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Complex characters

When a watch reveals its mechanism, the hundreds of moving parts, the intricate morass of cogs, levers and unspeakably rapid vibrations, the watchmaker is displaying his extravagant prowess.

Print Edition: August 23, 2009

When a watch reveals its mechanism, the hundreds of moving parts, the intricate morass of cogs, levers and unspeakably rapid vibrations, the watchmaker is displaying his extravagant prowess.

Sharing with you his ability to devise systems of dizzying complexity with the simplest of goals—precision and elegance. These are watches upon which to gaze and marvel at our ability to harness the laws of nature, shrink them to an almost atomic scale and then depend on them, sometimes, for our lives.

Just as the progress of time is inexorable, so is the advance of the watchmaker’s art. You could look all day under the bonnet of a Ferrari and never see anything quite as magnificent as this.

  1. Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 36 RS Caliper Chronograph
    Built to Tag’s sporty sturdy specifications, the Grand Carrera boasts an automatic chronograph and two separate rotating systems.
    PRICE: Rs 4,00,000
    CONTACT: Tag Heuer Concept Boutique, DLF Emporio, New Delhi, 011-46098205
  2. Antonio Bernini, Time Machine II
    With a tourbillon movement running at a frequency of 28,800 oscillations per hour, this is a perfect fusion of design and aesthetics. Only 1,000 editions will be made.
    PRICE: Rs 55,000-75,000
    CONTACT: All Watches and More stores across Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Raipur and Kolkata
  3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon a Perpetuel
    The first ever tourbillon associated with a perpetual calendar is available in a limited edition yellow gold line (only 300 made).
    PRICE: Rs 57,00,000
    CONTACT: Time Avenue, Mumbai, 022-26515757; Jaeger- LeCoultre Boutique, Emporio Mall, New Delhi, 011-46098210; Exclusive Lines, Camac Street, Kolkata, 033-22820626
  4. Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph
    A unique design created by renowned watchmaker Nicolas Rieussec, a name well known to connoisseurs. It features not hands, but discs which chart the seconds and minutes.
    PRICE: Rs 16,00,000
    CONTACT: All Montblanc boutiques; The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, 022-2287 6336
  5. Oris Artelier Skeleton
    With a captivating skeleton movement, this watch presents the mechanism in all its clarity without skimping on the extravagance.
    PRICE: Rs 93,495
    CONTACT: Swiss Gallery, Heera Panna Arcade, Mumbai, 022-23520903/ 23516086
  6. Lange Zeitwerk
    An innovation in display—this is the first mechanical watch to demonstrate a jumping numeral display, employing a design concept whereby a silver bridge unfolds across the entire width of the dial. With 388 parts, the hours, minutes and seconds are all displayed simultaneously, in harmony.
    PRICE: Rs 28 lakh (gold), Rs 38 lakh (platinum)
    CONTACT: Beyond Luxury Boutique, Tirupati Apartments, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai, 022-23511800
  7. Cartier Flying Tourbillon
    Breathtaking in its transparency, just hold the Cartier Flying Tourbillon to the light and marvel at the one-minute flying tourbillon, a C-shaped tourbillon carriage that pivots on its axis every 60 seconds while floating freely.
    PRICE: Rs 48,00,000
    CONTACT: Time Avenue, Bandra (W), Mumbai; Johnson Watch Co., Connaught Place, New Delhi, 011-41513121
  8. Zenith El Primero
    The first integrated automatic chronograph movement capable of measuring short periods of time with one-tenth of a second accuracy, a performance achieved by a balance that oscillates at 36,000 vibrations per hour. A tribute to the technical expertise that sent men to the moon. It takes nine months to create this work, up to 50 separate operations per piece and 20 watchmakers.
    PRICE: Rs 16,38,000 (rose gold), Rs 12,35,000 (titanium) and 6,85,000 (steel)
    CONTACT: Johnson Watch Co., New Delhi, 011-41513121
  9. Omega Speedmaster
    The most historic of complications watches in this year, the 40th anniversary of the moon landings. A version of the watch that was used in the historic expedition, complete with the engraving “The Eagle Has Landed”. There are limited editions in platinum and yellow gold.
    PRICE: Rs 35,78,100
    CONTACT: Omega Boutique, Nariman Point, Mumbai, 022-66550351.

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