Introducing The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 With 57 Complications – World’s Most Complicated Pocket Watch

By Harlan Chapman-Green

Vacheron has finally showed us its masterpiece. We spoke about it a little while ago and gave you some hints as to what complications it will contain, but now we can finally reveal them in all their glory, all 57 of them.


This is the newest watch to attain the title of “Most Complicated Watch Ever”, the previous holder being Patek Philippe’s Calibre 89 pocket watch which held over thirty complications. It had held the record since, well, 1989 and it took the title off Patek’s Henry Graves Super-complication piece. If you want to read more about super-complicated watches we have a whole article dedicated to them which you can read by clicking here, we also have a grand complications article which you can read by clicking here. Now, onwards to our newest dream timepiece!


Vacheron Constantin proves to the world, with dramatic fashion I must add, why they are more than worthy of a place as one of the best watchmakers on the world alongside the aforementioned Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Jaeger-LeCoultre, not that we ever doubted them truth be told. The watch was commissioned by an anonymous person who will no doubt be over the moon that Vacheron went the whole way with their new watch. It just so happens that when they finished up work on the piece they’d be in time to celebrate their 260th anniversary of non-stop operation. 260 years is immense, OK so Blancpain was started in 1735 whereas Vacheron Constantin was in 1755, however they have never stopped making watches since the start, even the outbreak of war across the globe didn’t stop Vacheron from making watches.

It’s a daunting watch to try to understand, heck it’s daunting to write about too. You can just tell that every single year of work has been fully utilised with this watch as every detail is exquisite, complicated and beautifully integrated into the piece itself. From things such as the very discreet yet still clearly visible slider for the minute repeater such as the dedicated spot for the tri-axis tourbillon. So without further ado, let’s see the entire list of complications inside the new Vacheron Constantin piece:

  1. Regulator hours, minutes and seconds
  2. Day/Night indication
  3. 24 city world time
  4. Second time zone
  5. Spherical Tourbillon with spherical spring
  6. Tri-axis tourbillon
  7. Season indication including equinox, solstice as well as signs of the zodiac
  8. Sky chart
  9. Hours of sunrise
  10. Hours of sunset
  11. Length of the day indication
  12. Length of the night indication
  13. Age and current phase of the moon, only requires correction once every 1027 years
  14. Leap year indication
  15. Four year cycle
  16. Equation of time
  17. Sidereal time hours
  18. Sidereal time minutes
  19. Gregorian days of the week
  20. Gregorian months
  21. Gregorian retrograde date
  22. Gregorian perpetual calendar
  23. Hebrew name of the day
  24. Hebrew name of the month
  25. Hebrew date display
  26. Indication for the number of months within a Hebraic year
  27. Hebrew secular calendar
  28. Hebrew year, decade and century indication
  29. Hebrew perpetual calendar with a 19 year cycle
  30. Golden Number indication with a 19 year cycle
  31. Indication for the number of the day within the week
  32. Indication for the number of the week within the year
  33. Date of Yom Kippur
  34. Fifth of a second chronograph featuring one column wheel, retrograde display
  35. Fifths of a second rattrapante chronograph, one column wheel, retrograde display
  36. 60 minute counter
  37. 12 hour counter featuring one column wheel
  38. Alarm with one gong and striking hammer system
  39. Alarm sound / silence indicator
  40. Choice of grande or petite sinner for the alarm
  41. Alarm system attached to carillon striking alarm
  42. Indicator for choice of normal or carillon striking alarm
  43. Westminster chime featuring five hammers and five gongs
  44. Passing strike for the grande sonnerie
  45. Passing strike for the petite sonnerie
  46. Minute repeater
  47. Striking barrel disengaging system when fully wound
  48. Indication for grande or petite sonnerie
  49. Night silence mode
  50. Indicator for the striking mode (silence / strike / night)
  51. Going train power reserve indicator
  52. Striking train power reserve indicator
  53. Winding crown position indicator
  54. Winding system operates for both barrels
  55. Concealed alarm system winding crown
  56. Hand setting system with two directions and two positions
  57. Striking locking mechanism


You must be wondering how they fit it all into the case of a pocket watch? Does the Swiss have some sort of miniaturisation ray? Maybe they have a crack team of really tiny space aliens who run all of the complications perhaps? The answer, I’m afraid, is no. Although in the case of the second idea, putting space aliens to work like that wouldn’t be very kind. The key to the watch is simple, the case is actually enormous. It’s close enough to 10cm in diameter (it’s 98mm to be precise), it’s also 50.5mm thick and a total of 131.7mm tall from base to the tip of the hook on the main crown.

The ultra-complicated movement inside the new Reference 52760 watch has also been given the Seal of Geneva, a feature that a lot of Vacheron Constantin pieces now bear. It’s a recognised standard in watch-making that has a stringent set of rules which must be followed to the very last word in order for the watch to be approved. The most obvious requirement is simple, the timepiece must be assembled, timed and case within the city of Geneva in Switzerland. It also guarantees that the movement is (up to a point) very durable and long lasting. The watch is also guaranteed to be very accurate thanks to the amount of testing that goes into it and that the watch itself has been constructed to the highest standards possible to be in-keeping with fine watchmaking. All 2800 parts of the watch have been designed, manufactured and tested in-house by just 3 people who have been totally dedicated to the piece, the parts have then been placed inside a modern-looking white gold case.


The Reference 52760 watch is the latest in a long line of extremely complicated pocket watches from Vacheron, the others are the Packard (1918), the Fouad (1929), the Farouk (1946) and the Boisrouvray (1948).

A truly astounding piece from a fantastic company, we can’t wait to see what they’ll do for their 275th anniversary. Perhaps this will prompt other companies such as Breguet or A.Lange & Söhne to make their own even more complex watches? I certainly hope so, do you?

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A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. Read his articles here.