Patek Philippe’s Calibre 89 is widely considered to be the most complicated watch ever created, featuring 33 unique complications. It’s been the standard of complexity in the industry for a while, but there’s finally a new time piece to take its mantle.
Celebrating its 260th anniversary, Swiss manufacture Vacheron Constantin—one of watchmaking’s “Big Three”— officially unveiled its Reference 57260. With a remarkable 57 complications, the pocket watch that took eight years to develop claims the title of the world’s most complicated watch.
The piece was constructed and conceptualized by a team of three people – codenamed ‘Tivoli’ – to make a watch with the traditional complications, like a moon-phase indicator, a star chart, and a regulator-style timekeeping display—but also some that have never been seen before in horology.
One of these imaginative features is the double retrograde split-second chronograph. Unlike traditional watches that you usually see, where the hands move in the same direction, the double-retrograde version’s hands rotate in opposite directions and snap back to their starting positions after completing a 60-second arc.
There’s too many features to list in this complex piece – which was sold to its new owner for an estimated $8 million – but suffice it to say that Vacheron Constantin has created a truly unique and fascinating timepiece that pushes the boundaries of watchmaking.