Few can afford them, but we all love them; the most complicated timepieces that the watch industry has to offer. For many brands, these watches serve as a way to show their technical prowess, and sometimes to develop technologies that we later see in less complex watches. Many of these highly complicated watches take years to develop and months to make. Their numbers are always quite limited, but they leave countless watch connoisseurs around the world in awe. This year the following watches did just that;
Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti
2019 was the year that Jacob & Co joined forces with Bugatti in a unique partnership. One of the first watches to come forward from this is the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti. While not entirely new nonetheless an excellent choice, because just as its automotive equivalent, does this watch have no equal. It features two triple-axis tourbillons that are located in the lower part of the ergonomically designed case. In between is the power reserve indicator, designed like the fuel gauge of a car and in the colors of the French flag, the country where Bugatti would build his magnificent machines. The total power reserve is a maximum of 48 hours. This is most certainly impressive, as next to the two triple-axis tourbillons does this Jacob & co also feature a monopusher chronograph, as well as a decimal minute repeater. While designed in particular with the world of high-speed cars in mind, is the Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti with a water resistance of 200 meters also a perfect all-round sports watch.
Richard Mille RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm
Another watch that is born from a partnership is the Richard Mille RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm. It was in 2016 that the Swiss brand started working together with Airbus Corporate Jets. The first result was the RM 50-02 Tourbillon ACJ, which is now joined by this new creation. With its case crafted from titanium and Carbon TPT, does the RM 62-01 house an innovate movement. Next to a tourbillon, large date and a power reserve display does this watch also feature a second time zone complication with an am/pm indicator. However, its most innovative aspect is the vibrating alarm function, which Richard Mille took five years to develop in collaboration with Renaud & Papi. Its vibrating signal comes from a special oscillating weight, which is crafted from a single piece of white gold, as it rotates. Thanks to its own subdial, on which you can move both hands, can the alarm be set with minute precision.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
The high complications of today are often not what they were in the past. Then, highly complicated watches often combined several different complications in a single watch; today, things are slightly different. Now entirely new complications are not only dreamed up but also made a reality. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar is a perfect example of this. This watch features a perpetual calendar complication with a maximum power reserve of 65 days. It achieves this because the user can switch between two frequencies; a high-frequency mode of 5Hz when you wear it, and a lower rate of 1.2Hz for when the watch is in a standby mode. This means that you can easily not wear the watch for even over a month, without having to reset the perpetual calendar functions, usually one of the greatest challenges of owning such a watch.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Of all these four watches is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, perhaps the most traditional, as it does indeed combine several classic complications. This masterpiece is fitted with a tourbillon, perpetual calendar and minute repeater, yet Jaeger-LeCoultre didn’t pick the ‘standard’ version for any of these complications. The tourbillon gets a constant stream of power, thanks to the remontoir d’égalité, for increased precision and is of the multi-axis type, performing its mesmerizing dance at the lower part of the dial. It cuts a bit into the ring used by the pointer date. Not a problem for Jaeger-LeCoultre as they simply let the hand jump over the gap, so that it can continue telling us the exact date without obstructing the view of the tourbillon. The perpetual calendar displays are also entirely symmetrical, with the day in a window on the left, and the month on the right. The year, in four digits, is placed in the middle of the dial. An added advantage is that you can also set this calender both forwards as well as backward, which is quite unique for this type of complication. While they could have rounded things off with a ‘simple’ minute repeater, Jaeger-LeCoultre went for the Westminster kind. This type of repeater needs four hammers and gong and can duplicate the famous melody as we know it from Big Ben. So in 2019, the traditional high complication watch didn’t seem to exist, yet instead, we were treated to innovative and enticing new creations that most certainly deserve the same title.