Over the years, the luxury watch industry has produced some of the most immaculately beautiful timepieces ever conceived, and their loyal customers have in turn lined up to drop big bucks on such spectacular creations. They can’t all be winners, though, so today we’re going to tip our hats to the luxury watch industry’s more overzealous designers by sharing the 5 downright ugliest, most overpriced timepieces ever made!
1. Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
Since its debut over 40 years ago, Audemars Piguet’s bold Royal Oak design has helped to popularize larger, bulkier timepieces while simultaneously cementing AP’s position as one of the world’s premiere watchmakers thanks to its consistently brisk sales. So how does one take a proven design like the Royal Oak and take it too far? Apparently, by cramming in a tourbillon (among other complications)! While some may approve of the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph’s densely-packed face and busy-looking dials, the truth is that this timepiece has gone “one complication too far,” ruining its entire design in the process. With a suggested retail price of $325,000 (!!), you’re best off sticking with a simpler, more classic Royal Oak model instead.
2. Angular Momentum’s Time Explosion (White)
Not long ago, somewhere deep inside the offices of the Swiss “artisan timepiece” maker Angular Momentum, a designer decided that it would be a good idea to construct a timepiece which gives the appearance of having large mechanical components glued to its exterior case. He was wrong; not only was it not a good idea, it was a downright terrible one. And if the design itself weren’t offensive enough, the asking price of $95,000 most certainly was! For those with truly questionable jewelry taste, a matching ring is also available.
3. Omega’s Original PloProf
The Omega PloProf, whose name is a French acronym that stands for “Plongeuer Professionel,” is renowned throughout the globe for being one of the most downright unattractive timepieces that Omega has ever created. Designed by the famed aquatic explorer Jacques Cousteau himself, this bulky 45mm wristwatch sacrifices every design principle it can in its quest for raw functionality. While it may be able to tell time accurately amidst the crushing pressures of the deep blue sea, it certainly won’t be winning any beauty contests! And with a standard retail price of nearly $10,000, you’ll be paying for it not only in style, but in cold hard cash as well. While Omega relaunched the PloProf line in 2009 with a new (and slightly more attractive) design, the original PloProf still reigns as one of horology’s ugliest achievements.
4. 38mm Red Gold Hublot Big Bang w/ Full Pave Diamonds
Before you get out your pitchforks to run us out of town for including a Big Bang on this list, bear in mind that we’re referring to 1 very specific model from that otherwise esteemed line of wristwatches. While there’s no denying that Hublot’s Big Bang design is a true classic, this 18k red gold disaster’s overabundance of pave diamonds is so over-the-top and gaudy that one can’t help but wonder what its designers were thinking. With a suggested retail price that’s in excess of $40,000, this Big Bang model is not only tacky, it’s even asking for the same price as a brand new luxury sedan!
5. Leopard Print Rolex Daytona w/ Diamonds & Sapphires
By combining the artistic tact of a blind painter with all the respectability of an illegal African poaching expedition, this leopard print monstrosity proves that even a venerable champion like Rolex’s Daytona line can produce something bad once in a while. For the painfully overblown price of $46,000, you too could own this tasteless wristwatch along with its 48 diamonds, 36 cognac sapphires, and 18k yellow gold case.