The Grand Complications collection from Patek Philippe is full of exclusive, beautiful timepieces. This collection contains the most intricate watches in the world with up to 20 complications and hand-decorated cases made of precious metals.
- Grandmaster Chime, Patek Philippe's most complicated watch
- Sky Moon Tourbillon, Patek Philippe's first double-faced watch
- Perpetual calendar, double chronograph complications
- Celestial models with depictions of the night sky and astronomical complications
- Patek Philippe's specialty: watches with minute repeaters
Patek Philippe's Grand Complications: Refined Watchmaking Art
is world renowned for their complicated pocket watches and wristwatches. Acoustic complications such as a minute repeater
or chimes - grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie
- are this Genevan manufacturer's specialty. A petite sonnerie chimes on the hour, while the grande sonnerie chimes on the hour and quarter hour. A minute repeater acoustically chimes the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. Patek Philippe is also well known for their use of the perpetual calendar
complication. Furthermore, they're very well known for their double chronographs
, such as the watch with reference number 5204.
Sky Moon Tourbillon: 12 Complications
Patek Philippe caused a stir with their Sky Moon Tourbillon
, reference number 5002
, in 2001. At the time, the watch was the most complicated wristwatch Patek Philippe had ever developed. The Sky Moon Tourbillon
had 12 complications
and was also the first double-faced Patek Philippe watch. The dial side displayed the time, day, date, month, age of the moon, and leap year cycle
. The back side featured many different astronomical complications such as a depiction of the night sky, the phases of the moon, and sidereal time
. A mean sidereal day is about four minutes shorter than our typical 24-hour day. A sidereal day is the amount of time it takes for the Earth to make one rotation relative to the vernal equinox.
The new version of the Sky Moon Tourbillon was released in 2013. It has reference number 6002 and is almost identical to the previous version in terms of functionality. However, the 6002 has an intricately engraved white gold case and an enamel dial.
Are you looking for an intricate wristwatch with lots of functions to show off? Then a luxury watch from the Grand Complications collection is perfect for you. With a Patek Philippe on your wrist, it's clear: You've made it. Top models such as the Sky Moon Tourbillon cost almost 2 million euros. The most complicated wristwatch from Patek Philippe at the moment, the Grandmaster Chime, costs around 6.4 million euros.
However, you don't need to spend millions in order to afford a Grand Complications watch - there are cheaper alternatives. Pre-owned models in very good condition with a perpetual calendar can be purchased for 30,000 euros. New watches with this complication cost around 50,000 euros.
If you want a perpetual calendar and a chronograph function, then you should plan to spend at least 75,000 euros for a pre-owned model. The price for a new watch starts at 100,000 euros. Pre-owned watches with a double chronograph and a perpetual calendar cost at least 230,000 euros, while a new watch costs around 250,000 euros.
A Patek Philippe Grand Complications with a minute repeater costs at least 300,000 euros. If you also want a perpetual calendar, then you should plan on spending around 550,000 euros.
Highlights in the Patek Philippe Grand Complications collection are the Celestial
models. Like the Sky Moon Tourbillon, these watches have astronomical complications
. These watches display the night sky as well as the Milky Way on the dial side of the watch. Additional astronomical complications include a mean solar time display, a date display, and a moon phase display. A new Celestial watch costs over 200,000 euros.
Grandmaster Chime: The Flagship Watch of the Grand Complications
Patek Philippe's Grandmaster Chime is one of the most complicated watches in the world. Patek Philippe presented the watch with reference number 5175
in 2014 to celebrate the company's 175th anniversary. This model has two dials with a total of 20 complications
. The "chime" in its name refers to the watch's acoustic complications, amongst them a grand sonnerie, petite sonnerie, minute repeater
, alarm function, and date repeater
. The alarm and date repeater were new, revolutionary complications. The Grandmaster Chime can, on request, chime the date. It chimes high and low tones for every 10 days and then chimes single digits like it would minutes. Thanks to its perpetual calendar, the watch always knows which date to chime.
The alarm function is another special complication. Like a minute repeater, the alarm chimes first the hour, then the quarter hour, and then the minutes. The mechanism begins two minutes before the set time so that you are able to hear the entire orchestra. However, you can only set the alarm to full, quarter, half, or three-quarters of an hour. Thus, when you set the alarm for 6 AM, the watch will begin chiming at 5:58 AM. First, five chimes for the hours, then three double chimes for the quarter hours, and 13 chimes for the remaining minutes.
With a case diameter of 47.4 mm and a thickness of 16.1 mm, the Grandmaster Chime is certainly still wearable. Inside its hand-engraved, rose gold case
is the caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM, which is comprised of 1,366 pieces. Aside from the acoustic complications, the movement has a power reserve for the going train and chime
, a perpetual calendar, a moon phase display, and a day/night indicator. Patek Philippe produced only seven of these watches; one has now made the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva its home.
- One of the most complicated watches in the world
- A total of 20 complications
- New complications: special alarm function and date repeater
Grand Complications: Descendants of Complicated Pocket Watches
With 24 complications, the Graves Supercomplication
has long been considered one of the most intricate pocket watches, and, until 1989, it held the record. It features a double chronograph, perpetual calendar
, sidereal time display, and displays the sunrise and sunset time, as well as the night sky over New York City. Patek Philippe made the watch, reference number 198385, for the American banker Henry Graves, Jr., who lived in New York.
Graves was a passionate watch collector who loved Patek Philippe watches. He was embroiled in a competition with the automobile manufacturer James Ward Packard. Both men requested multiple watches from Patek Philippe in order to have a watch with multiple complications. In the end, Graves won with the Graves Supercomplication, which he commissioned in 1925. Producing the pocket watch took seven years. Whether or not Patek Philippe could have built an even more complicated watch at the beginning of the 1930s is unclear. Packard died in 1928 and was unable to commission any more watches.
Patek Philippe didn't create a watch that was more complicated than the Graves Supercomplication until 1989, when they released the Calibre 89, a pocket watch with 33 complications. The Calibre 89 had a perpetual calendar, a moon phase and moon age display, a double chronograph, and a second time zone display all on the dial side. The back side had different astronomical complications. The Calibre 89 also has acoustic complications such as a minute repeater, a grande and petite sonnerie, and an alarm. The development and production of this masterpiece of watchmaking took nine years to finish. Still today, the Calibre 89 is one of the most complicated pocket watches in the world .
In 2015, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin
presented a pocket watch with a total of 57 complications
. The pocket watch, reference number 57260, was made especially for a wealthy customer who wished to remain anonymous. One highlight of this pocket watch is its different calendars. Aside from the traditional Gregorian perpetual calendar, it also has a Hebrew perpetual calendar, a professional business calendar according to the ISO 8601 standard, and an astronomical calendar.