Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World’s Most Complicated Watch Ever Made

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World’s Most Complicated Watch Ever Made

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

To celebrate its 260 years of uninterrupted history, today, Vacheron Constantin has revealed the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 pocket watch, which, according to the manufacture, is the most complicated watch ever made. Commissioned by one of the top collectors in the world and the result of eight years of research, development, prototyping, manufacturing, and assembly all performed in Vacheron Constantin's Atelier Cabinotiers haute horlogerie workshop, this unique piece was conceived to be the most complex mechanical timepiece ever created – taking the title from another pocket watch, the Patek Philippe Caliber 89 pocket watch and its 33 complications and 1,728 components.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

It is here, at the beginning, where we should mention that there is not one definitive rule as to what can and cannot be called a complication. Theoretically, everything beyond the simple timekeeping functions (hours, minutes, seconds), all functions could be called that, but some argue that features such as retrograde date displays or even the tourbillon do not count as such. Nevertheless, we will refer to these functions cumulatively both as complications and features – and when you count all of them, you will find that the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 pocket watch has a record-setting 57 complications.

We will look at all the important and cool new features in further detail below, but for now, let's not mess around and begin with the real deal, a full list of the 57 complications of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 pocket watch:

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Chronometric features and complications:

  • Hours, minutes, seconds;
  • Armillary sphere tourbillon;
  • Triple-axis tourbillon;
  • World Time Indication with separate 12 hours and minutes, day, and day-night display;
  • Balance wheel with variable inertia and spherical hairspring;
  • Triple-column-wheel split-second "rattrapante" chronograph with 60-minute and 12-hour totalizers;

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Astronomic complications:

  • Perpetual Gregorian Calendar;
  • ISO 8601 Financial "Business" Calendar with number of the day and week indication;
  • Indications for the day of the week, date, weeks, months, leap years;
  • Retrograde Date;
  • Hebraic Perpetual Calendar with date, name of the day and month, number of months (12 or 13) in the Hebraic year; secular calendar, century, decade and year;
  • Golden Number indication with 19-year cycle;
  • Sky chart showing the constellations visible in the night sky from the owner's city;
  • Indications for seasons, equinoxes, solstices, signs of the Zodiac;
  • Sidereal time measuring 23 hours, 56 minutes and 41 seconds per day;
  • Sunset and Sunrise indications;
  • Length of day and length of night;
  • Phases of the Moon that needs to be adjusted by 1 day every 1,027 years;
Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases
The mode selector indication for the sonnerie chiming mechanism: Silent, Night (silent between 10PM and 8AM), and Chiming are the options, while the sonnerie can be Petite or Grande

Chiming complications:

  • Petite Sonnerie;
  • Grande Sonnerie;
  • Minute Repeater;
  • Westminster chime for the sonnerie and repeater with 5 gongs and 5 hammers, playing the same tune as London’s Big Ben. The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 can chime the time on demand, or "en passant," i.e., as it passes;
  • Striking barrel disengaging system to prevent damage to the barrel when fully wound;
  • Silence, Chiming, and Night time modes for the sonnerie, the latter making the sonnerie silent between 10PM and 8AM;
  • Alarm with power-reserve and strike-silence indications and with two different tones that can be chosen when setting the alarm: Westminster chime or single-strike alarm;
Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases
The crown function indicator window, displaying the position of the crown: R = rewinding; C = sky chart & alarm correction; M = time-setting

Additional features and complications:

  • Power reserve indicator for the main barrel and the striking mechanism;
  • Crown position indicator;

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

That is not simply a long list, but quite possibly the longest one ever to describe a mechanical timepiece's complications. Measuring 98mm in diameter, 131.7 mm tall and 50.55 mm thick, what is perhaps just as impressive as this seemingly endless number of features and complications squeezed in there, is the fact that the craftsmen at Vacheron Constantin's Atelier Cabinotiers have not only created the most complicated watch, but also packed it with some completely new functions and features. Coming up right below is a run-down on the most impressive and interesting ones from that extensive list, all that you don't want to miss.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Just when you thought hardly anything new that's called a tourbillon could possibly be conceived, the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 comes out with what they have titled the "Armillary sphere tourbillon." Sure, exceptional chronometry is important, as most all other complications inside the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 feed off of the actual time – the astronomical and chiming indications and all the rest require accurate time to be kept for them to make sense to even exist in the first place. The reason for its weird name is that the tourbillon mechanism is visually reminiscent of the armillary sphere, a scientific instrument comprising interlocking spheres. The armillary tourbillon is a triple-axis tourbillon whose innermost cage rotates at a very fast, 15-second pace, revealing the company's Maltese cross logo every so often.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Installed on the balance wheel is a spherical hairspring, a rare sight even today – one that we have only seen a few times before, including inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 3. Given the challenges involved in creating such a highly specific component, it arguably would have made sense for Vacheron to work with Jaeger-LeCoultre (another brand under the Richemont umbrella) or the supplier they used, but Vacheron Constantin reached out and said that they have not collaborated on it in any way. The triple axes of rotation, the especially quick inner cage, and the spherical hairspring all make for a unique combination – even if the tourbillon otherwise could very well be the least surprising among all the features inside the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

As the tourbillon, all wrapped in aluminum cages, is doing its job, time is displayed on a regulator-style display, meaning that the hours are displayed on the sub-dial at 12, and the hours, by a large, centrally mounted, blued hand. This regulator display works as well as it first did when it was originally used on regulator clocks in watch factories, where the easy and accurate legibility of the minutes enjoyed priority as watchmakers were setting their watches to a reference time – in the case of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260, though, the reason why this layout was truly necessary is to have only one hand (the minute hand) blocking the view on the countless sub-dials and charts.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Chronometric performance dealt with, we should move onto the astronomical complications – some of the most fascinating and mind-boggling, and thanks to the numerous beautifully laid out charts and scales and exquisitely crafted golden hands, this time around, they are visually attractive as well. What truly renders such astronomical indications so dizzying is the fact that they all feed off of the time, as kept by the escapement and indicated by the hour and minute hands. As those hands rotate countless times throughout the weeks and months, they slowly drive hugely complicated sets of wheels and pinions, all painstakingly calculated to offer unique indications on more common features like the exact day and date, all the way to much more exotic ones like the way the constellations show up in the night sky or as the apparent and the mean solar time deviate.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

When Vacheron Constantin announced that they had been working on creating the most complicated watch in the world, we all knew it was going to be a watch with two dials – for such a sheer number (expected to be well over 30) of complications, one dial would simply not suffice to house all the different indications, scales, and hands – and the movement needs to be more balanced out as well, of course.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

As such, the astronomical indications are scattered around both dials, and the most important one around which most others are constructed is the perpetual calendar. Spiced up with retrograde hands here and there, it will indicate everything you could possibly want to know when someone asks "What day is it?" For starters, the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 will tell you the exact day of the week, the date, week, and whether or not you are in a leap year (or indeed, how soon the next one is). The list goes on, though, as on the periphery of one of its back dials, it has indications for the months (with their respective lengths in days indicated), the Zodiac, as well as the season (hopefully, you'll be familiar with the latter on your own). Last but not least, it will tell you just how much the actual and the mean (i.e., as we measure it) time deviates.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

All this information is indicated on a number of scales and sub-dials, and some are even displayed numerous times – for example, you can read the date in the Gregorian perpetual calendar either on the retrograde display at the 12 o'clock sub-dial on the tourbillon side of the watch, or on the scale on the periphery of the same dial, with a large hand pointing to the actual date, month, Zodiac, and season.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases
The ISO 8601 compliant business calendar indication of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260.

And just when you thought this was all you could possibly want indicated, as a totally new complication, the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 offers an ISO 8601 Business Calendar that complies with the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization regarding the way of telling time for business (or rather, financial) purposes. We have already discussed the indications of the Gregorian perpetual calendar (day, date, etc.), so now, let's see how this is new and different.

The ISO 8601 business calendar divides the year into weeks, with the first week of January being week one and so on. As you'd expect to see from something developed for the financial world, it's all about the numbers: the number of the week and the number of the day take precedence over the month and date indications. As you can see in the image above, the number of the week is read from the outer scale, the month from the inner concentric circle, and the number of the day is indicated by a number in a window directly above the week dial, where 1 stands for Monday and 7 for Sunday.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases
A closer look at the Hebraic calendar of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260.

Just about as novel and perhaps even more rare, the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 also prominently features a Hebraic calendar on its main dial. It is no secret that the Hebrew calendar is a very complicated one, and the fact that the 57260 features both it, a Gregorian calendar and also the ISO 8601 financial calendar version just goes to show how much potential there was left in the astronomic indications – and, in fact, this is where this amazing new watch manages to surge past its previous competitors the most, These two additional calendar displays mean a large number of extra complications, because all the displays for the years, months, days, names of the days and months and so on, all add to that total of 57 complications inside the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260.

We have listed the complete number of indications linked to this complication, so to keep it at least a bit more simple, we'll say that the actual date is shown at 6 o'clock on a sub-dial that ranges to 30 (remember, there are no 31-day long months in the Hebraic calendar), while the name of the day is in an aperture to the left and the name of month is displayed in an aperture to the right. Plain and simple – one would say, but the mechanics working underneath to calculate for the 19-year Metonic cycle of the calendar are truly mind-boggling.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases
The remarkably legible second time zone indicator of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260.

Interestingly – but perhaps, not surprisingly – in this super-complicated piece, there are some features that actually were designed to be less complicated, and a most fitting example to that is the world time indication. Indicated on a separate twelve-hour dial, it is remarkably easy to read the actual time at another place in the world. Where exactly? Well, a small aperture above the dial reveals the name of one of 24 cities (each of the buyer's choice), its deviation from Greenwich Mean Time, and just a bit further above, another little window shows whether it is AM or PM at the selected location. While certainly not easy to develop and realize, as far as world time indications are concerned, this appears to be one of the most useful and elegant ones ever conceived – so much so that it would be nice to see this on other, (much) more widely available pieces in the brand's main collections.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases
An inside look at the movement of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260, with much of the chiming mechanism revealed.

Chiming functions are an absolute must-have to any grand complication timepiece, and the Vacheron Constantine Reference 57260 packs not simply the best, but basically all of them. Minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, chiming alarm – you name it, it's in there. In the image above, you will see a large number of the parts of the chiming mechanisms revealed – while it is a shame that all of this magnificent engineering will remain hidden under the dial, this metropolis of beautifully crafted cams, snails, and wheels all work together in an effort to help the different chiming functions operate.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

The grande and petite sonnerie has been regarded as the most difficult to produce horological complication by a number of famed watchmakers, and there is good reason for that. The grande and petite sonnerie chime the time "en passant," i.e., as it passes, with the grande sonnerie chiming the hours and quarters every 15 minutes, while the petite sonnerie chimes the quarters as every quarter is passed – but the hours only at the start of a new hour. To add to its complexity, one would of course want to be able to turn this function off, and so the sonnerie comes with a mode selector, where you can turn the sonnerie off entirely – so that it won't ring at the wrong time. Plus, the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 has added a night mode to the sonnerie (something we don't remember seeing anywhere else before), which silences the sonnerie between 10PM and 8AM. Needless to say, a watch that is capable of chiming the time on its own is able to do so on demand, and so the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 also has a minute repeater, that chimes the elapsed hours, quarter hours, and minutes anytime the owner initiates the complication.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Topping off the list of chiming functions is the alarm, for which the desired time can be set on the main dial's 12-hour sub-dial. The alarm can be turned on or off – obviously – and as a neat extra complication, it can be told to use the full Westminster chimes with all five hammers and gongs (for a really fancy wake-up call), or work in normal mode, where it strikes just one single gong that was tuned specifically for this purpose and is not used for the other chiming functions.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

The winding crown for the alarm is actually perfectly flush with the case – which is impressive, since they couldn't use the main crown to wind it, the watchmakers found a really elegant way of using a secondary crown in a way that it does not mess up the balanced look of the piece. This secondary crown is set free by turning the bow of the watch, and then it simply needs to be pushed back into the locked position.
Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Let's get down to business with another king of complications: the split-second chronograph. The chronograph all by itself is about on par with the chiming mechanisms because of the sheer complexity of it – whenever there is a lot of "on-demand" stuff going on, the mechanism needs to be all the more complicated. As such, the rattrapante chronograph is the most complex kind of the stopwatch function, as it allows for the measurement of two separate periods of time, which can be started, stopped and reset separately. Vacheron Constantin went all-out on this complication. To be completely descriptive, it is a mono-pusher split-second detached chronograph.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

The way it works is that it uses one single pusher for the usual functions of the stopwatch – start, stop, reset – while there is a separate pusher at the 11 o'clock position to engage the split-second mode that allows you to keep on measuring a second period of time while the first chronograph seconds hand stops. It is a genuinely ingenious design, and one that also reserves a number of sub-dials on the dials, with a 12-hour and 30-minute totalizer for the chronograph – a very rare feat for rattrapante (or split-second) chronos. As is the case with A. Lange & Söhne's Double Split, two column wheels are used for the two separate time measuring segments of the chronograph, and another, third one for the 12-hour counter.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

Almost three thousand words into this article, and we have still not discussed every single function of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 at a length and in a detail it would arguably deserve – in fact, just the way the three calendars have been merged into one movement would deserve a dedicated article, and so would the night-mode of the sonnerie, the amazing triple-axis tourbillon... and so on and on. But at the end of the day, the point is that high-end watchmaking, haute horlogerie, is not dead, but on the contrary: it manages to keep upping the bar, and keep up the pace with all the other, much younger and rapidly developing industries.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch Is World's Most Complicated Watch Ever Made Watch Releases

At a time when some thought just about everything that could be done with watch movements has been done, when all complications have been invented, Vacheron Constantin delivered a unique timepiece that presented us with a number of new and interesting complications – along with some others that we have already known, but even those have a twist or two in store for us. We genuinely hope to see such novel engineering achievements not every eight years but more often – even (or rather: especially!) if that would mean seeing them not cramped into one unattainable piece, but many more which are part of a renowned brand's main collections. vacheron-constantin.com

What do you think?
  • I want it! (6)
  • Interesting (3)
  • I love it! (3)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • BIG CHRONO

    These would have been great gifts for Tesla, Einstein, Edison, & other qualified brain trusts.

    • I_G

      Vacheron should make a sub-$100 version for the monetarily deprived.

      • BIG CHRONO

        Making these Leviathans does not benefit the overall watch buying public @ every economic level.

        • I_G

          Lacking cash does not make one unable to handle such a Leviathan.

          • BIG CHRONO

            Its mere existence does not enhance society.

          • iamcalledryan

            Oh God, here we go again

          • BIG CHRONO

            If Mr. Adams wants to ban me, that is his perogative.

          • iamcalledryan

            Fortunately for all of us, he favors freedom of speech!

            It would be better if you would just separate the goals of a charity from those of a watch company, as well as watchmaking blogs from places to critique global capitalism!

          • BIG CHRONO

            These subjects are all intertwined, & directly affect each other. There is no viable way to separate them. I read website political cartoons, & volatile posters there render comments here to sandbox proportions.

          • iamcalledryan

            Good luck with that. don’t be surprised if the only likes you receive are your own.

          • BIG CHRONO

            I eschew the banter. I simply enjoy the clever illustrators’ caricatures & rhetoric.

          • DanW94

            That’s probably true of 95% of the crap produced on this planet…but the buying public loves their talking mounted fish and life size stuffed bears and plastic things a plenty. So why not an ultra expensive one of a kind watch?

    • iamcalledryan

      There you go again, liking your own comments!

  • iamcalledryan

    This is a staggering feat of watchmaking. That secret alarm winder is particularly awesome.

    The Hebrew calendar is not relevant to me, so I will have to respectfully bow out of buying one, but that it enables the thing to demonstrate SO MANY calendar complications is a wonder.

    • frisbfreek

      Yup, the Hebrew calendar is the only reason I’m not buying one. 😉

      • elliot55

        Hey Fris, I like the Hebrew calendar… it’s the price I find a bit over the top!

  • ZL

    Ooh, Patek’s slam dunk got stuffed by Vacheron!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Am looking at it,………..but i still cant believe it. There’s really nothing you can say. Lucky man.

  • I_G

    Brilliant, and they used the Bodoni typeface on the dial! Yummy.

  • I looked around a bit, but I couldn’t find how ISO 8601 handles week nr 53. The current year, for instance, has 53 weeks, with week nr 53 being the week starting Dec 28, and ending Jan 3, 2016 (week 1/2015 was the week starting Dec. 29, 2014, ending Jan. 4, 2015). Like other watches with week number complications, the week numbers on this one only go up to 52. Oops?

    • iamcalledryan

      i think you could call this a “simple week calendar” in that it would not catch the 53rd week – good spot.

      I think they don’t count the 53rd week as a “retail week” so effectively the owner of this watch would have his feet up during week 53!

      • I agree that the owner deserves a rest after having played with it for 52 weeks! 🙂 I guess there is always room for improvement for the next most complicated watch. I am still curious to know whether the ISO standard caters for the week 53 issue. If it doesn’t then the watch is fully compliant to the standard, of course.

  • OmniWrench

    “Phases of the Moon that needs to be adjusted by 1 day every 1,027 years”

    I hope they engraved the instructions for that adjustment on the body of the watch, because there’s a good chance that the manual might get misplaced by then…

  • I’d have expected more from the case – more elegance, decoration – something. Looks rather industrial. Some styling would have made it look less like a tuna can. The reset is mind blowing. It’s a shame the owner will never get to see that movement other than in photos.

  • I think they could well have topped 60 “complications” since they so freely included “features” in the count. Did they mention that watch has a case? And a crystal? And a crown? See 60 already and I’m sure we can name some other parts as features if we try. How about listing the bridges or rubies? Really a magnificent watch but the “count” becomes a bit of a one upsmanship joke. I agree with Russ that the case could have been more something or other.

    All that and it still does not tell you when you have been inactive for too long or that you have an incoming text or Facebook post. The millennials will never buy it (lucky us).

    • iamcalledryan

      Sir, you are a party pooper! Considering that we tend to count unidirectional bezels, large date windows and monopushers as complications, you can forgive their liberal count!

    • Coert Welman

      Seeing that there is only one such watch in existence, who cares about what millennials want?
      If you bothered to look up what the definition of complication is in horological terms, then you would see how ridiculous your statement really is.

      • 1) sarcasm: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm
        2) The initial point is exactly that – many of the things in their count of 57 are NOT complications, hence the sarcasm.
        3) This is the anti-Apple Watch, refer to point #1 again.

    • egznyc

      Maybe we should ask watchmakers to list the number of complications per square area of total dial space, or by volume. That would certainly bring this effort down to less “astronomical” proportions. It’s enormous, even for a “pocket” watch. The thickness of the case is over 50mm, which – if it were the case diameter – is even a good-sized watch for Bichon Daddy. But I don’t think even he could strap this behemoth to his wrist.

      • Or do like Bovet and have a stand so you can admire what is more of a desk clock than a pocket watch.

      • Shinytoys

        I think this piece would give Bichon Daddy a challenge “)

  • IanE

    Only for those with very deep pockets (or at least one – to put it in!). Some creations truly awe one – insanely pointless, but insanely desirable.

    • egznyc

      Such a clever double meaning in that remark! Better have reinforced deep pockets too. It must weigh an awful lot.

  • iamcalledryan

    Guys, just take a moment to appreciate that this thing is as THICK as some watches are WIDE!

  • SuperStrapper

    It might be the most complicated, but URWERK’s is just so much cooler.

  • Julius Swerving

    Service costs must be a bitch.

  • Phoenikz

    Two words … ‘boggling’ & ‘mind’.

  • BIG CHRONO

    HODINKEE has it own in-depth coverage of this watch. This well stated
    excerpt courtesy of same:

    “We hope here at HODINKEE that it might signal a new approach to high end complicated watchmaking: one in which emotional resonance and innovation in solving hitherto impossible horological problems, takes precedence over the ultimately empty pursuit of bigger numbers for their own sake.”

    • David Bredan

      Good point. Still, (and this is discussed in the article) I feel the last few years have been less about the complication numbers race and more about manufactures more frequently creating (quite awesome) complications at stratospheric costs, which most of us liked but hardly ever saw make their way into more affordable collections. Perhaps the more technically impressive thing to do (and the more noteworthy thing to argue) would be to finally see these get into main collection models.

      • BIG CHRONO

        Thank you. If greed were classified as an addictive disease, treated as such with drugs & counseling, & a vaccine developed, it would certainly open up new vistas for horologists, etc., to develop more viably functional & amicably priced goods that could be personally enjoyed, rather than drooled over in “racy” watch magazines & online. It’s a stunning creation, but this “multi watch” lacks pliers, screwdrivers, awls, tweezers, scissors, knives, files, & other things multitools possess. Will VC step up to the challenge?

        • I_G

          Che is dead, have you even heard about it? Getting over it is out of question obviously.

          • BIG CHRONO

            Stick to subject.

        • egznyc

          Sometimes there’s greed and sometimes there’s a desire to do something that has never been done before. Was it greed that led us to send a man (actually 12) to the moon?

          • BIG CHRONO

            Yes.

          • DanW94

            No not greed but hubris, and a blind, fanatical need to beat the Russians there at all cost…

          • egznyc

            I am sure hubris played some role but to be fair, hubris gets a bad rap – it can lead to real accomplishments (and sometimes tragedy). As for beating the Russians at all cost, I disagree. Virtually no monetary expense was spared, but NASA’s quick race to the moon was nonetheless methodical and calculated to reduce the risks to the extent feasible. And yes, the U.S. wanted this badly but not solely to beat the Russians. Maybe this was true for many folks but for others it was more of a man vs. nature story. And those are the ones with the most hubris 😉

          • DanW94

            Agree, you’d certainly need a healthy dose of self assuredness to accomplish this task. But they didn’t call it the space race for nothing 🙂

        • Shinytoys

          will provide a Leatherman at no additional cost 🙂

          • BIG CHRONO

            Thank you for your keen sense of humor.

      • iamcalledryan

        David I think that Montblanc are mounting something of an effort to bring down the calendar/moon prices, which is a great start. It will be interesting to have brands like Nomos and Eterna offer complications at affordable prices once they have earned out their investment. Bottom line, however, is that you will go bust in an instant if you do not ship vast volumes or charge relatively high prices. Even with ETA volume they struggled to create workhorse complicated movements that continued to map to their necessary volumes. And no other movement maker is going to inherit scales of that size any time soon. Those are hundreds of well-paid man hours that go into complicated watch designing, testing, making and finishing, not to mention the other running costs. I am NOT saying that a watch retail price is the sum of it’s cost, nor should it be, but it is closer to that on in-house low-volume complicated watches than people would think.

  • Antjay

    Going to need fat pockets for this watch in more ways than one !
    Satchel watch perhaps ?

  • AndrewT

    I’m a rabbi and a watch lover. Since this tracks the Hebrew calendar, can I call it a business expense? Amazing to see such magnificent technology track an ancient calendar. Sign me up for one!

    • egznyc

      LOL – now if only they paid rabbis a little (okay, a lot) more, perhaps this wouldn’t be out of the question. Then again, it might be more practical – at least on the Sabbath – to wear a wrist watch, as opposed to carrying a pocket watch, right? Complications, complications …

    • Shinytoys

      A rabbi that rides and loves watches…very cool. From one tribesman to another.

    • BIG CHRONO

      Happy RH, YK, & Horology. If you use it for work in synagogue, run it by your acct., & present certified “kosher” receipt.

  • cheerss

    I wish they could have found a way to make the movement visible. But maybe thats asking too much.

  • Chaz

    And at auction in the future, it’ll still only command a mere fraction of what a highly complicated Patek pocket watch will realize.

    • egznyc

      If so, then it would be a relative bargain.

  • somethingnottaken

    Now this is an alarm clock one wouldn’t want to casual swat into silence while half asleep in the morning.

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  • elanjacobs

    I don’t think this will fit in my waistcoat pocket.

  • Contrary to what most people think, the watch does fit in a pocket -in some at least, as this exclusive live picture shows :^D
    Other than that, out of this world fantastic.

    • iamcalledryan

      HAHAHA!

    • Shinytoys

      That’s perfect !!!

  • Apalachicola

    How much?

  • LapYoda

    So, uh, when is this coming out on Kickstarter?

    • Shinytoys

      funny !

    • I_G

      When they find a sweatshop in China to manufacture it.

  • BrJean

    I looked through the official website of these watch and it seems that VC used some kind of ‘module system’ to create this timepiece. For example, calendar functions are located on one module, chiming stuff on the other and so on. Inside the case these modules are stacked like a layered cake. Probably this is a reason why it’s so thick. Maybe we should expect less expensive watch variations with some of the modules removed…

  • egznyc

    Okay, very impressive, and I’m definitely a fan of this brand. But good grief, its astronomical dimensions should disqualify this “watch” – pocket or otherwise – insofar as it’s really more like a desk clock (though an exceedingly complicated one).

    The night mode for the sonnerie is reminiscent of my iPhone. Except I can adjust the time window; here, it’s factory set for 10pm to 8am.

  • Shinytoys

    That is the bee’s knee’s right there boys ! I’m pretty sure we reached the “Watch Summit”, or Valhalla. Either way, I might never leave the house with that time machine in my hands, it’s the ultimate time keeper’s dream. Excellently written Dave.

    • egznyc

      Yeah, more like WET dream 😉

      So, David, while this was an excellent article, there was no mention of its owner (I assume that’s a closely guarded secret): will the world ever learn who commissioned this one-of-a-kind record-breaking mechanical marvel?

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  • Ulysses31

    Bloody hell, what a beast. One cannot help but be impressed by the functionality and craftsmanship, but this thing is more like a wheel of cheese than a watch. The ring at the top must be where you hook it through the nose of a bull, as it is the only creature strong enough to carry it around. Bull-bling – you heard it here first.

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  • resonator resonator

    It’s no System 51, but it’ll do I guess.

  • Peter Byford

    What, no ‘Limited Edition’…..’Superlative’……’Extra Special’ text on the dial lol !
    Yes, the ‘complication count’ debate rumbles on, but as regards the ‘most complicated watch ever made, I’m not so sure. Marie Antionette’s pocket watch held the title for 100 years, & in my humble opinion, still does for the simple fact that Breguet made it with automatic winding which must have been an astonishing horological feat in that era.

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