Friday, February 21, 2014

Face It -- It's Complicated!

Every discipline has its own rarefied language which one learns in order to be fluent among its devotees.  So it is with horology.  As I read about watches, I didn't expect to find a  word that on one hand is  the title of  one of my favorite films; and on the other hand refers to time pieces that offer more than the  display of hours, minutes and seconds.  Well surprise, surprise, "It's Complicated."

I mean that literally.  The 2009 movie, It's Complicated starred Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin along with a very talented ensemble cast.  For a watch to be described as "complicated," it has to have that same ensemble quality with varying numbers of extra functions -- otherwise it's just relegated to being "simple." For starters, a complication can include:

  • Alarms
  • Chronograph
  • Date Display
  • Day of the Week Display
  • Moon Phases
  • Perpetual Calendar 
Like a fine actor, a watch's complications demonstrate its maker's knowledge, craftsmanship, and understanding of complexity and technical execution. The Swiss company, Franck Muller holds the distinction of producing the most complicated wristwatch in the world, the Aeternitas Mega 4 Grande Sonnerie Westminster Carillon with 36 complications, 25 of them visible.  It made it's debut in Monte Carlo, in 2009--the same year the movie It's Complicated was released. Price:  $2.7 million!

Regardless of your level of fluency, I'd love to receive your comments on how you live with your complications (including your watch make and model); why they are important to you; and how they enrich your life.