Mechanical watch enthusiasts worldwide admire the simplicity of knowing what time it is, yet hard-core lovers of horology constantly seek more knowledge. Wikipedia says that Horology (via Latin horologium from Greek ὡρολόγιον, from ὥρα hṓra "hour; time" and -o- interfix and suffix -logy; lit. "the study of time") is the art or science of measuring time. These measurements are far more than just your typical something-o'clock. Vacheron Constantin has announced their Reference 57260 pocket watch with a world record 57 complications. A complication is anything more than simple time of day. So what does this new pocket watch offer that no other timepiece in the world can achieve? All 57 complications are as follows:
6 Time measurement functions
7 Perpetual calendar functions
8 Hebrew calendar functions
9 Astronomical calendar functions
1 Lunar calendar function
1 Religious calendar function
4 Three column wheel chronograph functions
7 Alarm functions
8 Westminster carillon striking functions
6 Other functions
According to the company, "Reference 57260, bearing the Hallmark of Geneva, is a double-dial horological masterwork of hitherto unimaginable complication and technical innovation. It has been conceived over a period of eight years by a team of three of the company’s master watchmakers.
Made using the classic principles of watchmaking, along with resolutely 21st-century thinking, this watch is an entirely original creation exhibiting a total of 57 complications, several of which are entirely new and unique. The new complications that were required to be incorporated including, among others the multiple calendars and double retrograde rattrapante chronograph, had never previously existed and therefore had to be calculated, designed, and developed from scratch, thus a completely new calibre of movement. Furthermore, the mechanisms of the more familiar complications have been modified, reinterpreted, and redesigned.
The conception and realization of the Reference 57260 watch has required not only a huge leap of imagination, but also an exceptional level of mathematical understanding and craftsmanship. The successful completion of this watch in the 260th anniversary year sets a new benchmark in horology. In addition, the legacy of research and skills developed during its construction is the greatest contribution to the advancement of mechanical watchmaking since the 1920s, indeed in the history of measuring time. The Reference 57260 watch takes its place in a proud lineage of exceptional creations that punctuate history, in particular the history of art, which often stem from the encounter between a major collector who commissions them and the expertise of an artist or a great Maison."