Every watch collector knows you can’t just walk into a luxury boutique and expect to buy an in-demand timepiece, any more than you can walk into a gallery and pick up the latest Richard Prince. The space between demand and supply can be acute, and some watches acquire a status beyond value or taste. Here are six of the best compiled by James Gurney
An icon returns: Demand for Zenith’s heritage re-issues such as this Defy Revival is intense. It’s easy to see why. The faceted octagonal case and 14-sided bezel combined with the steel ladder bracelet, gives the £6,100 Defy a character as unique today as it was radical at its 1969 launch.
Blue blood: François-Paul Journe set up as a watchmaker nearly 25 years ago, after restoring antique clocks. That tradition, combined with a modern aesthetic, has collectors content to wait for years, even for the simplest creations such as the Chronomètre Bleu, which retails for just under $40K, but resells for upwards of $50K.
What is the world: Greubel Forsey raises watchmaking to an art form by preserving and reviving craft skills. That the brand is looking to bring prices down to below £200,000 (the covetable GMT Balancier Convexe is around $400,000) and reduce waiting times to under two years tells you all about demand.