Hello my fellow watch-watchers. My, you’re in for a treat today…For I bring to you the latest in luxurious watches, Vacheron Constantin’s Reference 57260 Pocket Watch.
Billed as ‘the world’s most complicated pocket watch’ – quite literally, as this work of art boasts no less than 57 complications. That’s more than my relationship with Mrs. Ape in the early days. But what is a complication I hear you ask? Well, there was some trouble with a gibbon she used to date back in the Congo… Oh no, the pocket watch, of course – my apologies.
When it comes to mechanical watches, a complication refers to any feature in a timepiece that goes above and beyond the basic display of hours and minutes. Any more than two hands and you’ve got yourself a complication, see? Typical date-display chronograph watches might have up to 250 separate parts, whereas a particularly complex watch might have over a thousand. With the Reference 57260, try adding a zero my friend.
The watch has taken over eight years to design, engineer and build and is said to have been commissioned by a ‘secret collector’… Very evasive! Vacheron Constantin have earned themselves a place in the record books with this complicated pocket clock, and it’s a celebratory release edition, to mark their 260th year of commendable watchmaking.
The beauty of this watch lies in the technology. No, put away your apple watches and banana phones, I’m talking good old gears, cogs and springs. This pocket watch can tell you much more than the time; it has no less than eight Hebrew calendars, can indicate sunrise and sunset, as well as seasons, equinoxes, solstices and signs of the Zodiac.
The chronographic functions include hours and minutes counters and retrograde second and split-second chronograph. All this makes for extremely accurate timekeeping – no excuses to be late with the Reference 57260. The watch also features 8 Westminster carillon chiming mechanisms, the most complicated type of striking mechanism to engineer. Each mechanism requires a succession of five steel gongs to be struck by their respective hammers, in a perfectly harmonious manner – and the Reference has eight. The chime is that of the world-famous clock of the British parliament building. That’s right, it will even sing you the time, sounding the same tune as London’s Big Ben.
Each time watches like these are crafted, time in the industry stands still. The Reference 5760 is a breath-taking breakthrough in watchmaking and a display of technical excellence, but alas – some horology-hailing homosapien has already got his or her name on it. Fortunately, for this particular piece they will have to have very deep pockets and this will come in handy, as the watch itself is of remarkable size.
If you, like myself, have regular sized pockets – I’ve just the thing. The Ancient Pocket Watch vaunts a skeleton dial, exposing its intricate inner workings. The three hands tick delicately around the face through an authentic hand-winding mechanism, and the watch sports classic roman numerals for a traditional and authentic look. The slim case and £25 price tag make it perfect for any pocket – even those that are occasionally a little snug.
It might not be a Reference 57260, but I adore my Ancient Pocket Watch. I’m off to polish mine, then I’ll slip it into my pocket alongside my emergency banana - I’m taking Mrs. Ape out dancing tonight. I’ll do anything for an easy life you see, and that’s probably why 57 complications sounds a little too complicated for an old ape like me.