In horology, a complication refers to any feature in a mechanical timepiece beyond the simple display of hours and minutes. A timepiece indicating only hours and minutes is otherwise known as a simple movement. Common complications in commercial watches are day/date displays, alarms, chronographs (stopwatches), and automatic winding mechanisms.
The more complications in a mechanical watch, the more difficult it is to design, create, assemble, and repair. These stipulations do not apply or refer to quartz watches. A typical date-display chronograph may have up to 250 parts, while a particularly complex watch may have a thousand or more parts. Watches with several complications are referred to as grandes complications.
The initial ultra-complicated watches appeared due to watchmakers' ambitious attempts to unite a great number of functions in a case of a single timepiece. The mechanical clocks with a wide range of functions, including astronomical indications, suggested ideas to the developers of the first pocket watches. As a result, as early as in the 16th century, the horology world witnessed the appearance of numerous complicated and even ultra-complicated watches.
Ultra-complicated watches are produced in strictly limited numbers, with some built as unique instruments. Some watchmaking companies known for making ultra-complicated watches are Breguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin.
A grand complication is a watch with several complications, the most complex achievements of haute horlogerie, or fine watchmaking. Although there is no 'official' definition, one common definition is a watch that contains at least three complications, with at least one coming from each of the groups listed below:
|Timing complications||Astronomical complications||Striking complications|
|Simple chronograph||Simple calendar||Alarm|
|Counter chronograph||Annual calendar||Quarter repeater|
|Split-second flyback chronograph||Perpetual calendar||Half-quarter repeater|
|Independent second-hand chronograph||Equation of time||Five-minute repeater|
|Jumping second-hand chronograph||Moon phases||Minute repeater|
As of November 2018, the top four most complicated mechanical watches ever created are manufactured by Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, respectively. In particular, the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication currently holds the title of the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, with a final price of 24 million US dollars (23,237,000 CHF) sold in Geneva on November 11th, 2014. Two Patek Philippe Calibre 89 also currently rank among the top 10 most expensive watches ever sold at auction, with final prices over 5 million US dollars.
The Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie is the world's second most complicated wristwatch. Powered by the Jaeger LeCoultre Calibre 182 movement, with 27 complications and over 1300 parts. The movement is housed in a 44mm by 15mm 18k white gold case.
Examples of complications include:
Sometimes various displays in or on a watch are counted as complications even if they have nothing to do with timetelling. Often-seen examples include thermometer, barometer (rare in watches; more frequent in clocks), compass, or altimeter. Many horologists will not count nonhorological complications when adding up the number of complications on a given watch or clock, and some purists even exclude the power reserve from the complications count because it does not show a time indication (although its function is related to timekeeping).
Automatic quartz is a collective term describing watch movements that combine a self-winding rotor mechanism (as used in automatic mechanical watches) to generate electricity with a piezoelectric quartz crystal as its timing element. Such movements aim to provide the advantages of quartz without the inconvenience and environmental impact of batteries. Several manufacturers employ this technique.Horology
Horology ("the study of time", related to Latin horologium from Greek ὡρολόγιον, "instrument for telling the hour", from ὥρα hṓra "hour; time" and -o- interfix and suffix -logy) is the study of the measurement of time. Clocks, watches, clockwork, sundials, hourglasses, clepsydras, timers, time recorders, marine chronometers, and atomic clocks are all examples of instruments used to measure time. In current usage, horology refers mainly to the study of mechanical time-keeping devices, while chronometry more broadly includes electronic devices that have largely supplanted mechanical clocks for the best accuracy and precision in time-keeping.
People interested in horology are called horologists. That term is used both by people who deal professionally with timekeeping apparatus (watchmakers, clockmakers), as well as aficionados and scholars of horology. Horology and horologists have numerous organizations, both professional associations and more scholarly societies. The largest horological membership organisation globally is the NAWCC, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, which is USA based, but also has local chapters elsewhere.List of watchmakers
This chronological list of famous watchmakers is a list of those who influenced the development of horology or gained iconic status by their creations. The list is sorted by the lifetimes of the watchmakers.
You can find following information:
Dates of birth and death, if known
Country of origin and profession
Field of activity (italics)
|Philosophy of time|
and use of time
|Time in physics|
|Archaeology and geology|
|Other units of time|
|UTC offset for standard time and |
Daylight saving time (DST)
Italics: historical or unofficial
|Time zone data sources|
|Lists of time zones|