Someone with incredibly deep pockets just complemented them with the world's most complicated pocket watch.
In celebration of 260 years of watchmaking, Swiss company Vacheron Constantin spent the past eight years designing and engineering this absolutely gorgeous timepiece for a secret buyer. Called the Reference 57260 watch, it features more than 2,800 ridiculously tiny parts, all hand-decorated and engineered by three master watchmakers using traditional techniques.
The Reference 57260 in all its priceless glory. (Photo: Vacheron Constantin )
But why did it take eight years to create? The answer lies not only in its beauty, but also in the incredible number of functions this timepiece can pull off. In addition to displaying the current time, the Reference 57260 can also perform a record 57 functions such as sunset and sunrise indications, length of day and night, a sky chart for local constellations, phases of the moon, and different chimes and alarms. Sure, your smartphone can pull off all of this and more, but it's worth pointing out that this is all done via an intricate, almost "Inception"-esque production, with layers of gears and springs all working in perfect unison.
The dramatic inside of the Reference 57260 is revealed. (Photo: Vacheron Constantin )
“Because the most complicated watch before this one had 33 complications, we set a goal of creating 36 complications,” Dominique Bernaz, head of the Atelier Cabinotiers division, told Forbes. “As we worked together, I would regularly ask my team if they thought we could do it, and they would smile and nod yes. We were half way through the project before we knew just how many complications the watch would have because the project kept evolving.”
Engraved inside the watch is a quote in French from co-founder Francois Constantin that translates to: "Do better if possible, which is always possible."
The Reference 57260 took eight years to complete and features a record 57 function. (Photo: Vacheron Constantin )
Because this one-of-a-kind watch was commissioned by a secret collector, it's likely that the best guess on cost will remain for now as simply "priceless." It's also clear that the masters behind this piece are not eager to start a new project any time soon. From the Forbes piece:
"One watchmaker started out with not a single gray hair on his head. Today, he has many white hairs and has sustained many a sleepless night over this project."