As you can imagine, this is a really, really, like, really difficult question for me. There is an endless list of watches I dream of owning nightly – things like a steel 5004, a pink gold 6062, and an AP 5516 perpetual calendar are always up there. But, if I were to really win tonight’s Powerball lottery, and had endless amounts of income, there are a few pieces I would have to check off my list. Here they are, in no particular order:
The platinum 2499. Okay, there are two of them; one is in the museum, the other is in a private collection, so it is possible this watch comes up for sale again. Do I love the 2499? Sure. Is it the end all for me? Not really, but the one platinum example in the private space is that special, and couple that with the fact that it was the very first mega mega watch I got to see years ago and I remember that feeling so well, and it is a meaningful watch to me. I keep a framed poster of it on the wall near my desk.
A 1950s Vacheron minute repeater in platinum. I just think these are the most elegant, beautiful watches in the world. Vacheron was making insanely beautiful watches back then, and their minute repeaters were so thin and so beautiful. You see them come up in gold with some regularity, but seldom in platinum. They do exist, and I’d love to have one.
Steel 1518. There are five of these out there, and to own a perpetual calendar chronograph from Patek in steel from the 1940s is pretty much the end game. Though, to be honest I wonder if I would be even happier with a steel 530 chronograph with sector dial. Simpler, less expensive, larger diameter, and more under the radar.
Petite and Grand Sonnerie from Philippe Dufour. While I love the old stuff, Philippe’s sonnerie wristwatch is about as close to mechanical nirvana as one can get today. He has made just a few of them, and they are simply divine. Add that to the fact that Mr. Dufour is simply one of the nicest people in all of watches, and this one rests high on my list.
Finally, I would say that these four watches are insanely expensive. And no matter the amount of money I had, I’m not sure I would ever spend that much on a wristwatch. I think on some level, I would be quite happy with a special Lange 1, a steel 1463 like Louis, and in a perfect world, a platinum 2526 with black enamel dial.