digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

In horology (study of clocks), complication refers to any feature in a timepiece beyond the simple display of hours and minutes.

A timepiece indicating only hours and minutes is otherwise known as a simple movement. Common complications are day/date displays, chronographs, and automatic winding mechanisms. That a watch movement may be a Certified Chronometer does not itself count as a complication.

The more complications in a watch, the more difficult it is to design, create, assemble, and repair. A typical date-display chronograph may have up to 250 parts, while a particularly complex watch may have a thousand or more parts. Watches with several complications are referred to as grandes complications.

The initial ultra-complicated watches appeared due to watchmakers' ambitious attempts to unite a great number of functions in a case of a single timepiece. The mechanical clocks with a wide range of functions, including astronomical indications, suggested ideas to the developers of the first pocket watches. As a result, as early as in the 16th century, the horology world witnessed the appearance of numerous complicated, and even ultra-complicated, watches.

Ultra-complicated watches are produced in strictly limited numbers, with some built as unique instruments. Some watchmaking companies known for making ultra-complicated watches are Breguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin.[1]

Watch Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 1
Gallet MultiChron Navigator (1943) with 3 complications; 45 minute recording chronograph, crown-controlled synchronizable second hand, and direction finding 24 hour hand

Grand complications[edit]

A grand complication is a watch with several complications, the most complex achievements of haute horlogerie, or fine watchmaking. Although there is no 'official' definition,[2] one common definition is a watch that contains at least three complications, with at least one coming from each of the groups listed below:[3]

Timing complications Astronomical complications Striking complications
Simple chronograph Simple calendar Alarm
Counter chronograph Perpetual calendar Quarter repeater
Split-second flyback chronograph Moon phases Half-quarter repeater
Independent second-hand chronograph Equation of time Five-minute repeater
Jumping second-hand chronograph Minute repeater
Passing strike

The most complicated pocket watch movements[edit]

According to watch manufacturer Patek Philippe, the three most complicated watches in the world are all pocket watches made by that company.

  • The Patek Philippe Calibre 89 has 33 complications, using a total of 1728 parts. It was released in 1989 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the company.[4] The complications include the date of Easter, sidereal time, and a 2800-star celestial chart.
  • The Super-complication built for Henry Graves, Jr. in 1933 has 24 complications. The watch was reportedly the culmination of a watch arms race between Graves and James Ward Packard. The Super-complication took three years to design and five to build, and sports a chart of the nighttime sky at Graves' home in New York. This was the world's most expensive watch when it was auctioned off for USD $11-million in 1999, it now ranks third.[5]
  • The Star Caliber 2000 has 21 complications. They include sunrise and sunset times and the lunar orbit, and it is capable of playing the melody of Westminster quarters (from the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London).

The most complicated wristwatch movement[edit]

The Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 is the world's most complicated wristwatch. It has 36 complications, 25 of them visible, 1483 components and 1000-year calendar.[6]

The Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie is the world's second most complicated wristwatch. Powered by the Jaeger LeCoultre Calibre 182 movement, with 27 complications and over 1300 parts. The movement is housed in a 44mm by 15mm 18k white gold case.[7]

Examples[edit]

Examples of complications include:

Nonhorological complications[edit]

Sometimes various displays in or on a watch are counted as complications even if they have nothing to do with timetelling. Often-seen examples include thermometer, barometer (rare in watches; more frequent in clocks), compass, or altimeter. Many horologists will not count nonhorological complications when adding up the number of complications on a given watch or clock, and some purists even exclude the power reserve from the complications count because it does not show a time indication (although its function is related to timekeeping).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ultra-complicated watches
  2. ^ Perez, Carlos (June 10, 2001). "Of the Blood Royal". Carlos' Journal. TimeZone.com. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  3. ^ Nicolet, J.C. (1999). "What does the term 'complication' mean, and how does it differ from 'grand complication'?". Questions in Time. Europa Star magazine online. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  4. ^ Watches - Switzerland - Information - swissworld.org, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, General Secretariat, Presence Switzerland.
  5. ^ http://most-expensive.net/watches
  6. ^ "World's Most Complicated Wristwatch: Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4". January 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Jaeger-LeCoultre: Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie". June 19, 2009. 

External links[edit]

  • Perez, Carlos (June 10, 2001). "Of the Blood Royal". Carlos' Journal. TimeZone.com. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complication_(horology) — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1554 videos foundNext > 

Horology by IrixGuy - What is a watch complication?

Welcome to the Horology by IrixGuy video series. Within this video series I will discuss items related to horology. Horology is simply the study of time. I'v...

Dive Into Horology LIVE SHOW

Please mark your calendars and join celebrity guest ArchieLuxury and I *LIVE* to talk about timepieces. "Horology" is simply the study of time. Many people say, "why do I need a watch,...

The mistake of having so many Haute Horology pieces in a watch collection

The mistake of having so many Haute Horology pieces in a watch collection.

2012: An Exceptional Time - A Passion for Horology

Join Tim Bourne, Worldwide Head of Watches at Sotheby's, along with collectors and enthusiasts as they discuss their shared passion for acquiring extraordina...

Breguet Manufacture - Prestige Horology

Enter the fascinating world of the Breguet Manufacture Teaser of the virtual visit, more will follow http://www.breguet.com.

styleTV Stops by the House of Horology Boutique on Prince St. in New York City

styleTV Correspondent, Keleigh Nealon, stopped by the brand new House of Horology boutique on Prince St. in New York City to talk watches.

Horology by IrixGuy - Dive Watch Rubber Strap vs. Stainless Bracelet

Welcome to the Horology by IrixGuy video series. Within this video series I will discuss items related to horology. Horology is simply the study of time. I'v...

Horology by IrixGuy - "Chronometer" and "Chronograph" Definitions

Welcome to the Horology by IrixGuy video series. Within this video series I will discuss items related to horology. Horology is simply the study of time. I'v...

Is Haute Horology really worth it? Should a normal person own some Haute Horology Wrist Watches?

Is Haute Horology really worth it? Should a normal person own some Haute Horology Wrist Watches?

Should I keep these 2 Haute Horology Horrors? Audemars Piguet and Breguet

Should I keep these 2 Haute Horology Horrors? Audemars Piguet and Breguet.

1554 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Complication (horology)" right now.

Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Complication (horology)

You can talk about Complication (horology) with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!