Top 10 Most Expensive Calculators of All Time


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Calculators

Technical calculators are often expensive ranging in the hundred-plus dollar range, but did you know calculators can range in the thousands and even millions of dollars?

What if I told you that the most expensive calculator sold for 11.8 million dollars?

If you’re a calculator connoisseur or even a collector of rare items, this ranking will offer insights into some famously selling calculators.

Here are the Top 10 Most Expensive Calculators of All Time:

  1. German 19th-Century Brass Calculator – $11.8 million
  2. Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre – $313,000
  3. Grillet Portable Calculator – $155,000
  4. Texas Instruments Cal-Tech Prototype – $68,825
  5. Deakin & Francis 18 Karat Gold Calculator – $21,982
  6. Kenny Scharf Calculator – $20,160
  7. Pascal’s Calculator – $16,325
  8. Sui President Series Calculator – $1,922
  9. Hewlett Packard – $1,795
  10. Louis Vuitton Monogram Pocket Calculator – $1,265

10. Louis Vuitton Monogram Pocket Calculator – $1,265

LV-Impossible-Find-Monogram-Pocket-Calculator
photo source: 1stDIBS

Louis Vuitton is known for its luxury goods such as bags, shoes, wallets, luggage, etc. But did you know that they also sell a Louis Vuitton calculator?

The Louis Vuitton Impossible Find Monogram Pocket Calculator has a price tag of $1,265.

Shaped like a wallet and easily stored the Louis Vuitton Pocket Calculator is a simplistic famous calculator.

Why It’s Expensive

Founded in 1854 Louis Vuitton is a globally recognized brand and is often seen as a status symbol.

With worldwide demand for the brand, it’s hard for these pieces to not catch the attention. Combined with its association with wealth this seemingly simple calculator earns its price tag.

Louis Vuitton items are handcrafted and there’s only a certain quantity produced. This helps keep the price tag and demand high for all Louis Vuitton items.

This calculator earns its high price tag through the prestige of the brand. Louis Vuitton items are typically seen as investment items, and this one is no different.

While it’s currently no longer available on the website, you can find them for resale or auctions.

Louis Vuitton will continue to remain expensive and luxurious and understanding why they are expensive will help you decide if you’d like to invest in one. Check out this article to see why they’re one of the most expensive brands.

9. Hewlett Packard – $1,795

Hewlett-Packard
photo source: Sotheby’s

Similar to the Louis Vuitton calculator the Hewlett Packard calculator watch is only available for resale and is not currently on the market.

Also known as the HP 01 this calculator watch was first introduced in 1977 and was in production until 1980. With an impressive price of $1,795, this piece is great for collectors with an eye for technological advancement pieces.

Why It’s Expensive

This calculator watch was HP’s for both categories. It was both a marvel of intelligent design and miniaturization.

Equipped with a digital watch, calculator, stopwatch, timing abilities, calendar functions, and alarm clock features this wristwatch was ahead of its time.

Its functioning features are things that some simple calculators are capable of performing making it a very unique piece.

One of its most impressive attributes is a 200-year calendar that spans from 1900 to 2099. With two different models in circulation the stainless steel plated and gold plated, HP 01’s were popular.

Still able to perform functions that some most basic calculators don’t today this calculator watch is a great find among collectors.

8. Sui President Series Calculator – $1,922

Sui-President-Series-Calculator
photo source: Japan Trend Shop

Japan is one of the highest-ranking countries in terms of its technological advancements. So it’s no surprise that the Sui President Series Calculator is handcrafted in Japan and is priced at $1,922.

Why It’s Expensive

Sui prides itself on delivering premium office equipment that fits luxury workspaces.

The Sui President Series Calculator is made to order with offers the option of adding customizations like images, company logos, color treatments, and even diamond embellishments.

Each customization changes the price but every calculator is made out of aluminum and hairline finished enhancing the sheen of the natural element.

This luxury calculator offers four function arithmetic, memory, exponent, reciprocal, tax calculations, and automatic power down feature.

If you’re looking into buying a calculator that offers a luxurious and sleek design, this might be the one for you. You might even be able to find purchase one of the most expensive backpacks to house your sleek and luxurious calculator.

7. Pascal’s Calculator – $16,325

Pascal's-Calculator
photo source: Bonhams

Nearly impossible to find Pascal’s Calculator has a steep price tag of $16,325. Created in 1642, by 19-year-old Blaise Pascal, the calculator was made to help speed up his father’s work of counting taxes.

The Pascal Calculator allowed the user to simplify addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a way that had never been done before.

It’s constructed with a brass body, a wooden base, 6 brass spoked inputting wheels, and 6 number cylinders. It is considered to be the first mechanical calculator in existence.

Why It’s Expensive

While Pascal constructed around 20 calculators only 9 are in circulation today.

4 of the models are located in a French engineering school, CNAM, 2 in a museum located in Clermont, and the other 3 are part of private collections, making this a very difficult item to get your hands on.

6. Kenny Scharf Calculator – $20,160

Kenny-Scharf-Calculator
photo source: Sotheby’s

If you’re a fan of art then this calculator is for you. Unlike the previous calculators this one isn’t famous because of its branding and computational skills, but more for its uniqueness.

The Kenny Scharf calculator is ranked at number 6 because of its $20,160 pricing and singular status.

Why It’s Expensive

Taking the art world by storm Kenny Scharf has been creating pieces and graffiti since the 1980s.

His unique style of work makes it coveted by plenty of art collectors and this handpainted calculator is no different.

While the piece is still equipped with an electrical cord the calculator no longer functions and the pricing is solely based on the uniqueness and reputation of the art.

If you manage to get your hands on this piece make sure you use a delicate touch. It’s listed to have general wear and some of the custom jewelry embellishments are close to falling off.

This piece is quirky with bright coloring and costume jewelry decals.

5. Deakin & Francis 18 Karat Gold Calculator – $21,982

Deakin-&-Francis-Limited-Edition-Luxury-Calculator
photo source: 1stDIBS

A functioning calculator made completely of gold seems unreal but Deakin & Francis took on the challenge.

Manufactured in 1990 the Deaken & Francis Calculator is the most expensive 18-karat gold calculator at $21,982.

Why It’s Expensive

Designed with the purpose of being a great gift for someone who already has everything they want this $21,000 calculator didn’t disappoint.

18 karat gold is one of the most expensive golds you can buy because of its purity, so being made completely out of the material adds to its hefty price tag.

The Deakin & Francis Luxury Calculator is also a one-off item, meaning that there was only one ever produced. This is an elusive, custom-made, high-end piece that no one else will have making it one of the most expensive calculators.

4. Texas Instruments Cal-Tech Prototype – $68,825

Texas-Instruments-Cal-Tech-Prototype
photo source: Bonhams

If you’ve ever had to purchase a Texas Instruments calculator you know that they can be on the more expensive side, but did you know that one sold for over $60,000?

Texas Instruments President Patrick Haggerty thought miniaturization would end up being a huge success. He’d had success with the pocket radio but wanted to expand on it, thus creating the Texas Instruments Cal-Tech Prototype.

Why It’s Expensive

With a team of people this pocket calculator took 2 years to develop and had a complexity that had never been seen. And in 1974 they received Patent No. 3,819,921.

The calculator was so advanced in 1967 that it took years before a production model was created. The Canon company purchases the rights and started manufacturing it as the Pocketronic, which had a huge success.

This exact model was never duplicated and it remains the only prototype making it extremely collectible.

3. Grillet Portable Calculator – $155,000

Grillet-portable-calculator
photo source: Christie’s

Portable calculators have been around since the 1640s but like Pascal’s model they were made out of brass making them heavy and a pain to travel with.

Inspired by this problem Parisian mechanician and watchmaker René Grillet de Roven sought to change this by creating the Grillet portable calculator which now sells for $155,000.

Why It’s Expensive

The Grillet portable calculator is made out of walnut wood, making it significantly lighter to carry. The Grillet is thought to be one of the first portable mechanical calculators in existence dating back to the 1670s.

It’s rare and hardly ever for sale. This device is only one of four models that are still on the market.

2 models are located in Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, and the other model is located in the collections of IBM in New York.

This calculating device is thought to be one of the earliest versions of a computer.

2. Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre – $313,000

Thomas-de-Colmar’s-Arithmomètre
photo source: Liveauctioneers

Ranking in at number two a Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre sold at auction for $313,000. The calculator was sold to a French collector and added to his private collection in 2013.

An arithmomètre, French for arithmometer, is simply defined as a calculating machine. However, patented in 1820 by Thomas de Colmar it became the first mechanical calculator strong and reliable enough to use daily in an office setting.

This was revolutionary for the time period and put the mechanical calculator in the hands of so many people.

Why It’s Expensive

Manufactured between 1851 to 1915 this calculator was used commercially and its strong reputation for accuracy made it a key contributor to the widespread use of mechanical calculators.

Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre was the only mechanical calculator in commercial production for 40 years and was distributed all over the world.

The model that was sold to the French collector in 2013 however was special in regards to how it was packaged. Most were encased in wooden boxes, but this 1835 model was luxuriously encased in boulle.

Boulle was the most expensive luxury in France because of its intricate designs on the most exotic materials like gold, silver, ebony, and tortoiseshell.

This model also had an engraving “Souvenir de l’Inventeur” which was dedicated to de Colmar’s sister-in-law Emilie.

This one-of-a-kind status earns it the title of one of the most expensive calculators.

1. German 19th-Century Brass Calculator – $11.8 million

19th-Century-Calculator-Sells-for-$11.8-Million

Listed as the most expensive calculator ever sold is the German 19th-Century Brass Calculator which sold for 11.8 million dollars. Would you pay that much for a calculator?

But what makes this calculator more expensive than the rest?

Why It’s Expensive

When the model was up for auction it was expected to sell for around 30,000 dollars. That’s a huge difference in comparison to the 11.8 million that it actually sold for.

The price was raised drastically by two very determined bidders. One was on the phone and the other was in the salesroom of Christie’s auction located in London.

Spectators said the room was electric during the bid and applause was given when Edgar Mannheimer won the bid over the phone. No one expected such a huge sum to come from a calculator.

When asked about the purchase Mannheimer stated, “There is only one other in existence, in a Stuttgart museum…it is very rare and unique”. Dermot Chichester, the auctioneer also believes it’s the best piece to come on the market for 20 years.

This calculator sells at the same price as some of the most expensive crown jewels. Making it the most expensive calculator to be sold, if it ever comes out back to auction it’s sure to go for a hefty price.

Finding An Expensive Calculator

The most expensive calculators usually have historical or technological significance. But anything made with luxury in mind, like the Sui President Series Calculator and the Louis Vuitton Pocket Calculator, will also contribute to its pricing.

If you’re lucky enough to ever come across some of these calculators you can invest in some of the most expensive calculators ever sold! With most of the collectible items being housed by private collectors, it may be easier said than done.

Want to see what other expensive items have been sold? Check out these related articles!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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