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
- "A toc" dumb repeater
- "A tact"
- Astronomical indications
- Measure of short times
- Dead seconds
- Independent seconds
- Chronograph – chronoscope
- 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)
- Complications inspired by everyday life
- Ultra-complicated watches
Complications not related to timekeeping
- Depth gauge
- Slide rule
See complication watches.