Watches And Wonders 2021: Best Complication Watches
Our top pick of mechanical marvels span the classic to the outlandish.
A. LANGE & SÖHNE Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar
An intelligent complication that charts the day, date, month, leap years and moonphase, the perpetual calendar is transformed into a stately gentleman’s accompaniment in the hands of A. Lange & Söhne. The complication’s often overbearing and crowded indicators are deftly tamed on the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar.
The Lange 1’s signature dial layout is smartly utilised to accommodate the outsized date display, peripheral outer month ring, retrograde day indicator, discreet leap year window and integration of moonphase with small-seconds. This not only ensures legibility but heightens both beauty and practicality of the classic complication. It’s interesting to note that watchmakers had to reconfigure the automatic Calibre L021.3’s architecture to fit the Lange 1’s asymmetrical layout, and generate enough power to instantaneously advance all the calendar displays. Available in 41.9mm pink gold with grey dial (pictured), and a 100-piece limited edition in 41.9mm white gold with pink dial.
FERDINAND BERTHOUD Régulateur Squelette FB RS
Ferdinand Berthoud makes only a handful of watches a year, but that’s because the company specialises only in top-of-the-line complications that are meticulously engineered and handcrafted by a small crack team of watchmakers. The Régulateur Squelette FB RS is yet another demonstration of this horological ethos, a limited production series featuring a gorgeous tourbillon fusée-and-chain movement.
The in-house watch is pure miniature kinetic art. The partially openworked dial offers a view to the company’s first skeletonised movement, featuring an unusual pillar-type structure in which the barrel and the reverse fusée are both suspended, a mirror-polished tourbillon and web of bridges in black PVD coating that brandish a variety of finishes to lend depth and three-dimensionality. Interestingly only 20 units of the hand-wound FB-T.FC-RS calibre will be produced, and collectors can choose to have the individually numbered movement housed in the brand’s trademark octagonal case in carburised stainless steel, or in a round case made of ethical rose gold.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
Think you know the Reservo? Well, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 will melt your brain. Thanks to its famous reversible case, the Reverso’s unique construction has inspired Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watchmakers to push the envelope by presenting the world’s first wristwatch with four fully functioning faces. And it’s not just about quantity. The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 rocks up with 11 complications, packed in a case measuring a very reasonable 51mm x 31mm x 15.15mm. They include a flying tourbillon, perpetual calendar, minute repeater and never-before-seen astronomical displays charting three different types of lunar cycles – a moonphase indicator accurate to 1,111 years; a ‘draconic’ cycle showing the distance between the moon during its orbit of the earth around the sun; and the ‘anomalistic’ cycle, showing the varying distance between the earth and moon.
As you might’ve guessed, all four sides of the Reverso are ultilised on the Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185. The first face shows the time, perpetual calendar and tourbillon; the second face shows a second time display with jumping hour and the minute repeater components; the third face shows the various astronomical displays; and the fourth face depicts the moonphase as seen from the Southern Hemisphere. A truly valued collectible for serious aficionados, the watch is encased in white gold and limited to 10 pieces.
HUBLOT Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire
Full disclosure: it really isn’t because of the tourbillon per se that the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire makes this list but, rather, how the tourbillon is being presented that grabbed our attention. That is not to say that Hublot’s automatic Caliber HUB6035 doesn’t rank – quite the opposite, as the tourbillon movement with gold micro rotor, which is designed and produced entirely by Hublot, is as much a show of horological finesse as any. It is just that the watch’s entire presentation, housed in a fully transparent sapphire case and bracelet, simply turns a great-looking sporty tourbillon into something altogether otherworldly.
Sapphire, a notoriously challenging material to machine because of its hardness, features on the watch’s largest to smallest components, from the case to the individual bracelet links to the movement bridges. This lends the watch the appearance of an object seen from an X-ray scan. And the wonderful irony about the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire is that its full transparency only serves to amplify its mystique. Limited to 30 pieces.
End of content
No more pages to load