Pre-Owned Spotlight: Pricey Platinum Pieces From Patek, MB&F, Breguet, And More
Platinum is the heaviest of precious metals. It’s hypoallergenic and unaffected by water and air. At the same time, it’s also one of the rarest precious metals out there and is 30 times rarer than gold. This also means we need to be careful not to exhaust the earth’s platinum stock. That’s why it might be a good idea to go for a pre-owned one the next time you’re looking for a pricey platinum piece. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer out there.
After Thomas’s lightweight overview, it was time for some heavyweights! The first few pieces I’ll discuss below are very nice watches, but they are also way out of my league. That’s why I also looked for a few platinum “bargains” on offer for less than €10,000. So make sure to stay tuned for those at the end of the article.
Platinum Patek Philippe 3939
The first one that caught my eye was this Patek Philippe ref. 3939. Unlike what that reference number might make you think, this watch is actually 34mm wide. And that’s exactly what I found so interesting about it because this watch isn’t just a “run-of-the-mill” three-hand Patek. No, there’s more going on under that dial. It not only houses a tourbillon, which is visible through the exhibition case back, but it will also repeat the minutes and the hours for you when you pull up the lever on the left side of the platinum case.
And it does all that while displaying a very simple and elegant time-only dial with discreet sub-seconds at 6 o’clock. But what it tries to hide behind that set of Breguet hands and numerals is impressive, to say the least. This is especially true when you remember that the case is only 34mm wide. On the other hand, it’s 12mm thick, and its price definitely tells you there’s something extraordinary going on backstage. Alas, not everyone has US$500,000 laying around somewhere in an old sock.
MB&F Legacy Machine Thunderdome
For about half the price of that Patek, you can get yourself something that looks way more extravagant. Max Büsser co-created this watch in 2011 with two other big names in the industry. Eric Coudray is responsible for the three cages that turn every 20, 12, and eight seconds at the heart of the dial. This mechanism is one of the fastest and largest three-axis regulators out there. And Kari Voutilainen, the dial magician, is responsible for that beautiful guilloché texture on the electrifying blue dial.
You really don’t have to worry that this watch will go unnoticed on your wrist because the weight of the platinum will remind you that it’s there. And that massive dome that results in a 22.2mm total height will ensure that no one will miss the watch while you’re wearing it. The one I was following this week actually went down in price by about $100,000 to its current price of US$265,000. So if you want it, now’s the time to make your move!
Omega or Breguet
For my next pick, I couldn’t choose between these two pricey platinum pieces. The first one is an Omega Speedmaster ref. 3096.30.00. It’s a limited-edition Speedmaster, 50 pieces of which were made in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. I do still prefer the classic black and white dial of the Speedmaster. But when you’re spending ¥28,333,799 (around €194,000) on one, you want something special, like that beautifully finished movement behind the skeleton dial.
And then I saw this Breguet Classique Skeleton ref. 3795. Again, I do prefer the more classic guilloché Breguet dials, but the finishing on the skeleton dial of this perpetual calendar is also quite nice, don’t you think? And I haven’t even mentioned the immaculate finishing on the back of the movement! I mean, €193,700 is a lot of money, but I think this piece of art is totally worth it.
The more “affordable” ones
The watches mentioned above are quite phenomenal, but they are indeed very pricey platinum pieces. I also wanted to see what kind of platinum watches are available under €10,000. If you’re really on a tight budget, you should consider getting a 36.5mm Swatch Tresor Magique with an automatic movement inside. Currently, you can find some on Chrono24 from €1,800 to €3,200.
The next one I’d seriously consider would be this IWC “Isomura” from 1969. It’s such a simple-looking watch in great condition, but you’ll definitely notice it on your wrist because, once again, the 35mm case and bezel are made out of platinum. Now that’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, right? And it’s for sale for just €3,786.
Even though this Cartier Vendome is only 33mm wide, I’d still like to try it out. I’m sure the weight of the platinum will still make it feel like quite a substantial watch on the wrist. This piece has a beautiful guilloché texture on the dial, and it’s available here for €6,250.
Finally, there’s this Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control that will be auctioned at Sotheby’s soon. It has an estimate of US$7,000–10,000, and I think that’s still a very decent price for such a good-looking 37mm complete calendar.
I was, of course, able to find some incredible (and unobtainable) pricey platinum pieces. But I was really surprised that you can still find some really nice platinum watches out there for less than €10,000.
What’s your favorite watch in platinum, and which one would you pick from the options above? Let me know in the comments below.
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