Image may contain Wristwatch Arm Body Part and Person

Piaget’s record-breaking Altiplano Ultimate Concept

But those two pieces are for the minimalists. For those whose taste runs more maximalist, check this out: The world’s most complicated watch. As you’re likely aware, the race for such a timepiece has been going on for a century. Back in the early 20th century, supercollector industrialists such as Henry Graves Jr. (banking, railroads) and James Ward Packard (automobiles, duh) battled it out, taking turns commissioning über-complicated fare from the likes of Patek Philippe. Now, a collector has done similarly with Vacheron Constantin, charging the maison with developing a pocket watch with no fewer than 63 different functions.

Image may contain Cookware and Wristwatch

Vacheron Constantin’s Berkley Grand Complication

Alex Teuscher

Referred to the Berkley Grand Complication, it contains the world’s first Chinese perpetual calendar programmed until 2200—plus a Gregorian perpetual calendar, a split-seconds chronograph, a triple-axis tourbillon, a rotating sky chart, an equation of time display, and much more. Designed by the commissioning party—presumably a “Mr.” or “Ms. Berkley”?—and three Vacheron watchmakers, the Berkley Grand Complication took 11 years to develop and over a year just to assemble, while its Calibre 3752 movement comprises a mind-bending 2,877 components.

It’s doubtful that we’ll see another edition of Watches & Wonders with so many world records any time soon. Exorbitantly expensive as unattainable as some of these timepieces may be, the innovation resulting from these horological arms races ultimately trickles down to the industry at large, resulting in better, thinner, more accurate, and downright cooler watches.

Read the full article here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *