“Useless Yet Essential” $12,000 Swiss Watch Doesn’t Even Tell Time

It might look like a wristwatch at first glance, but the outrageously expensive ‘Playground Labyrinth’ doesn’t actually tell the time. Made by Swiss luxury watchmaker Hautlence, the watch doesn’t have a dial, numbers, or hands. Instead, it comes with a maze game for the wearer to play. The game apparently serves as a metaphor for ‘taking your time’ to enjoy the finer aspects of life.

Described as a ‘useless yet entirely essential object’, the ‘Playground Labyrinth’ watch is priced at a whopping 12,000 Swiss francs ($12,300) apiece. It is available in two models – 01 (rose gold) and 02 (white gold) – as a part of a limited edition collection. The strap is made of satin-finished Louisiana alligator leather, while the 18k gold maze is equipped with an extra-hard sapphire crystal ‘crown’ to stop the tiny platinum ball from escaping.

“It is a flashback to childhood where we allowed ourselves time to let our imaginations run wild and cut ourselves off from the rest of the world,” the company’s website says.


Photo: Hautlence

To beat the game, wearers have to get the ball to leave the dial through one of two tiny holes. The crown can then be used to activate a small ‘mechanical lift’, which will bring the ball back to the dial for round two. The promotional video features footballer Eric Cantona, telling potential customers to ‘take your time’ and ‘break the rules’. The company’s website adds that while Labyrinth may not tell the time, it is “perfectly aligned with the excellence in watchmaking that is embedded in Hautlence’s DNA.”


Photo: Hautlence

“Labyrinth is an old game that we have decided to bring back in a watch,” added Hautlence co-founder Sandro Reginelli. “What we are presenting here is a new vision of time and this new vision of time obviously doesn’t show traditionally the time. We want people to disconnect and go [to] this dimension of time where you decide what you want to do.”


Call it a watch if you must, but there’s no denying that the Playground Labyrinth is actually just the most expensive ball-in-a-maze game ever made!