Wednesday Hump Day Fun Fact # 30

Posted by Daubin Barshtak on September 25, 2013.

Digital watches certainly can perform a number of complications that are undoubtedly hard to recreate in a standard mechanical watch. However, the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 is a close contender to a more modern multi-complicated digital watch. This mechanical watch boasts an astounding 33 complications that are all run by 1,728 precise moving parts! The project of designing and building this watch took nine engineers over five years of research and another four years of construction to finish. This amazingly was all accomplished in the early 1980’s when digital design software such as AutoCAD was not readily available. Patek Philippe had only four units produced of the Calibre 89; white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and platinum. The watches, each valued at roughly $6 million USD, were sold as a set to an unnamed royal family. The white gold model recently surfaced at the Antiquorum auction house and was sold for $5 million USD. Here is a partial list of the complications this watch has to offer:


  • Sidereal time
  • Moon phase display
  • Winding crown position indicator
  • Century, decade, year and month displays
  • Leap Year indicator
  • Season
  • Day of month
  • Day of week
  • 12-hour recorder
  • Hour of second time zone (GMT)
  • Split seconds
  • Power reserve
  • Thermometer
  • Date of Easter
    • Sunrise and sunset
    • Equation of time
    • Star chart
    • Sun hand
    • Westminister chime on four gongs
    • “Grande and Petite Sonnerie” alarm
    • Three-way setting indicator
    • Tourbillon regulator


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