This is definitely going to be an interesting article! Today we are going to be discussing holy grail watches. The first thing we need to do to start things off, is to define what we mean by a “holy grail watch”. A holy grail watch refers to the watch that a person desires the most in his or her lifetime. This is a watch that, once a person obtains it, will keep it for the rest of their lifetime, and probably pass it down to the next generation.
You may also hear this commonly referred to as a grail watch for short. It can also be called an “exit watch”. After all, this watch in particular will be the final watch for a watch collector and thus will complete their collection.
The term “holy grail”, is derived from a mythical cup described throughout history as having mystical powers. It is thought that if someone drinks from this cup they will be granted immortality, or some kind of special ability. The idea is that this object is sacred. That is why such a prized watch is phrased in in this manner. A holy grail watch has an almost sacred allure to the person who desires it.
Every watch enthusiast or collector has their own personal holy grail watch. This will be the watch that represents the ultimate expression of a timepiece for a particular individual. Oftentimes, such a watch is rare, or extremely expensive. As such, it may take a person many years to obtain one. And that is if they can even obtain it at all!
The Holy Trinity In Watchmaking
So now that we know what a holy grail watch is, there are specific watches that many enthusiast covet and agree upon to have great value. These watches come from 3 well known brands that have become known as “The Holy Trinity” in watchmaking.
Within horological history, three big brands have stood out in the minds of the masses. These three brands represent the epitome of quality in watchmaking. The brands are: Audemars Piguet, Patek Phillippe, and Vacheron Constantin. These are all Swiss brands. We all know that Swiss watches represent the highest in quality of watches!
Surely if there is a definitive holy grail watch, a watch to end all watches, it would be found among one of these brands. So why exactly, are these brands singled out as the best of the best? That’s what we’ll get into in the next section.
Why Are These “The Big 3”?
The brands that make up the holy trinity of watches are a marvel of horological achievement. Let’s take a quick look at them to see what makes them so special.
This is a family owned brand that was founded in 1875. The founders were Jules Louis Audemars, and Edward Auguste Piguet. Both of these men were watchmakers. Audemars was skilled at creating watch movements. Piguet specialized in sales. They combined their talents to form the company.
Audemars Piguet has made some notable achievements. They are credited as having created the world’s first minute repeating movement. Additionally, this brand also created the world’s first skeleton watch. With these credentials, it is easy to see why Audemars Piguet is so highly regarded in the industry.
Audemars Piguet’s Holy Grail Watch
By far the watch that this brand is best known for, is the Royal Oak collection. Watches from the Royal Oak series are highly sought after by collectors.
Patek Phillipe was founded in 1839. It was originally founded by a Polish watchmaker named Antoni Patek, and his business partner Francisek Czapek. This company is one of the oldest watch manufacturers to remain in business consecutively since it began.
Patek Phillipe has a history of creating timepieces for members of royal families. In fact, in 1868, Patek Phillipe created the first ever Swiss wristwatch for the Hungarian Countess Koscowicz.
The watches produced by this company break records for being some of the most expensive watches ever sold at auctions. This goes to prove why the company made this list. Surely there is a reason why people would want to spend hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars for these watches!
Patek Phillipe’s Holy Grail Watch
The Nautilus is Patek Philippe’s luxury sport watch. It has captured the hearts of many watch enthusiasts, and is a marvel of Swiss engineering.
Vacheron Constantin is the oldest manufacturer of Swiss made watches. The company actually began way back in 1755. It was founded by a watchmaker named Jean-Marc Vacheron, and was later passed down to his son Abraham, and then to his son Jacques-Barthélemy Vacheron. In 1810 Jacques-Barthélemy Vacheron ended up partnering up with a businessman named François Constantin in order to help expand the business.
Vacheron Constantin has quite a few accomplishments in the industry. They are credited with creating the world’s first watch complication, which debuted in 1790. The company also manufactured the first jump hour watch in 1824. In 2015, they created a pocket watch that had the most complications ever made, with a grand total of 57.
Vacheron Constantin’s Holy Grail Watch
The legendary watch from Vacheron Constantin is known as the “Patrimony”. This watch is actually surprisingly cheap, at around $18,000. Well, it is cheap compared to the others on this list anyway. But for someone who wants it bad enough, they will shell out the dough.
So What Is Your “Holy Grail” Watch?
In this article we have covered what a holy grail watch is, as well as some of the most highly sought after timepieces by the most renown Swiss watch brands in existence. But at the end of the day, only an individual can decide what watch is the best of the best to them.
So what is your “holy grail” watch? What watch means the most to you? Whatever it is, if you don’t already have it, I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit to obtain it.
That wraps up our look into these coveted timepieces. If you enjoyed this article, and want to learn more interesting facts about watches and their history, then you can check out more of our info articles here