The company made 100 Opus Eleven watches available for $230,000 each. Another 11, decorated with diamonds, cost $289,000 apiece [source: Blades Magazine]. For most of us, the watch is way out of our price range, but why would even someone who could afford the Taj Mahal spend so much on a wristwatch? Is it just a rich person's toy? Is it bling raised to the nth power?
The truth is that fine timepieces have had an allure going back centuries. Precision-made mechanical watches have continued to attract buyers even in the age of digital watches and battery-powered movements. There are a number of reasons why:
- As part of a collection --Many of us love to collect things: sports cars, antiques, stamps, dolls, beer cans. Collectors of watches have the same passion to own. Possessing an Opus Eleven is a matter of pride, bragging rights and deep fascination.
- As one of a kind -- Part of the attraction of a limited-edition watch like the Opus Eleven is that the owner knows that he or she is one of very few people on Earth who will ever posses one. Such exclusivity holds its own appeal.
- As art -- Art isn't only paintings and sculptures. Connoisseurs see a fine watch as a representation of human ingenuity and aesthetic sensibility. In other words, a thing of beauty.
- As jewelry -- A watch like the Opus Eleven definitely makes a fashion statement. Since men generally don't wear a lot of jewelry, a watch serves as "wrist candy," letting them display their sense of style.
- As an investment -- Though most don't collect watches purely for the money, a fine watch can gain in value. The best chance for appreciation is in antique watches or in exclusive timepieces like the Opus Eleven.
Any or all of these reasons might prompt someone to dig deeply into his or her bank account to own an Opus Eleven. We can't discount the cool factor, either. It's hard to define, but the Opus Eleven clearly has it in spades. In some ways, this watch really is a toy. It evokes the same kind of playful delight that we all remember so fondly from childhood. And that can be worth a lot.