“Luxury timepieces tell the time, and they do so with great accuracy—but telling the time is almost secondary in importance. Ultra-high-end watches tell a story. They may serve as a signifier of the stature and taste of the wearer. They often represent a heritage watchmaker, perhaps even one that invented now-common watch functions, with past clientele made up of royalty.
Which helps explain why the Apple Watch, so far, hasn’t had a big impact on the high-end watch market, according to consultancy Bain & Co. “Men especially have precious few things to indicate who they are. Traditional watches are one of the few and very powerful ways of designating your status,” says Ariel Adams, editor of aBlogtoWatch and author of The World’s Most Expensive Watches. Looking for a wrist-worn status symbol of your very own? Here are six current horological investments.”