While it seems that “métiers d’art” could be considered a catchword, trend or even buzz phrase in modern high-end watchmaking, the reality is that when luxury brands take the time, energy, and cost to create these unique elements, it results in some of the most magnificent artwork available in horology today.
This year’s SIHH is full of complicated revelations. And, even more surprisingly, we have found at least five perpetual calendars at the fair, all of which are very different in approach, design and even price.
The year 2013 was a stellar moment for the rare grand complication, as the SIHH quickly demonstrated. Not only did A. Lange & Söhne present its oeuvre, but to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the sporty, contemporary Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet also introduced one of these complex masterpieces.
This automatic timepiece includes three of the traditional complications that a watch earning the right to this title should include: minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and (split-seconds) chronograph. The latter, in fact, has most unusually been included as a rattrapante in all of the brand’s grand complications since 1882. Though throughout its long history Audemars Piguet has focused on the traditional side of horology; the advent of the evergreen Royal Oak – the first luxury sports watch – in 1972 added a distinctly sporty side to this manufacture’s classic offerings.