Source: Vacheron Constantin
Watches

Watches so Rare You'll Have to Travel the Globe to Buy Them

Limited to single- or double-digit production runs, these "Boutique Edition" watches are worth hitting the road for.

Let’s face it: When it comes to collectibles, scarcity is key. Most luxury watch brands have been wise to this for some time. Every now and again, they release a variant on an existing watch, in extremely low numbers, to specific boutiques around the globe. These "Boutique Edition" pieces tend to sell out quickly, and once they’re out the store door, good luck tracking one down. There’s been a lot of activity in the world of boutique editions this past week, with the first four watches on our list having been announced within the past 24 hours. If you’ve already secured all the standard pieces you wanted in your collection and happen to be in the market for something a little less ordinary, any of these watches will give your collection an instant boost in street cred.

(Corrects price of Breitling Super Avenger II Blacksteel Las Vegas Edition in the tenth slide. It is $11,900, not $19,130.)
  1. Richard Mille RM 50-27- 01 Suspended Tourbillon Limited Edition
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    Richard Mille RM 50-27- 01 Suspended Tourbillon Limited Edition

    $800,000

     

    Topping off the announcements this week, Richard Mille unveiled an extremely limited new model—limited to five pieces, to be specific—that will be available through four of its U.S. boutiques. The new release pairs Richard Mille's ultra-sleek NTPT Carbon case, with his stunning suspended tourbillon that was originally created for the RM 27-01 for Rafael Nadal.

    Source: Richard Mille

  2. Vacheron Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Limited Edition for North America
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    Vacheron Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Limited Edition for North America

    $45,000

     

    Another announcement that rolled out just in time for this feature is this jaw-dropping timepiece from Vacheron. Limited to 30 pieces and available through select Vacheron Constantin boutiques in North America, the key detail with the Traditionnelle Day-Date Power Reserve is its beautifully detailed guilloche dial. Vacheron is considered to be the first watchmaker to use the hand-engraving patternwork design; to see it executed so finely on a traditional dress watch is a treat worth the cost of entry.

    Source: Vacheron Constantin

  3. Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal
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    Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal

    $41,500

     

    Arnold & Son never does large volume of any piece it creates, but this sleek, gunmetal version of the spectacular TB88 is about as rare as they come—limited to five pieces destined solely for select boutiques in North America, including Feldmar in Los Angeles, Cellini in New York, and Provident in Florida. The watch pays tribute to the golden era of English gunsmithing by using traditional metalwork techniques on the case. It honors traditional English watchmaking, too, through such details as the extensive use of straight-cut bridges throughout the movement.

     

    Source: Arnold & Son

  4. Hublot Classic Fusion Aero Fusion Chronograph Las Vegas
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    Hublot Classic Fusion Aero Fusion Chronograph Las Vegas

    $21,600

     

    Just announced at publishing time, this limited edition of 21 watches is a twist on the Aerofusion that capitalizes on the rampant increase in popularity of black and gold in luxury watchmaking this year. A micro-blasted ceramic case and King Gold bezel provide loads of visual appeal, and its dial hides a subtle etching of the word Vegas floating above a skeletonized movement to remind owners that what happens in Vegas sometimes ends up in the watch collection.

  5. MB&F LM-1 Legacy Machine Dubai Edition (Green Dial)
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    MB&F LM-1 Legacy Machine Dubai Edition (Green Dial)

    AED 308,000 (approx. $84,000)

     

    MB&F has always been known for beautiful and seriously outlandish creations, but to many the LM-1’s slightly more traditional styling makes this the one to have. Max Büsser has long spoken highly of his relationship with collectors and retailers in Dubai, and this green-dialed variant of the LM-1 pays tribute to this. Limited to 13 pieces, this boutique edition can be found only at the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery in Dubai.

    Source: MB&F

  6. URWerk UR-110 Zirconium ‘Champagne Supernova’
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    URWerk UR-110 Zirconium ‘Champagne Supernova’

    $135,000

     

    You could safely argue that every URWerk is a limited edition, but this sleek variant of the UR-110 is a really tough one to come by. Released a few short years ago, the key detail that separates this from its standard sibling is the vapor-deposited Zirconium Nitride coating that is extremely durable—not to mention striking to look at. This low-numbers piece can be found only at Marcus Watches in London and at Hour Glass in Singapore.

    Source: Urwerk

  7. Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Bracelet
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    Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Bracelet

    $34,500

    In a certain upper gamut of watches, the availability of a metal bracelet can be quite tricky to secure. Recently we came across an ultra-rare A. Lange & Söhne, with its platinum bracelet, heading for the Christies Geneva watch auction. The Parmigiani Tonda 1950 can be found through any Parmigiani retailer, but those who want its elusive bracelet will find that a trip to a flagship boutique in Miami, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, Porto Cervo, Sardinia, or Gstaad, Switzerland, is in order.

    Source: Parmigiani Fleurier

  8. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono Green
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    Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono Green

    $27,900

     

    For fans of more casual watches, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph came as a home run at SIHH this year. AP has experimented with color plenty of times, but these new models are eye-popping. To many collectors’ dismay, this loud, lime-green model is available for purchase only at the brand’s Geneva boutique.

    Source: Audemars Piguet

  9. IWC Big Pilot Rodeo Drive Edition
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    IWC Big Pilot Rodeo Drive Edition

    $14,900

     

    Limited editions of all sorts, with IWC, often involve the introduction of different dial colors. Paying homage to the bright blue skies and deep blue seas of the California coast, this ceramic-cased Big Pilot is a bold and stylish take on a brand classic. Rather than basing this limited-edition piece on its classic chronograph or perpetual calendar—as IWC did when it came out with the whimsical Le Petit Prince and Antoine De Sait Exupéry models—the Rodeo Drive edition is a classic 46-millimeter Big Pilot with the brand’s in-house, automatic, seven-days power reserve movement.

    Source: IWC

  10. Breitling Super Avenger II Blacksteel Las Vegas Edition
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    Breitling Super Avenger II Blacksteel Las Vegas Edition

    $11,900

     

    Designed in conjunction with Horologio Fine Watches in Las Vegas, with the goal of capturing a proper Vegas feel, Breitling’s boutique edition is a peculiar beast, to say the least. Coming in at 48mm in diameter, it sports a black mother of pearl dial surrounded by a black diamond-set bezel. It may be a little flashy for some, but in a place like Sin City, it will no doubt find a number of fans.

    Source: Breitling