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What’s Inside a $165,000 Italian Watch?

What’s Inside a $165,000 Italian Watch?: Courtesy Panarei

Courtesy Panarei

Sure, you could just use your iPhone to check the time. Or, with the proper funds, you could join the ranks of obsessive aesthetes who collect gorgeous handmade—and fully analog—works of art. Italian firm Panerai is among the world’s top watch manufacturers, and its Lo Scienziato Radiomir Tourbillon is one of the most badass precision timepieces ever crafted. In the world of watches (a.k.a. horology), added features and movements, known as “complications,” drive up the price. Here’s what makes this watch tick.

1. Tourbillon
Gravity can throw a watch out of synch. The tourbillon, an 18th century invention, spins and rotates to counteract gravity’s pull.

2. Ceramic
Not only is a ceramic watchcase lighter, harder and more scratch resistant than a steel case, it also looks tough.

3. Jewels
Sapphires and rubies are placed at key points to reduce friction. The standard for fine watches is 17 gems; this watch has 31.

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