their form, but many watches fit that description easily. Stylish timepieces offer wearers a way to conscientiously and conveniently keep track of time while adding extra polish to wearers’ ensembles. A high-quality watch can inspire poise and confidence in the wearer and pride, trust and perhaps envy in their fellows.
Yet, every once in a while, a timepiece goes above and beyond “stylish” and “functional.” The following watches produced in the 21st century — and still available to those willing to search for them and pay the extraordinary costs — are more remarkable than most timepieces available, and they might even qualify as wearable art.
MB&F Legacy Machine Flying T
One of the most iconic timepieces of all time, the Legacy Machine Flying T is a three-dimensional mechanical sculpture. Some high-end watches contain mechanical components called tourbillons, which counter the effect of gravity on the precision and accuracy of watch movements. In MB&F’s Legacy Machine, the tourbillon almost literally flies around the dome, carrying the timepiece face with it.
Calvin Klein Glimpse
Immediately striking, the Calvin Klein Glimpse boasts a face unlike any other timepiece on the market. The dial of the Glimpse looks more like a gauge in an aircraft cockpit than an everyday watch, but a wearer can easily become accustomed to the sleek aerodynamic design.
Cartier Santos de Cartier
Cartier has been a world leader in timepieces for more than a century, and with the Santos de Cartier, it is not difficult to see why. Simple and readable but nonetheless stunning, the Santos de Cartier demonstrates why Cartier remains among the top luxury watches for women and men.
Dior Grand Bal
One of the most beloved watches ever made, Dior’s Grand Bal brings the movement of the timepiece to the fore, harnessing its power to oscillate some beautiful features on the face. Celebrated for its beauty and grace, the Grand Bal is a must-have for any watch collector.
Another timepiece with an unconventional face, the Grip harkens to a bygone era of watch design. The retro aesthetic is simple and sleek, with a vintage chicness that feels relevant now. Because Gucci is lauded for the smooth functionality of their timepieces, wearers can trust the time they read on this watch.
Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 10
A skeleton watch — meaning a timepiece that showcases the mechanical inner workings as a feature of its design — the Histoire de Tourbillon 10 from Harry Winston is a fascinating watch to watch. Perfectly symmetrical, but nevertheless effortlessly readable, this watch is an incredible piece of craftsmanship even amongst other luxury timepieces.
Hublot x Marc Ferrero Big Bang One Click
Marc Ferrero is a French contemporary artist known for his large, graphic paintings. To make this outstanding timepiece, watchmaker Hublot collaborated with Ferrero, integrating one of his best-known works “The Lipstick” into the center of the dial, the strap, the case border and more. The result is a dazzlingly intricate watch bursting with eye-catching detail.
Patek Philippe Diamond Ribbon Joaillerie
A watch that is drips with opulence, the Diamond Ribbon Joaillerie is well-named, as it features a dial that is wall-to-wall with glittering diamonds. Arranged in a spiral, the diamonds number 679, — and wearers can count every one thanks to the amplified size of the watch case.
Piaget Secret Water
Gorgeously unique, the Secret Water watch from Piaget is truly a work of art. A golden bracelet contains a small yet arresting timepiece backed by black opal, which shines with shifting hues of green, yellow and blue. Intriguingly asymmetrical, the timepiece looks and feels exceedingly special, making wearers feel excited to showcase the watch on their wrist.
Rolex Pop Art
The Rolex belongs in a class of its own, as this brand and style of watch is so revered around the world. Still, the Pop Art from Rolex perfectly marries luxury and efficiency by coordinating gold and steel into a timepiece meant to honor one of the most influential artists of our age, Andy Warhol. Bold in its size and elaborate in its features, this watch is a wonderful investment.
Not everyone can afford or achieve fashion success with every one of these exceptional timepieces — which makes them all the more fascinating to see and enjoy.