Why do so many brands go all out and make watches that house several different complications into a single creation? Because they can and because we love it. While the research and development behind these watches often take long, and the production of them is as limited as it is complicated, their appeal is unmatched. They serve as a symbol of what can be achieved when you really want to, although that in what way they deliver this may differ as these four watches show.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Jaeger-LeCoultre has always earned high praise by collectors and connoisseurs about its exquisite movements. Special is that this not only goes for their reliable (ultra-thin) time-only movements but also for their extremely complex calibers such as we find in the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel. One thousand fifty parts are needed to make the perpetual calendar, constant-force spherical tourbillon, and perpetual calendar work. Perhaps the most impressive achievement is that Jaeger-LeCoultre has been able to fit all this in a case that is only 43mm in diameter and 14mm thick.
A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split
At first glance, the Triple Split, by A. Lange & Söhne, looks like a beautiful high-end chronograph. That is also precisely what it is, yet unique about it is that it is a rattrapante, but not only for the seconds, but also the minutes and even hours. That makes this watch is not only highly complex, but also has no match in the watch world. When you ask master watchmakers what complication is the most difficult to make, the rattrapante is often among the top. So to incorporate this feature not once, not twice, but three times in the same watch is why this A. Lange & Söhne deserved its spot in this list.
Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon
There is no shortage of complicated watches in the catalog of Patek Philippe, but even among those does the Skymoon Tourbillon take a special place. It is equipped with a tourbillon, but you won’t be able to see this unless you are a watchmaker, as the caseback of this exceptional watch displays a map of the northern night sky, as well as sidereal time, and phases and orbit of the moon. Patek Philippe took the complexity of this watch to an even higher level on the dial side where we find a perpetual calendar, while the slide on the side operates the minute repeater with cathedral gongs. So there is very little left to be desired, with this Patek Philippe.
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Vacheron Constantin also has its eye to the heavens, as their Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 has no less than twenty-three astronomical complications. It took five years to develop this watch and uses both the front and the back to display all its features. What makes it even more astonishing is that the movement is 36mm in diameter and only 8.7mm thick. The watch also offers a power reserve of three weeks, which is quite pleasant because resetting all the features on this watch might take some time.