Just like in the fashion industry, the watchmaking world also has its fair share of limited edition releases. Most, if not all, of the brands we know and love have released such special models at least once or twice. As such, there are plenty of timepieces out there whose productions were capped off at a certain number to make them more exclusive and appealing to watch enthusiasts and collectors. If you are the type of person who enjoys collecting limited edition watches, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we have curated a list of the best limited edition watches in the industry for your perusal.
15 Best Limited Edition Watches
1. Vacheron Constantin Métiers D’Art Year Of The Tiger
Starting off with a must-have limited edition watch released this year, we have the Vacheron Constantin Métiers D’Art Year Of The Tiger Ref. 86073/000R-B901. As part of its Legend of the Chinese Zodiac series, Vacheron Constantin has released 12 limited edition models, each representing one animal in the Chinese zodiac. As its name suggests, the Métiers D’Art Year Of The Tiger Ref. 86073/000R-B901 celebrates the upcoming Year of the Tiger in 2022 by showcasing a beautifully intricate Tiger dial design. Each watch in this festive collection has only 12 pieces available, which ups the Ref. 86073/000R-B901’s value as a true collector’s piece.
The Ref. 86073/000R-B901 is presented in a 40mm exquisite rose gold case paired with a handsome alligator leather strap in black. The highlight of this watch is, of course, its 18K gold dial, which boasts a hand-engraved Tiger in enamel surrounded by detailed vegetal patterns. Powered by an automatic 2460 G4 caliber, this fierce watch face also contains 4 apertures that each correspond to the following functions: hour, minutes, day of the week, and date.
With a price tag of around $111,426 USD, this is a great luxury model for those who enjoy traditional, artistic limited edition watches.
2. Breitling Superocean Heritage B01 Chronograph 44 Limited Edition
Next up, we have the Breitling Superocean Heritage B01 Chronograph 44 Limited Edition Ref. UB01622A1L1S1, with its sophisticated yet sporty aesthetic. This watch was inspired by the original Superocean, which was launched back in the 1950s, but is equipped with modern-day elements and innovations. As a limited edition watch, only 500 pieces of this model were ever produced.
This Breitling Superocean piece has a 44mm stainless steel case paired with a mesh-style rubber strap and a unidirectional rotating bezel made of rose gold, with a gleaming black insert on top. The dial comes in a beautiful shade of sunburst green and consists of luminous arrow hands, rose gold hour indices, a chronograph display with 3 counters, and a date window. All these impressive functions are made possible through the self-winding Breitling 01 Caliber which has a 70-hour power reserve.
Unlike many other limited edition watches which have very distinctive, one-of-a-kind designs, the Breitling Superocean Heritage B01 Chronograph 44 Limited Edition Ref. UB01622A1L1S1 serves as a more dressy, quintessential option. You can get your hands on this Breitling watch for around $10,545 USD.
3. Seiko Presage SPB223J1
Looking for a classy watch you can bring to your next office meeting? Check out the Seiko Presage SPB223J1. This watch was released back in July 2021, as part of Seiko’s 140th Anniversary Limited Edition series. As part of the Seiko Presage collection of dress watches, this timepiece simply radiates class, flaunting a more professional, modern aesthetic that would look great in the office or at a nice dinner party. Since this is a limited edition watch, only 3,500 pieces of the SPB223J1 were ever created.
The Seiko Presage SPB223J1 comes in a 42mm stainless steel case and three-link bracelet paired with a striking GMT bezel in metallic blue. The clean white dial boasts a hemp leaf pattern and is adorned with luminous dauphine hands, silver hour indices, a date counter, and a power reserve indicator. On the underside of this watch, you can find a see-through caseback that allows you to observe the automatic 6R64 caliber driving this whole watch.
This Seiko watch has a price tag of around $1,345 USD, making it one of the cheapest limited edition watches on this list.
4. Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminum Ref. 103539
The Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminum Ref. 103539 is a special edition model created in collaboration with one of the most popular DJs in the world, Steve Aoki. It boasts a quirky yet simple watch face with Aoki’s logo placed right at the center, identifying the creative genius of this watch.
The most interesting thing about this Bvlgari piece is that the entire dial is coated with green Super-LumiNova pigment. When you look at the watch face in the dark, this creates a cool effect, reminiscent of the bright feature lighting in nightclubs, that emphasizes Aoki’s symbol. Indeed, the Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminum Ref. 103539 deserves a spot on this list because of its unique and eccentric design that even non-fans would surely appreciate.
In terms of its specifications, this Bvlgari Bvlgari model has a 40mm aluminum and lightweight titanium case paired with a comfortable rubber strap in black. Aside from the aforementioned Super-LumiNova design, the dial also has blunt hour markers, luminous black stick hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock, all of which are powered by an automatic movement. If you turn the watch around, you can also find a solid steel caseback with Aoki’s name engraved on it.
Retailing at around $3,450 USD, the Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminum Ref. 103539 is a great option for both Steve Aoki fans and those who like unique dial designs in general.
5. OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond
Our next limited edition watch is the OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond. This piece was created in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which features the legendary spy James Bond as the protagonist. With only 7,007 pieces in existence, OMEGA made sure to include both overt and secret elements related to our favorite double agent.
This OMEGA Seamaster watch is presented in a 42mm stainless steel case, with a rubber strap in black and a stainless steel rotating bezel. The bezel is also fitted with a black insert that is marked with an elapsed time scale in bold indicators. The dial has a mesmerizing gun-barrel pattern and is furnished with yellow gold hands, hour markers, and Bond’s symbol, all of which are coated with luminescent pigment. When you look at the watch in the dark, you can see the number 50 on the 10 o’clock marker, marking the aforementioned film’s 50th anniversary. On the side of the case, there is also a limited edition plate in luxurious yellow gold.
Powered by OMEGA’s Co-Axial Calibre 8800 with a 55-hour power reserve, this $6,500 USD limited edition watch is a must-have for all 007 fans.
6. TAG Heuer Carrera Tiger Ref. WBN2050.FC6506
The TAG Heuer Carrera Tiger Ref. WBN2050.FC6506 is another model that pays tribute to 2022’s Chinese Year of the Tiger, albeit in a more understated way. Our favorite thing about this watch is that, although it is also based on the Chinese Tiger zodiac, it portrays its inspiration much more subtly so that it can be worn anytime, anywhere. You do not have to be a fan of the Chinese zodiac to get this watch because its simple and classy aesthetics are versatile enough to be appreciated by virtually everyone. That said, only 300 pieces of the TAG Heuer Carrera Tiger Ref. WBN2050.FC6506 were produced, so you might have some difficulty getting your hands on this watch.
This TAG Heuer Carrera watch comes in a 41mm stainless steel case paired with a handsome blue leather strap and a matching blue dial. This dial bears a pattern of alternating blue and dark blue stripes and is reminiscent of the patterned pelt of a tiger. In addition, it is also adorned with luminous stick hands, rose gold-plated hour indices, and a day-date display outlined in rose gold at 3 o’clock. Beneath the watch face is a semi-open caseback with a tiger decal, offering a view of the watch’s high-performing Caliber 5 automatic movement.
You can purchase this TAG Heuer limited edition watch for approximately $3,750 USD.
7. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire Ref. IW503601
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire Ref. IW503601 is a limited edition watch that draws its inspiration from a plane called the Supermarine Spitfire. This aircraft was used by the Royal Air Force during World War II and is very highly-regarded in the aviation world. As a tribute to this aircraft, IWC took all the positive aspects of the Supermarine Spitfire and transposed them into this striking pilot watch. As a limited edition piece, there are only 250 pieces of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire available.
This IWC Big Pilot watch has an oversized 46mm bronze case, along with a brown calfskin leather strap with white stitching and a dark green watch face. The busy dial is peppered with luminescent sword hands, white Arabic numerals in a highly legible typeface, and 4 submerged sub-dials. These sub-dials include a perpetual calendar, day of the week and day of the month displays, a small seconds sub-dial, a month counter, and even a year indicator. If you turn the watch around, you can find a see-through caseback. It offers a full view of the watch’s self-winding 52615 caliber, which has an incredible 168-hour power reserve.
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire Ref. IW503601 retails at around $33,125 USD. It is the perfect limited edition piece for those who want something multi-functional and vintage-inspired.
8. Zenith Defy Zero G Ref. 04.9000.8812/00.R920
Are you a fan of outer space? Then take a look at the Zenith Defy Zero G Ref. 04.9000.8812/00.R920, which is a space-inspired, limited edition watch with only 10 pieces in existence. With its highly-detailed watch face that is crafted entirely by hand, this is the perfect choice for those who want something truly sophisticated and unique.
This Zenith Defy model comes in an unusual 46mm case made of transparent, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a textured rubber strap in blue. The dial shows off a galaxy-themed mosaic pattern and an open-work display through which you can see the watch’s iconic El Primero caliber. In addition, it is adorned with luminous silver hands and small hour indices, along with a power reserve indicator and a small seconds function on the right and left of the main dial.
This Zenith limited edition piece sells at a price of $159,700 USD.
9. A.Lange & Sohne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold Ref. 425.050
The next entry on this list of best limited edition watches is the A.Lange & Sohne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold Ref. 425.050, which was launched back in 2020. This is actually one of three exclusive timepieces that perfectly reflect the legacy of Friedrich Albert Lange and pay tribute to all that he has done for horology. The production of this particular model was limited to only 100 pieces and it can only be purchased directly at the brand’s boutiques.
This A.Lange & Sohne 1815 timepiece comes in a 41mm honey gold case and a gorgeous alligator leather strap in brown. This is complemented by a black dial featuring rose gold dauphine hands and stylized Arabic numeral markers, along with a tachymeter scale on the rim of the dial and a chronograph display with 2 counters. Underneath this elegant exterior is an L101.2 caliber which you can look at through the watch’s sapphire crystal caseback.
This A.Lange & Sohne timepiece is priced at around $147,050 USD.
10. Grand Seiko SBGW263
The Grand Seiko SBGW263 is a beautifully-crafted timepiece that was made in celebration of the brand’s 60th year anniversary. This dressy watch was inspired by Shizukuishi, which is a small town in Iwate, Japan, where Grand Seiko’s headquarters are located. Only 20 pieces of the Grand Seiko SBGW263 were ever produced, with each piece being carefully hand-crafted and engraved by a prolific team of master watchmakers. Indeed, this watch stands out as one of the best limited edition watches ever made, with its timeless design and intricate details.
The Grand Seiko SBGW263 is encased in a 39mm platinum case that shows off brushed and Zaratsu-polished surfaces, giving it an unmistakable Grand Seiko luster. This is paired with a high-quality crocodile leather strap in black. The dial, which is made entirely out of luxurious 18K white gold, features engraved hour markers, silver dauphine hands, and a blued steel seconds hand that adds a touch of handsome color to this otherwise monochrome watch. Underneath all this is a 9S64 Caliber with a 72-hour power reserve. This movement is kept safely behind a solid caseback with an 18K yellow gold disc.
As the pinnacle of Japanese craftsmanship, this watch is priced at around $97,000 USD.
11. Hamilton American Classic PSR MTX Ref. H52434130
The next watch on this list is also the most unconventional one: the Hamilton American Classic PSR MTX Ref. H52434130. This piece is a reinvention of one of Hamilton’s most iconic watches, the Hamilton Pulsar, and was made to celebrate the release of the film The Matrix Resurrections. The production of this Hamilton American Classic watch was limited to just 1,999 pieces.
The Hamilton American Classic PSR MTX Ref. H52434130 is a sleek all-black timepiece, with a black-plated stainless steel case and three-link bracelet. Powered by a quartz movement, the dial of this watch has a digital display that flashes large numerals in a green typeface. On the underside of the watch, there is a solid stainless steel caseback with inscriptions of a digital rain pattern that is attributed to the movie.
Retailing at around $1,080 USD, this is a must-have piece for both Matrix fans and those who want a cool, vintage-inspired digital watch.
12. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Knife Ref. 1152520
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Knife Ref. 1152520 is one of the most quintessential-looking timepieces on this list. Just like the previous model, this Jaeger-LeCoultre watch was also made in collaboration with a film, in this case, Kingsman. Everything about this piece exudes elegance and sophistication, which explains why it has dress watch enthusiasts simply drooling at the sight of this. As a limited edition watch, there were only 100 pieces of this model made.
This Jaeger-LeCoultre Master watch comes in a 40mm pink gold case and a leather strap in brown. Its white dial follows a straightforward layout, bearing nothing but blued steel hands and painted hour indices. Despite its simple exterior, this watch is powered by an impressive, ultra-thin mechanical Caliber 849 with a thickness of just 1.85mm.
Priced at approximately $31,740 USD, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Knife Ref. 1152520 can make anyone look sophisticated and dapper.
13. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar China Ref. 26609TI.OO.1220TI.01
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar China Ref. 26609TI.OO.1220TI.01 is an interesting special edition piece. It is limited not just in terms of how many pieces were produced, but also in terms of where it was released. As you might have guessed from its name, this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch is exclusive to the Chinese market. Furthermore, Audemars Piguet produced only 88 pieces of this model, since 8 is considered an auspicious number in Chinese culture. Indeed, if you do not live in China, or don’t have connections, the chances of you getting your hands on this timepiece are quite slim.
This watch possesses a full titanium exterior, giving it a very lightweight and highly scratch-resistant profile. Measuring 41mm in diameter, this is an average-sized timepiece that can fit comfortably around all sorts of wrists. It also bears the iconic Royal Oak octagonal bezel and Grande Tapisserie dial in slate grey. The watch face is furnished with applied hour indices, luminescent stick hands, and 4 black sub-dials for the month, day, date, and day/night functions. Driving all this is a self-winding Caliber 5134 which boasts a 40-hour power reserve and contains 38 jewels.
If you are set on trying to get this sleek, multi-functional watch, be prepared to shell out at least $92,500 USD.
14. Bell & Ross 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic Ref. BR0392-RRDR-CE/SRB
The Bell & Ross 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic Ref. BR0392-RRDR-CE/SRB is a very distinct and powerful-looking timepiece cleverly inspired by flight control instruments. This watch’s distinct, avant-garde design is one that truly cannot be compared to any other. As a limited edition watch, only 999 pieces of the Bell & Ross 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic Ref. BR0392-RRDR-CE/SRB were ever produced.
This Bell & Ross piece is presented in a 42mm ceramic case with superb scratch-resistance and can be paired with either a rubber strap or a synthetic fabric band, both in black. Protected by a red sapphire crystal, the striking sector dial resembles the radar of a plane, with an outer disc for the hours and an inner disc for the minutes. The hour and minute “hands” innovatively take the shape of small airplane markers, while the seconds “hand” is presented as a straight red line that sweeps across the dial. All of these functions are powered by the watch’s self-winding BR-CAL.302 movement.
If you are a fan of robust and eccentric timepieces, you can get the Bell & Ross 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic Ref. BR0392-RRDR-CE/SRB for around $4,350 USD.
15. Glashutte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1-36-02-03-04-30
Lastly, we have the Glashutte Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1-36-02-03-04-30, which is another sophisticated, intricately-crafted limited edition watch. The production of this model was capped off at just 100 pieces, making it a rather hard-to-get luxury timepiece. This is one of the best limited edition watches in the market because of its detailed, masterfully crafted dial that makes it look like a true work of art.
This Glashutte Original piece comes in a 42mm white gold case paired with a Louisiana alligator leather strap in blue. Its sleek anthracite dial features a skeletonized display that allows you to peek through the movement below. Aside from that, it is also decorated with applied hour indices, blued steel hands, a small seconds sub-dial, day-date-month windows, and an elegant moon phase indicator. This watch is driven by a self-winding Caliber 36-02, which boasts an impressive power reserve of up to 100 hours.
Priced at around $35,600 USD, this Glashutte Original Senator would make a lovely addition to any person’s watch collection.
The concept of limited edition watches is a prominent concept in the luxury watchmaking industry. This is primarily because it places emphasis on the exclusivity and rarity of certain models, which are things that are highly valued by watch collectors and enthusiasts.
Although the vast majority of limited edition watches are produced by famous luxury watch brands, there are some mass-marketed brands that also release special models and exclusive collections at more affordable prices. Indeed, the list we have provided above really only scratches the surface of what limited edition watches have to offer. So, if you have the means to get a limited edition timepiece that you like, then you should definitely do your research and go for it.
Photo Credits: Official Watch Sites
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