Mar 1, 2018

Crazy Complications

Hey all,
What are some complications that leave your jaws on the floor or your fingers scratching your head? I want to start a discussion on pushers, subdials, technical advancements, the whole shebang.
The question should be kept intentionally vague, please interpret it as you see fit! You could write about your favorite family of complications, your favorite take on a classic complication, your thoughts on complications as a whole, whatever you want.
Just for kicks, here are some pretty pictures.
Fabergé (of egg fame) Visionnaire Chronograph (
Two extremely minimal takes on the perpetual calendar, the Ochs und Junior Perpetual Calendar (

and the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual (

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Damn these are beautiful. Beyond what I would probably ever spend on a watch, but amazing pieces of art.
Wow Very Beautiful this watches. Can I order one ?
That Ochs und Junior Perpetual Calendar watch is kind of brilliant. It looks opaque, but is really easy to learn to read, and you don't have to have 20-20 vision to do it.

The time is the time, and the four dots in a square are the year in the sense of relative position from leap year, with a red dot in the outermost position for leap years. But the whole year indicator rotates, and where it is at indicates the month. There are twelve months, so it just points at one to twelve o'clock and repurposes those indices for months.

Finally, the red dot on the outside perimeter is the day of the month. At first I thought, Oh, another German "approximate time" watch like the einzeiger, since who's going to memorize which dot is what date or who is going to count. But it turns out to be really simple: There are only six hour indices, 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Not so uncommon. But 6 into 30 is 5. So all you have to do is look at where the red dot is relative to the hour indices. In the photo it's on the second index, 4 o'clock, so it's 2 times 5 equals the 10th of the month. You just have to be able to multiply by five and add or subtract one or two sometimes.

Apparently this approach cuts the mechanical complexity (and thus the reliability and cost) by an order of magnitude.

There is a customizer on the website where you can specify everything (different colors for hour hand and minute hand even), and from that I learned that there is also a seconds indicator and a power reserve. I'll leave that for homework.

I still haven't figured out the "control dot" at 1:30.
I simulated up a design, and it quoted me $24,000. It appears I accidentally chose 18 carat gold hour and minute hands.

Case: Grade 5 titanium Dial: Light green Markers: Green smoke Hour hand: 18-karat gold Minute hand: 18-karat gold Seconds disk: Brass Seconds dot: Black Power reserve disk: German silver Power reserve dot: Black Month disk: Green smoke Leap year gear: Light green Leap year dot: Black Date disk: Green smoke Date dot: Red Control dot: German silver Strap: Coconut / leather
CHF 20'370 — export price excluding VAT.

Edit: The gold doesn't make that much difference. This is simply an expensive watch, hand assembled in small quantities by one woman using parts sourced in small, customized materials and coatings. It's a five-person company, the designer, the president who is the salesman you deal with, a web designer, a contact person for suppliers, and the watchmaker.
If I recall correctly, the control dot tells you that the gears are unmeshed and that it is OK to set the perpetual calendar.
The astronomical ones strike a chord with me:

3D promo video of ^
There's something about seeing the night sky on your wrist...

Shame that most of these pieces run fairly large out of necessity.

About the Van Cleef & Arpels, I've wondered for a while whether the moon rotates around the Earth in the display. I'd assume it does, otherwise they wouldn't include it; however, I haven't been able to see a video showing this.

EDIT: Looks like the moon is only shown on the ladies version of the Planetarium, which displays only the planets before the asteroid belt.
That is a pretty impressive watch!
The Harry Winston Opus 11 still stands out to me as an overtly intricate and complicated piece. Many would likely question the wearability and aesthetics of it, but if it isn't crazy a complication:

A watch that could be a daily wear and has an innovative approach to the complication is the Rolex Caliber 9001 in the Sky Dweller. Starting at $14400 in Stainless Steel, this watch has Dual Zone GMT, Date and Annual Calendar, and the separate functions are all set via the crown and adjusting the White Gold bezel to a certain feature. As a GMT II owner, this watch strikes a chord.
That Harry Winston is insane, I've never seen that one before! The amount of thought that had to go into that...

Also I agree, the Sky Dweller is a marvel in simplicity for an annual calendar.
As someone who thinks about how products are made and assembled for most of my waking hours, I keep coming back every few months to watch this video ...
I just saw that the other day. Pure art.

I also love the little squishing noise when they stamp the date wheel.
I do too.
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