Article By: Logan Hannen
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to take a look at the single most complicated watch in existence.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that the most complicated mechanical watch ever produced is actually not a wrist watch at all, but a (freaking huge) pocket watch. You’d need to be Hagrid to fit it in your pockets, but that’s what they called it, so I’m gonna stick to their nomenclature on this one. Who is this mysterious “they”? Well, if the thumbnail for this article didn’t give it away, it’s the one and only Vacheron Constantin.
(Source: Vacheron Constantin)
The particular watch in question is the Vacheron Constantin reference 57260, so named because of both the 57 complications the piece holds and the 276th anniversary of the brand. Is 276 years a really, really strange one to celebrate? I like to think it’s just incredibly specific, but to each their own, I guess. Either way, I mentioned 57 complications, so what are they?
I won’t get into every single one, because that’d make this article unbearably long, but here are a bunch of the standouts:
- Regulator-style hands (Wherein the hours, minutes, and seconds are all on separate parts of the dial, usually with the hours and seconds in subdials and the minutes hand the only one remaining in the center)
- Second time zone (Similar to a GMT in many ways, except it displays the exact time in that time one as an entirely separate dial, rather than just with an extra hour hand)
- World time (Allows for the time in every major time zone on Earth to be displayed at one time)
- Day-night indicator (Displays whether the time read out is am or pm via a disc with images of the sun and moon painted on it)
- Retrograde perpetual calendar (Same as your standard perpetual calendar, but with the added complication of the date being on an arc rather than a whole disc. When the final date of the month is finished, it snaps back to its position at the start of the arc)
- Hebrew perpetual calendar (It’s a perpetual calendar, but all of the information is written using Hebrew rather than English – nuff said)
- Astronomical calendar (featuring both moon phase and Zodiac calendar – yeah, the stuff your horoscopes talk about)
The 57276 movement
(Source: Vacheron Constantin)
Again, these are just a handful of the total 57 complications Vacheron has included. All of this is packed into a 98 mm across piece (I told you it was big – even Invicta wouldn’t go there) made of solid 18k white gold with a movement so freaking pretty I got lost staring at it for upwards of twenty minutes while writing this article. As you may have guessed, it’s a piece unique, and not for sale, but it is a huge (literally) display of just how capable a manufacturer Vacheron Constantin really is. The fact that they’ve managed to pull this off is impressive enough, let alone the fact that they’ve done so in a way that enabled them to keep it classy, watchfam.
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