Famous Watch Complications EXPLAINED:
What Is A Day Date? Chronograph? Power Reserve?

RANT&H | FEB 25, 2019

In today’s video, we dive into some of the world’s most famous watch complications and just what they each mean. The first complication we discuss is the Day-Date, a complication invented by Rolex in the way we recognize it today (with the full day of the week text written out above the 12 o’clock mark on the dial, and the date of the month at 3 o’clock). It was introduced in 1956, and has gone on to become one of Rolex’s preeminent icons.

Next up is the chronograph, a primarily sport/utility complication. The second hand at the center of the dial, traditionally, is used to keep track of elapsed time over the course of one minute. As subdials are added, more information becomes available (a subdial for the constantly running seconds indicator, a subdial for the elapsed minutes, and perhaps even one for elapsed hours). Invented by Louis Moinet in 1816 for astrological observations, the complication spent much of its life attributed to another artisan, Nicolas Rieussec, who invented it for horse race timing for King Louis the 18th.

Finally, we come to the Power Reserve indicator. This complication gives you a visible indication of how much energy is left powering the watch and how long you have until it needs to be wound up further. Originally invented by Jaeger LeCoultre in 1948 with the Powermatic, with the express goal of demonstrating how much fuel is left in the tank, so to speak.