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September 11, 2018updated Dec 20, 2023

The Most Opulent Watches of 2018

By Will Grice

This year marks the second edition of Elite Traveler’s Top 50 Watches. This year our resident watch expert Roberta Naas has handpicked 50 watches across 10 different categories including Astrology, Chronographs, Haute Joaillerie, Innovation, Land and Sea, Multi-Timers, Repeaters and Sonniers, Tourbillons, Ladies’ Tourbillons and Ultra-Thins. With over 30 years of experience covering timepieces, Naas is the author of six books on the subject and is widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the timepiece industry.

Read the full list here

Some of Elite Traveler’s top picks include

1. Patek Philippe Ref 5531R – Featuring a patented chiming movement that was first unveiled in 2017, the 553IR is both a minute repeater and a world-time watch, and is easily one of the most impressive timepieces ever made. The watch’s dial depicts the Lavaux vineyard terrace on Switzerland’s Lake Geneva and is handmade by a single artist.

2. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic – A world-record holder, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic is the thinnest tourbillon timepiece in production, measuring an incredible 3.95mm in thickness. Built entirely in-house, the watch features a skeletonized design and is housed in a titanium case that gives it a sleek and modern feel.

3. Jacob & Co Brilliant Flying Tourbillon – Made from 206 different components and showcasing a bridge set with 1.50 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds, this Jacob & Co watch is perhaps the most colorful item on our list. Featuring a beautiful multicolor dial made from 146 baguette-cut sapphires, the watch is powered by a manually wound caliber JCBM01 and features a one-minute flying tourbillon, making it as technically beautiful as it is eye-catching.

4. Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch LE100 – The only pocket watch to feature on our list, the Montblanc 1858 LE 100 is inspired by traditional military timepieces and is the perfect piece for today’s active climbers, hikers and mountaineers. With just 100 pieces created globally, the watch’s Montblanc M16.24 mechanical manual-wind movement is influenced by a key Minerva caliber from 1929, and features a 24-hour time display and built-in compass.

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