To be recognized as a Grande Complication, a watch must include a type of complication from all of the great families of complications. These include: a timing complication i.e. a chronograph; a chiming complication like a minute repeater or petite sonnerie; a calendar display (most brands opt for a perpetual calendar); and an astronomical feature like a moon phase or even an equation of time might qualify. Contrary to popular belief, the presence of a tourbillon is not needed to qualify a watch to the status of Grande Complication.
The Portuguese Grande Complication from IWC combines a myriad of well-crafted features into a harmonious celebration of time, precision, and sound. These superbly made timepieces are offered at a yearly limited edition of 100 pieces, spread over the two verisons. This watch is reminiscent of an earlier design by IWC called the Il Destriero Scafusia, which was at that time was considered the most complicated watch in the world.
This year, the Portuguese Grande Complication comes in two versions – platinum, and 18kt red gold. The platinum edition is fitted with a black alligator leather strap, while the red gold model is offered on a brown alligator leather strap. Both of the strap versions come with white contrast stitching. At the 9 position on the case is the actuator for the minute repeater. The cases come in a 45mm case diameter. The case height is slightly thick at 16.5mm but considering that this watch is self-winding that level of thickness really is quite good. On the solid case back is a depiction of a sextant – an instrument commonly used by the early Portuguese explorers. This model is water resistant to 3 Bars or 30 meters.
Powering the watch is the caliber 79091 – a true masterpiece of modern innovation. This movement carries a power reserve of 44 hours. The dial is silver plated and it features a chronograph, a moon phase indicator at 12, and a perpetual calendar, which displays the day, date, month, and a 4 digit year going all the way up to the year 2499. Each of the 4 subdials is fitted onto a depiction of our home – planet Earth divided into the lines of latitude and longitude and showing off our unique tilt.
TAGS: 4 Digit Year, Automatic Watches, Chronographs, Date, Day, Haute Horlogerie, Leap Year, Leather, Limited Edition, Mechanical Watches, Men's Watches, Minute Repeater, Month, Moon Phase, Perpetual Calendar, Platinum, Red Gold, Sapphire Crystal, Selfwinding Watches, Sextant, Swiss Made, Water Resistant, Year