Vacheron Constantin just spent eight years developing the world’s most complicated watch. The brand just took a huge gamble putting its most talent master watchmakers on a project that could fail, or worse, be surpassed by someone else. So why take that risk? Here are four reasons:
1) To Celebrate Its 260th Anniversary
If you’re a regular at Haute Time, you will know that Vacheron Constantin is celebrating 260 years of uninterrupted history in 2015 by releasing a number of anniversary specials. And nothing is more special than “the world’s most complicated watch.” Patek Philippe did the same less than a year ago when it launched the world’s most complicated wristwatch, the Grandmaster Chime, for its 175h anniversary.
2) To Position Itself As The Leading Brand In The Swiss Watch Industry
Vacheron Constantin grabs the title of “world’s most complicated watch,” away from Patek Philippe, who held it for 83 years with the Henry Graves Supercomplication. It did so by adding not one, not two, but 33 complications. That doesn’t mean the brand is at the same level or above Patek Philippe – brands should be measured on their full collections and on other factors – but it definitely cements its position as one of the leaders of the industry.
3) To Send Out A Message
You may have guessed it, but the world’s most complicated watch was never going to be commercial model. According to the brand it is a commissioned piece – most of the pocket watches that complicated have been in the past – and we will never know how much was paid for it, but Vacheron Constantin did not make it to get rich. It made it to show it could solve some of the mechanical challenges posed by astronomy that have eluded other brands until now.
4) To Develop Complications For Future Wristwatches
Reference 57260 contains a total of 57 complications. Trust us, we counted several times over to make sure. That’s 33 more than the second most complicated watch in the world, and more than 56 more than most high-end watches. Some of those are new to the brand, such as the detached rattrapante chronograph. Whether of not we will see a Vacheron Constantin wristwatch equipped with the complication, only time will tell.