Creating a retrograde display is not as easy as it might seem. The hand needs to build up enough power to spring back at exactly the right time, to exactly the right point. This means handling impressive amounts of energy, and doing so in a reliable way is truly quite a feat. The difficulty of this complication is however matched by its popularity because a lot of collectors and connoisseurs cannot resist the temptation of seeing these hands fly back to their starting points.
Bulgari Commedia dell’Arte
When Bulgari bought Gérald Genta in 1999, they also acquired the brand’s vast experience with retrograde movements. The complication has been one of the hallmarks of the brand, and Bulgari continued that under its own name with the Commedia dell’Arte. Next to the retrograde minutes, it also features a jump hour display. But that is not all because the watch also houses a Cathedral gong minute repeater, with the figurines on the dial moving in sync when it chimes the time.
Big Bang Unico Retrograde Chronograph UEFA Champions League
That retrograde displays can be extremely practical is proven by the Big Bang Unico Retrograde Chronograph that Hublot made especially for the UEFA Champions League. With this watch, the referee can easily track the time during the match, which includes the optional extra time that he might has to add to the watch. To ensure legibility Hublot even moved the hour and minute hands to a smaller subdial at six o’clock, making this a truly purpose driven watch.
Breguet Tradition Automatic Seconde Retrograde 7097
The flyback hand of a retrograde display has a mesmerizing effect, and with the Breguet Tradition Automatic Seconde Retrograde 7097 you can enjoy it every minute. Breguet made the seconds hand of this model retrograde, adding even more motion to the already very lively dial of the watch. Most of the gear train is visible on the dial side, including the balance wheel, giving new meaning to the word, eye candy!
Harry Winston Z10
For the Z10 Harry Winston not only crafted the case of the watch from a solid block of ZaliumTM, an ultra- lightweight alloy exclusive to Harry Winston, they also incorporated two retrograde displays. One indicates the day of the week, while the other shows the seconds. Instead of going for a 60-second scale, Harry Winston opted for a 30-second scale, greatly increasing the times that you can see the hand fly back.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date
Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date also features two retrograde displays but they are less in a hurry. One indicated the days, while the other covers the date. Vacheron displayed them on the dial as fan’s, making them very legible. It highlights the practical side of a mesmerizing complication.