Glossary of watchmaking


Complications | 複雑機構/フクザツキコウ | 复杂功能

Any function other than the indication of hours, minutes and seconds, regardless of whether the mechanism is hand-wound or self-winding, mechanical or electronic, and of movement height. The tourbillon and the self-winding system are considered to be complications even though they do not fall within the generic definition.

Far from being a passing fad, complications were instrumental in the rediscovery of the watchmaker's art in the 1980s and have continued to play an important role in the development of the traditional wristwatch. Complications fall into two categories according to whether they are or are not related to timekeeping.

Complications related to timekeeping

  1. Acoustical

  2. Silent

    • "A toc" dumb repeater
    • "A tact"

  3. Astronomical indications

    • Simple calendar (full or partial)
    • Simple annual calendar (full or partial)
    • "Perpetual" calendar
    • Week number
    • Year
    • Equation of time
    • Sunrise and sunset for a given location
    • Sidereal time
    • Declination of the sun
    • Apparent movement of the planets
    • Line of node
    • Star chart for a given location

  4. Measure of short times

    • Dead seconds
    • Independent seconds
    • Chronograph – chronoscope

      • simple
      • with hour and minute totalisers
      • with one scale:

        • tachymetric (speed over a given interval)
        • telemetric (estimated distance based on the speed of sound)
        • asthometric (number of breaths per minute)
        • pulsimetric (number of heartbeats per minute)

      • with multiple scales
      • with split seconds
      • with mono-ratrappante

    • Complications by concept and production (extended definition)

      • Tourbillon
      • Self-winding

    • Complications inspired by everyday life

      • World time
      • Universal time
      • Multiple time zones
      • Regatta dial
      • Diving dial
      • Tide gauge
      • Orienteering dial
      • Fly-back chronograph
      • Power reserve indicator

    • Ultra-complicated watches

    Complications not related to timekeeping

    • Barometer
    • Compass
    • Altimeter
    • Altimètre
    • Depth gauge
    • Slide rule

    See complication watches.