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This is the story of the encounter between classic timepiece clients and the watch brand Vacheron Constantin. 

Being the most complicated watch ever made, the Reference 57260 is a real technical challenge, with it’s 57 complications.

Many people don’t know what a “complication” is. If we go to Patek Philippe’s website, we find the following definition: “A ‘complication’ is any additional horological function to the display of hours, minutes and seconds.”

The most common complications used in commercial watches are day/date displays, alarms, chronographs (also known as stopwatches) and automatic winding mechanisms. The more complications a watch has, the more difficult it is to design, create, assemble and of course, repair.

Getting back to our watch, we can say that the journey lasted 24 years, as three watchmakers worked 8 years in the same workshop to obtain this achievment. The incredible thing about this project is that these wathmakers had to invent new complications that have never been made before, displaying the beautiful power of human ingeniosity.

This adventure started with a blank piece of paper, from scratch. Inventing something new. It’s not only new, but it’s a real milestone. The challenge is to bring 57 complications together and to make them work together.  

One of the most impressive things about this watch is the incorporation of the Hebraic calendar which is a real challenge to create and is much complicated than the Gregorian perpetual calendar. The dial has high visibility even though there are 31 hands and multiple calendars intricately combined together.

Despite the number of complications and components (aprox. 2,800) this watch has, the final weight is less than 1 kg. The thinness of the cases at certain places is 0.7 millimeter and this was necessary to reach a high standard. 

So the case was created in a milling machine from a 16 kilograms lingot of pure gold, finally weighting around 300 grams. The dial of the watch is 50.5 millimeter with some dials being as thing as 0.5 millimeter.

Lets take a closer look at this incredible timepiece:

The complete list of complications can be viewed here.

This is a masterpiece which is in its own category. It had a big impact in terms of knowledge gained within Vacheron Constantin. 

The watch send a clear message as it has been launched in the same time period as the smart watch: what a watch is and what it does – it’s a time keeper and what it does is measure intervals of time while it also tells time.

The difference between this watch and a smartwatch is that unlike the electronic smartwatches on the market, this watch embodies true human wisdom.

We are happy that in the 21st century there is still a desire for this kind of object that is at once kind of irrelevant to some people and to our way of thinking, utterly necessary, as it will leave a legacy for humankind’s future. 

57 complications and a tradition of 260 years have created the Vacheron Constatin Reference 57260:

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