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More than just moving parts, it represents the heart and soul of a timepiece

What defines a complication? In pure layman terms it represents features or functions of a watch other than the display of time. Complications can encompass simple and commonplace features to rare works of high horology. This includes functions such as tachymeters, chronographs, moonphases and calendars.

The humble date display, which we often take for granted, represents the first watch complication. It was a feature seen in pocket watches in the late 19th century, but calendar complications only began featuring in wristwatches in 1915.

Despite it being able to deliver additional functions for a timepiece, for collectors and enthusiasts, a high complication watch still holds exceptional value in both intrinsic and personal value. Not only hard to make but also assemble, these mechanical masterpieces often take the most seasoned of watchmakers years to build and perfect.

As such, these complications not only elevate the desirability of a timepiece and its value but also acts as a showcase for a brand’s expertise in mechanical watchmaking. Here are some that exemplify this notion…


Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Large Date and Moon Phases

The Vintage 1945 XXL Large Date and Moon Phases expresses time in the purest form and styles of watchmaking. The timepiece exudes vibrant Art Deco codes, with the rectangular case and sapphire crystal arched to embody a perfect geometry balance. This simple-yet-effective aesthetic lends itself to expose the complexities of the timepiece.

Girard-Perregaux has equipped the piece with a large date window, displayed by two extremely thin disks – one for tens and the other for units. To further demonstrate their watchmaking skills, the date change takes place instantly, in one ten-thousandth of a second. Nestled at six o’ clock, a moon phase occupies the same space as the small seconds, providing a sixty-day lunar cycle.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual

Elegant and sophisticated, the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual from Jaeger-LeCoultre offers the sophistication of a perpetual calendar in an extremely thin case. As with all Master collection timepieces, this sleek and stunning model, takes great care in focusing on the essentials.

The timepiece’s harmonious lines are accentuated with diamond finishes. Presented in a 39mm white gold case, the silvered sunray-brushed dial is adorned with minute markers around the outer rim. The design is rendered complete with a quartet of sub-dials displaying month, date, day of the week and moon display. The Master Ultra Thin Perpetual is powered by an automatic movement, that is equipped with a 38-hour power reserve.


Zenith El Primero

First produced in the 1930s for aviation, the Pilot’s Watches Collection from IWC has been synonymous for its precision and outstanding technology. The watch collection is inspired by the collection’s original and striking design with a 46mm case featuring retro styling and specialist functions.

Designed to deliver faultless timekeeping both on the ground and in the sky, the watch is presented in a durable lightweight Titanium case. The dial features Arabic numerals and propeller-inspired hands and a date display, offering greater legibility. Despite its large size, the timepiece weighs in at less than 150gm, ensuring comfort for the wearer. A key feature of the timepiece is its soft-iron inner case, which protects the 52110-calibre movement inside against magnetic fields.


Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon Gold


The Perpetual Moon has exemplified Arnold & Son’s rich British history and exquisite Swiss craftsmanship. The latest piece from the collection elevates that notion to stylish new heights with a captivating blue Aventurine stone dial. A testament to the watch’s brand strong link with astronomical indications, the timepiece features a beautiful moon phase, decorated with engraved moon set against blue guilloche disc.

Showcasing both technical and artistic excellence, this Arnold & Son piece is powered by a A&S1512 mechanical hand-wound movement, which was specifically developed for its moonphase watches. Not only does it power all functions of the watch, including its three-dimensional lunar display but it also yields an impressive 90-hour power reserve.

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