The fascinating art of Haute Horlogerie

presented by Bucherer
In the world of haute horlogerie, technically sophisticated additional functions are known as complications. These functions include moon-phase displays, equation of time or perpetual calendars. If a timepiece features more than one of these functions, it is referred to as a grand complication. Successfully creating one of these watches requires the utmost expertise. We are presenting the most important complications from the world of haute horlogerie on the basis of select models.

Innovation by tradition

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367

The tourbillon on the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 is a true eye-catcher. It is visible through the opening at 5 o’clock. The mechanism was developed by legendary watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet in the eighteenth century. He mounted the escapement and the balance wheel in a rotating cage in order to offset the effects of gravity and maintain the accuracy of the watch. Strictly speaking, a tourbillon is not a complication, but rather a regulatory part of the movement.

The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 features a state-of-the-art titanium tourbillon cage located on the inside of the movement.

The elegant dial made of grand feu enamel pays homage to the first pocket watches created by the founder of Breguet. 

The rhythm of the sun 

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887

Traditional timepieces show the mean solar time, which is based on a 24-hour day. However, the solar cycle is only 24 hours long four times a year. Every other day of the year, it varies by several minutes as a result of the movement and rotation of the sun and the earth. Watches with equation of time functions also show the apparent solar time. The equation of time is one of the rarest and most fascinating watch complications.

It is integrated into the Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887 as a running equation with a great deal of technical finesse: the dial has a separate solar hand that provides a reading of the solar time.

But that is not the only spectacular feature of this watch. The perpetual calendar and tourbillon make this model, with its nautical look, an exclusive grand complication.

Poetry meets precision 

Piaget Limelight Stella

It takes the moon 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds to fully orbit the earth. On the moon phase of a watch, also referred to as the lunation, the wearer can read the current position of the moon at any moment. In its simplest version, this complication is a gear with 59 teeth. Two moons are printed or painted on to the gear, and it is precise to 0.1 per cent.

For the Limelight Stella ladies’ watch, Piaget used a more precise gear ratio and a more complex gear mechanism: the moon-phase display only needs to be corrected by one day every 122 years.

The sophisticated technology of this astronomical moon phase is cradled by an elegant diamond frame. A poetic design highlight: the star at the tip of the seconds hand.


Perpetual elegance 

A systematic masterpiece 

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Striking Time

For watch-lovers, a digital display on mechanical timepieces is a truly fascinating complication. Digital displays were integrated into pocket watches as far back as the early nineteenth century, and have become increasingly popular in recent years. This function is also referred to as jumping hours or jumping minutes and is based on a highly complex system of rotating discs. It is not only extremely challenging to make, but also extremely time-consuming.

A. Lange & Söhne is one of the leading pioneers in the development and improvement of jumping-hour watches. The Zeitwerk Striking Time model features a jumping-numeral display that depicts the hours and minutes with masterful perfection.

Not just for cosmopolitans 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time

A second time zone is a relatively simple complication. Referred to as dual time, this function is particularly useful for frequent travellers who want to have both the time at their current location and the time at home at their fingertips.

With more complex world time watches such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time, however, the wearer can see the time in 24 time zones at once. Every time zone is assigned the name of a city on the disc that frames the dial.

The highlight for citizens of the world and watch connoisseurs alike is the world map with blue guilloche oceans and satin-brushed continents. Thanks to the orbital flying tourbillon, the world map makes a complete turn of the dial every 24 hours, mirroring the rotation of the earth.