57260: the world's most complicated watch
It recently turned one, but represents more than 260 years of history. We are talking about the Vacheron Constantin 57260 Reference: a hymn to manuality and the human genius. A masterpiece of watchmaking and result of eight years of work of three master watchmakers.
The 57260 has a reversible solid silver dial with rotating discs of lightweight aluminium and features a caliber with innovative architecture that houses the split-seconds chronograph with double retrograde display and 57 complications. The complications are: 6 time measuring functions, 7 functions of the perpetual calendar, 8 Jewish calendar functions, 9 astronomical calendar functions, 1 function for the lunar calendar, 1 function for the liturgical calendar, 4 functions for the chronograph functions with 3 wheel columns, 7 alarm functions and 8 Westminster chime functions. The remaining 6 features include: an indication of the power reserve of the movement, an indication of the chime power reserve, a winding crown position indicator, a double barrel charging system, time-setting device in both locations and directions and "a secret" mechanism (button shaft starter charge of the alarm).
The mechanism is enclosed in a white gold case with glossy bezels on both sides. The winding crown is combined with a small window to indicate one of three charging positions or clock settings. The average time display is of controller type with rounds of hours, minutes and seconds are separated as the watches are called "precision regulators."
Among the complications worth mentioning is the Jewish perpetual calendar that maps the lunar months and the solar year by aligning the 19-year Metonic cycle (a near-perfect multiple of the solar year and the lunar month). It also indicates the date of Yom Kippur, and to preserve the correlation between the 12 lunar months and solar year it adds a thirteenth month (Adar I), said interlayer, for seven times during the 19-year cycle. A special indicator 12/13 with a concentric auto-correcting hand shows whether the current year is 12 months (common years) or 13 months (embolismic years). From either side of this date, two small windows indicate the numbers of days and months in Hebrew. The Jewish secular calendar is indicated by four digits within the window below the field of Yom Kippur.
Unreleased then, the split-seconds chronograph with double retrograde display. Although the slide hands are in unison and on the same axis, they use different and opposite counters and never meet. The start, stop and reset functions of the chronograph are operated by a coaxial button integrated in the crown while a button visible at 11 o'clock operates the split-complementary function.
For more information about the most complicated watch in the world we invite you to visit the Vacheron site in order to admire the Vacheron Constantin collection you’ll find in our store.