Blog

What is a Grand Complication Wristwatch?

in Learn | Saturday, September 27. 2008

There has yet to be an official definition of what classifies a timepiece as a Grand Complication, there is however an understanding among watchmakers and watch connoisseur alike that a watch must meet certain guidelines to acquire this grand title. One could be safe to assume that a Grand Complication timepiece will always contains at least three complications, and one of those will undoubtedly be a Perpetual Calendar, a Tourbillon, or the Minute Repeater.

The first of these complications, the perpetual calendar, is a mechanism that automatically takes into account the varying number of days in each month as well as leap years - many also contain a moonphase function. Most often, the perpetual calendar is based on the Gregorian calendar which does not need to be corrected for more then a century. The second complication in the "Grand" category is the tourbillon, which was invented to reduce the debilitating effects of gravity on watches, which ultimately lead to inaccurate timekeeping. With a tourbillon, the negative effects of gravity ultimate cancel themselves out. Lastly, the minute repeater is a device that the current time is announced by means of a combination of sounds that represent the hour, quarter hour, and minute. It is arguably the most difficult to construct, and no two sound exactly alike.

Patek 5004GA supreme test of a designer's expertise and watchmakers skill is the creation of a Complicated watch. IWC was the first to create a Grand Complication in a pocket watch, it was introduced in 1890 with more than 1300 mechanical parts. 100 years later, they made history again when the created the IWC Grand Complication Wristwatch - a watch still in production today with a limited release of just 50 pieces a year. Patek Philippe has built some of the world's finest examples of complicated timepieces. One recent example, Patek Philippe Reference # 5004 is a split seconds chronograph that is the most complicated model in Patek Philippe's line of stopwatches.

No comments


Post your comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.





Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

Recent Entries

RECENT POSTINGS