Complications spell trouble for most of us; not so for the mechanical wristwatches. The term signifies something special, something that a watch does apart from showing the time. A complication is an individual function that a mechanical watch does or shows. It may be something as simple as an annual calendar or as complex as a minute repeater.
A quartz watch fitted with a battery or equipped with a computer chip may also offer different functions. However, these are simply ‘functions’. An ordinary function becomes an extraordinary complication when it is mechanical, not automated.
Collectors prize mechanical timepieces that incorporate diverse complications in them. It’s not so much about the actual task that it does or the thing it shows but more about the precision, innovation and ingenuity involved in it. After all, most of us really don’t have any advantage of a moon phase display on a wristwatch.
Complicated mechanical watches were always popular with men, right from the Royalty of yore to the business tycoons of today. However, things have taken a turn in modern times. Women have developed a taste for mechanical watches fitted with complications nowadays.
Women usually preferred simple quartz movements in their wristwatches. For them, the timepiece was more of an exquisite piece of jewelry. The focus, therefore, was on the appearance of the piece instead of the functions. Things have changed quite considerably in the last few years. Women have become interested in mechanical, complicated watches.
It’s, however, incorrect to think that the addition of complications in women’s mechanical watches is a new phenomenon. Breguet was commissioned to build the most complicated watch ever made for a woman as early as 1783. It was meant for Marie Antoinette.
High-end complicated women’s watches, not for the Royalty but for the general consumer, were designed as early as in 1916. The first ladies complication from the prestigious watch house of Patek Philippe came with a 5 minute repeater. Though complicated mechanical watches were not new for women’s watches, such incidents were rare and infrequent.
Let’s take a look at some of the new-age complicated mechanical women’s watches that blend aesthetics with innovation.
Patek Philippe Ladies Grand Complications – Grandeur Redefined
Featuring an ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement, the watch includes the perpetual calendar and the moon phase display, two of the most famed and sought for complications in the world of horology.
Its rose gold case, white opaline dial with gold hands and markers and diamond-studded bezel and hand-stitched alligator strap makes it dazzle. You can view the inner workings of the watch through the sapphire-crystal case back.
Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complications – Subtle Flair
The timepieces in the collection take time-telling to the next level. The watches do not tell hours, minutes and seconds. It takes you on a fascinating journey through the moments, days and seasons, the changes in the position of the sun, moon and stars.
Van Cleef & Arpels incorporates ingenious and artistic movements such as 24 Hour Movement, Tourbillon Movement and Retrograde Movement in this range. The Quantieme de Saison Movement reveals the dial elements in a progressive and successive manner.
Vacheron Constantin Malte Openworked Tourbillon High Jewellery – Chic Beauty
The skeleton dial showcases the complications of this watch – hand-type calendar and tourbillon movement apart from the time display. A view of the intricacies inside lends a stylish look to the timepiece.
The sophistication of the platinum case with a diamond-adorned bezel contrasts the smart innovations of the inner mechanisms. The hue of the alligator strap complements the color of the case and the shades in the dial.
Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna – Simple Sophistication
With an automatic movement Calibre 90-12, the timepiece features a second stop, a moon phase display and the Panorama Date. The hour and minute function is present off-center on the dial.
The effortless steel case, the understated mother-of-pearl dial and the simple polished hands are set off by the dazzle of the diamonds that surround the dial. The alligator strap matches this simple and beautiful women’s wristwatch.
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon – Attractive Avatar
A hand-wound movement with a built-in tourbillon in a gorgeous variant is sure to impress a modern woman. To enhance the precision of timekeeping, the watch incorporates rapid-rotation twin barrel.
Whether it is the mainplate and the bridges of the movement or the polished bevels and the Matt ‘brouille’ finish of the cutout elements, every part is finished manually. The pink gold case set with diamonds complements the white mother-of-pearl dial and white strap.
Breguet Day and Night – Brilliance of the Sky
The upper half of the dial offers a glimpse of the day and night display. The signature Breguet balance-wheel represents the sun, a titanium disc engraved with the motif of the moon and the stars and clouds on the background create a mini skyscape on the dial.
Powered by a self-winding movement, the lower half of the dial displays the hours and minutes. The white gold case, the silvered dial and the brilliant diamonds on the bezel brings out the beauty of the sky face and the patterns.
Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Bi-Retro – Elegance Personified
Well, it tells the time. But apart from that it also displays the date, day and the retrograde second. The moon phase indicator at 12 o’clock adds a hint of the sky to the otherwise soft color palette.
The pink gold case dazzling with radiant diamonds, the beautiful mother-of-pearl dial sculpted to perfection and the classic strap create a visually appealing watch fit for the style-conscious women of today.
The world of horology has finally taken up the task of creating fine timepieces that embody the spirit of modern femininity.