Mega Complications

Hodinkee has a great look at the JLC Hybris Mechanica today.  With 26 complications including a Grande Sonnerie, it is one of, if not the most complicated watch ever made.

Undoubtedly an impressive engineering feat, I generally look at pieces like that and think, “Who cares?”  While this one seems pretty well executed for a mega-complicated piece, the whole concept has never interested me.  I think it comes back to a clarity of purpose.

I am much more drawn to an amazing Grand Sonnerie, or a fantastic chronograph than everything in one – almost guaranteeing that the function of each individual complication will have to be sacrificed in some way.

Give me a Gyrotourbillon and a Titanium Master Minute Repeater any day, but you can keep the Hybris.

What do you all think?  Do these super complicated pieces interest you?

  • António Sérgio

    Hello Stephen

    This particular piece interests me because it is very pretty – sounds mundane but it is one of its key points, and oh dear the ammount of work to make it pretty – and although an all in one, it does have its resolve towards its sonnerie, making it the prime purpose, even if you can only hear it.

    This particular piece interests me because I know that, although the complications are the “traditional” ones, the piece was born from scratch, and from a brief on usability. So this particular piece interests me quite a deal, because it went over and above, aesthetically and in regards to one of its complications, what all in ones usually are. Either dull and boring or completely impossible to read and use (you need fingers like tooth picks to operate some of them).
    So these super complicated pieces interest me, only and only when they bring some sort of added value to the game. The concept in itself, traditionally “shove it all in there”, doesn’t.

    As a final touch, I would say this post could be linked as well to your “Social Network” post. The execution, not just the idea or concept, has made this watch.

    all the best
    António Sérgio

    • http://www.ticktocking.com Steve Hallock

      Thank you for your well thought-out response, Antonio. I think you are right that the Sonnerie is the main focus. In that case, I would have preferred a pure Sonnerie en Passant in the style of the Master Minute Repeater (a watch I like quite a bit). But, your point is well taken.

      Best,
      Steve

  • António Sérgio

    One other thing

    It is interesting that the Hodinkee post would pitch the Hybris against the FM AM4 (long name to write). JLC does not consider, for the Hybris, that the set-time locking function while the sonnerie is on (or as I like to call it, the “anti-break your million dollar watch function”) is a complication, FM does. JLC does not consider their “Infernal Tower” – name says it all – a complication, neither the new design for the hammer gongs, so on so on.

    As I said before, even in being an all in one, I think their (JLC) purpose on this watch was to explore the sonnerie.