Welcome to Complicated Watches

Watches with calendar functions, chronographs, etc.

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Welcome to Complicated Watches

New postby mesomachines » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:15 pm

To some people ALL watches are complicated, but for this group, we can make the definition a little more precise. Complications are added features beyond timekeeping that add to the functionality, complexity, value, and often beauty of a watch. At the simple end are calendar, moon phase, and alarm functions, power reserve and chronograph functions. Then there are split second functions, perpetual calendars, equation of time indicators, repeating mechanisms, Grand and Petite sonneries, tourbillons, and from there it's limited only by the watchmaker's skill and imagination, and very deep pockets of a patron willing to commission a watch to be made. The most famous example is the Patek Philipe calibre 89 pictured here, made for the 150th anniversary of Patek Philippe. It has 1789 parts, 33 complications, weighs 3lbs!! and is valued at about $6 million.


There will always be people who will say that a $20 Timex can keep perfectly good time, but to me, complicated watches are like a moon shot (or more significant) They test the limits of human creativity and Ingenuity and say something about who we are. Well, back down to earth.... a book I can recommend is "Complicated Watches and Their Repair" by Donald de Carle. He takes a lot of the mystery out of complications, and inspired me to dive in and repair my first chronograph, 10 or more years ago. It's been a very rewarding hobby, but I'm thankful for digital cameras. Perhaps Fortunat can recommend some other good books on complicated watches?

This should be a great place for discussion of all sorts of complicated watches - a place to share photos of watches and movements in your collections, ask technical questions - discuss real vs fake tourbillons (I hear there are $300 watches from China with REAL tourbillons but I haven't seen one yet) - discuss what to watch out for in buying repeaters and other complicated watches - The value of this topic will be driven by your contributions!! Thanks, and I'm looking forward so interesting discussions.

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Re: Welcome to Complicated Watches

New postby Glyn Meredith » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:15 am

One watch per topic will make them easier to find later. If anyone wants to add a complicated watch to this forum, please start a new topic for each one.

Thank you.
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