The first high-end chromatic harmonica I know of was the Silver Concerto, commissioned by the famous harmonica virtuoso Tommy Reilly in 1967. After that, Chamber Huang designed his own silver instrument, CBH 2012 in 1973 -> more info here.
Another high-end instrument to follow was the Renaissance chromatic by Douglas Tate and Bobbie Giordano in 1997.
The “Virtuoso” was one of Bill Romel’s high end custom chromatic harmonicas. I was not able to trace back the earliest release date but it must have been in the mid 90s.
The “Virtuoso” is a custom chromatic with a polished acrylic comb, custom cover plates, mouthpiece and slide designed to accommodate whatever reeds you prefer recessed into the comb itself. Bill Romel’s Harmonica Workshop produced also other custom instruments, such as the “Romello”. These other instruments were not quite as high-end. After Romel passed away in 2009 the production stopped.
Bill Romel’s flagship instrument “Virtuoso” (12 and 14 hole).
In 2001 Antony Dannecker introduced the “Genevieve”. He manufactured only 100 of these instruments. The Genevieve harmonica was first made for the harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler. Antony Dannecker (and before his father, Willi Dannecker) was actually Larry’s harmonica repair man.
The “Genevieve” (the name is based on the Oscar-winning composition by Adler) consists of a custom-made stainless steel body and cover plates.
The Harmonica Art company was founded in 2002 by Hong Kong’s veteran harmonica players, Johnny Chan and Tommy Leung. In their research developing high-end chromatic harmonicas materials like silver, brass and ebony wood were used.
In 2008 the Austrian harmonica player Franz Chmel introduced after five years of development and testing the NC 64. The full specification of the instrument can be found on his website. The NC 64 was equipped with specially manufactured stainless steel reeds. Two models with either gold or silver plated covers were produced. It was one of the first high-end 4 octave chromatic harmonicas.
The next company to produce and sell high-end custom chromatic harmonicas comes from Japan. The company called Harmonica Workshop Cremona opened at the end of 2011. The owner, Naotaka Kishi produces not only 12 and 16 hole but also 14 hole custom instruments. Every instrument is either made out of ebony, silver or a combination of both.
Another more recent company to produce high-end chromatic harmonicas is Philharmonicas. The company was founded by Phil Sardo in 2016.
He produces a range of high- and medium-end 12 and 16 hole instruments. All come either with brass or aluminum combs. The special and unique feature of the “Psardo” harmonicas are the individual two-note reed plates set into precision pockets in the body of the comb and the tubular channel covers (similar to the molded in channels of the CBH 2012/2016 covers).