The most complicated watch in the world has just sold at auction for 20.6m Swiss francs ($21.2 million). The Henry Graves Supercomplication includes a stopwatch, an alarm, a perpetual calendar, and a map of the night sky as seen from New York City. In watchmaking, a complication is any feature on a watch not related to telling the time. There are 24 features on the Henry Graves Supercomplication, which has over 900 parts “and remains the most complicated watch built without the assistance of computers, according to Sotheby’s.” Take that, Apple Watch.
The watch was made in 1932 by Patek Phillippe. It was commissioned for wealthy financier Henry Graves Jr. as part of an unofficial competition with James Packard, who had his own complication. As the BBC reports, “The Packard watch, with 10 complications, had been the ‘piece de resistance’. It featured the first sky chart ever on a watch – a celestial map of the sky above his home in Ohio made with 500 gold stars. Graves commissioned the Supercomplication watch in order to beat Packard’s.” The watch was last wound in 1969 and it’s still ticking.