The masters in the field of horology keeps on crafting unique, amazing horological complications that impressively stands the test of ingenuity and its artistic idiosyncrasy. Produced in strictly limited-numbers and billed as the most expensive watches, such hard-to-produce ultra-complicated horological machines appear due to watchmakers’ ambitious attempts to unite a great number of functions in a case of single luxury timepiece with use of state-of-the-art horological engineering and immaculate craftsmanship, and finally ends-up being in the safe of billionaire watch collectors. Here, we have compiled a list of the world’s most complicated watches that have been introduced in year 2012 for the likes of horological enthusiasts in love with complicated movements. Besides, also check our comprehensive edit of the iconic luxury watches launched in 2012, and high-end luxury watches crafted from rare materials.
1). Arnold & Son’s Instrument DBS Equation Sidereal
Exclusivity: Two major complications in one watch "A&S1311 Calibre"
This Swiss luxury watchmaker Arnold & Son unveiled the Instrument DBS Equation Sidereal, which is actually a tribute to two iconic watches, the Nos. 1 and 2, originally crafted by John Roger Arnold, that displays the sidereal time and mean solar on two separate subdials.
This masterly engineered watch featuring newly developed manufacture A&S1311 calibre, has been named after its two major complications, the ‘double balance’ and ‘sidereal time.’
Notably, a subdial at 12 o'clock indicates the equation of both times on a 24-hour basis, allowing the user not only to measure the difference between sidereal time and mean solar time, but also to make-sure whether the time in both zones is p.m. or a.m.
2). Maximilian Büsser & Friends (MB&F) limited edition HM3 Frog watch
Exclusivity: It tells time from a variety of angles without having to turn the wrist
The Swiss watchmaker Maximilian Büsser & Friends (MB&F) offers HM3 Frog watch that has been designed on the small yellow-banded poison dart frog from the family of Debdrobatida, and features Jean-Marc Wiederrecht-designed complication.
Limited to just 10 examples, the HM3 Poison Dart Frog watch features high-tech zirconium case which is disguised by a sleek, black colored layer of PVD. While the bulbous hour and minutes domes took its inspiration from the real-life amphibious poison dart frog's protruding eyes.
3). Urwerk UR-210 ‘Maltese Falcon’
Exclusivity: It comes with world’s first Winding Efficiency Indicator "Calibre: UR-7.10"
Described as quasi-biologic machine that highlights the symbiotic relationship between man and his mechanical wristwatch, the Swiss watchmaker Urwerk’s UR-210 ‘Maltese Falcon’ which is almost robotic in appearance boasts sculptured horological vision of icy titanium and steel, and 3_D cage inspired by the beak of the Maltese Falcon.
Notably, the watch’s dial features a traditional power reserve indication at one o’clock with red/white indicator. While on the opposite side, there’s a similar indication red/green, which is the world’s first complication that indicates winding efficiency over the last two hours.
4). Cartier ID Two Concept watch
Exclusivity: The world’s first energy efficient timepiece
Cartier has come up with the ID Two Concept watch which is the world’s very first watch to be completely adjustment and lubricant free. Billed as the world’s first energy efficient timepiece, it features revolutionary movement which consumes 50% less energy and store 30% more energy than a comparable mechanical movement.
Basically, a watchmaking study, it has power reserve of 32 days, and its main spring is the first ever to be made from fiber glass.
Further, the watch’s escapements are planetary instead of linear, and sports a case made from a transparent ceramic, sealed using vacuum pressure and without using screws.
5). TAG Heuer MikrotourbillonS wristwatch
Exclusivity: The wristwatch is equipped with two tourbillon
Described to be TAG Heuer’s most ambitious luxury chronograph till date, the MikrotourbillonS wristwatch comes equipped with two tourbillions escapements, one for timekeeping and other for the chronograph. This conventional watch worth $225,060 sports a 45mm Carrera case finished in Rose Gold, and a black metal called Tantalum adds a perfect contrast to the Rose Gold finish.
The watch sports a dial divided into two halves; the left is dedicated to the two tourbillions, and the right side houses the sub-dials and power reserve.
Further, the MikrotourbillonS also features a crown, which actually charges both the chronograph and the watch, depending on the direction that it is wound.
6). Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon
Exclusivity: The world's lightest mechanical watch
Especially built to withstand high-shocks loads in high-energy sporting events, this light-weight, enigmatic, and highly sophisticated tourbillion have the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage to negate the effect of gravity.
With a see-through dial and watch caseback, one can view the inner mechanisms of this complex tourbillon mechanical watch weighs just 20 grams.
7). Hublot’s one off "Antikythera" watch
Exclusivity: Mechanism used in bigger clocks has been implanted within the confines of a wrist watch
Designed for collectors looking at watches with complicated mechanisms, the Hublot’s one off "Antikythera" watch features a highly-precise working mechanism Antikythera, a name associated with an ancient astrological calculator.
Housed in a micro-blasted black PVD titanium casing which is 49.9mm long and equally wide, there is a caliber 2033 CH01 movement, which works on a mechanical winding power mechanism.
8). Harry Winston Opus 12 watch
Exclusivity: A mechanical hand-wound movement which 607 parts to it.
Designed to appeal the watch enthusiasts who love the complicated movements of a watch’s tourbillon, the Harry Winston's Opus 12 impressively gets time displayed in a perfect symphony of movements, amidst great horological craftsmanship.
Limited to just 120 examples, the watch’s power reserve and seconds indicator are also a part of the complicated exercise, all at the same place.
Exclusivity: The watches with world’s first and only External Fine Adjustment System
The watches feature the world’s first and only external fine adjustment system, which will allow individuals to keep their time up to 99.99% levels of accuracy, apart from the new Precisionist chronograph to track time till 1/1,000th of a second. Notably, both these innovations are rare to find in the world of horology.
Exclusivity: 2 distinct complications
Available in 4 distinct fabrication options in precious metals, this watch displays horological complications, its mastery within the maker’s think-tank, and also an optical trick which isn't very common among the rest. Limited to around 15 units per series, the watch features hand-wound tourbillon TM01 caliber movement which has 44 jewel components, vibrates at 21,600 beats per hour.
11). Grieb & Benzinger watches
Exclusivity: World’s heaviest platinum watches
Billed as the heaviest and most complicated platinum watches in the world, Grieb & Benzinger offered the watch set noted for its detailed and individualistic crafting. The watches included were the Blue Danube, Blue Whirlwind, and Blue Sensation, which were creating waves in the haute horological world, as they come with solid platinum casings and core movements developed from the house of Patek Philippe, over 120 years ago.
12). Eric Coudray Cabestan Trapezium vertical timepiece
Exclusivity: It defies the laws of geometry
The Trapezium timepiece carries the shape of the trapezium, and plays with geometrical formations in the world of haute horology. Elegantly tilted towards the wearer, and perfection in symmetry, this timepiece, limited to 135 examples, uses clearly legible contrastic colored cylinders to denote and explain the multiple facets of time.
Exposing the complicated EC101 mechanical movement skeleton that has 789 components, the hours, minutes, and seconds are on constant display 3 cylinders, along with the 72-hour power reserve corner. The vibration rate for the mechanism is pegged at 21,600 per hour.
Exclusivity: It comes with a 29 jewel horological movement ‘Caliber V1’
This watch comes as an exposed skeleton timepiece, which shows not just the time alone but also its multiple dimensions and complicated craftsmanship of the watch’s engine.
Based on the Valjoux 7750 draft model, this version of the caliber movement builds on finer improvements such as ease of maintenance, and vital interior components such as Glucydur Balance, Anachron spiral, and the Nivaflex NM mainspring.
The aim of this creation can be put as the complicated relationship between energy, movement and shape component of the watch.
14). Arnaud Tellier’s 2LMX watch
Exclusivity: Time is displayed on 2 separate cylinders
Arnaud Tellier, who’s has been the curator of the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva for 11 years has created his own haute-horologe with the introduction of 2LMX watch, which is a horological art through ages with a unique cylinder tourbillon amongst other high-end crafting.
Notably, only 5 pieces are to be made every year, as each of them needs 1000 hours of craftsmanship and customization.'
15). Urwerk UR-1001 Zeit Device
Exclusivity: One of the world's most complicated watches
Constructed out of a single block of metal, and the complications within the watch enable it to track time from seconds to a full millennia, apart from having indicators for servicing every 3 years, the Urwerk UR-1001 Zeit Device is one of the world’s most complicated watches.
Only 8 of these complications will be made available for sale, with each being marked individually.