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The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Watch Complications You Need

January 15th, 2023

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Watches aren’t just complicated creations. They are full of highly technical complications that provide precision, utility, and sophisticated aesthetics. When it comes to choosing the right complications for your timepiece, it helps to understand what they do and how they impact your timepiece. Watch complications are the various features that allow your watch to be much more than a simple timekeeper. They add versatility and utility to the piece, heightening its style and functionality. They mark the centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship that goes into creating a luxury timepiece. Learn more about them with Hing Wa Lee.

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Complications For Everyday Use

The simplest and most common complication is the Day-Date. These show the date and sometimes the day of the week. These complications are most often represented with an aperture on the watch’s face but occasionally appear as a sub-dial. A similar, though less common, complication is an additional aperture that shows the Month.

Similarly, a Perpetual Calendar complication also helps keep track of the date by displaying the day, date, and month. It differs by also including the year and is often designed to take leap days into account. This feature is complex and takes up a lot of space.

Complications for Sports Enthusiasts

One of the most prevalent complications is the Chronograph. This technical feature is present when a watch has a stopwatch built into the movement. These complications are beneficial for athletes and were popularized with race car drivers due to their accuracy. Originally designed to operate with a single button (called a “pusher”) that starts and stops the stopwatch feature, this complication evolved at the hands of Breitling. This watch designer introduced the world to two pushers, allowing the wearer to pause the timer. It remains an industry standard, but single-pusher complications are still available.

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Complications for Busy Travelers

The GMT complication, short for Greenwich Mean Time, allows two different times to be represented simultaneously. Travelers can keep track of the local time at their destination and the time back home. The feature can appear in one of two ways: a second smaller face inset into the dial or an additional 24-hour hand that can be set independently from the main time.

Complications for the Connoisseur

As technology has evolved, so have complications, but the Minute Repeater stands the test of time. This mechanical movement dates back to the late 17th century and was once very common in pocket watches during the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a chime that rings when a lever on the case’s side is activated, chiming the time to the minute. This was helpful for the visually impaired but is no longer a standard feature. It is, however, still found in collector timepieces due to their nod to the roots of horology and meticulous craftsmanship.

The Moon Phase complication adds a touch of elegant beauty to a timepiece. This feature displays the different phases of the moon, such as a quarter, half, full, or new moon. It is informative and showcases beautiful craftsmanship as the designers take liberties with creating beautiful artistry with this complication.

The Tourbillon complication is a mark of a truly exceptional timepiece. Invented by A. L. Breguet, the founder of the renowned Swiss watch company Breguet, this feature is designed to improve the watch's balance, thus eliminating timekeeping errors that occur due to gravity or movement of the wrist. Today, this rare complication is found in the highest-quality timepieces.

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Let the Experts at Hing Wa Lee Be Your Guide to Luxury Watch Complications

Whether you are splurging on yourself or shopping for a gift for a loved one, choosing the watch complications you need is an important step in selecting the right timepiece. At Hing Wa Lee Jewelers, our Southern California showrooms are staffed with trained professionals who can help you understand what complications are right for you and help you find the perfect piece to match your needs. Visit our website to peruse our collection of luxury timepieces but to truly appreciate these exquisite creations, visit our Walnut or San Gabriel locations to experience the look and feel of your favorite pieces on your wrist.Schedule your appointment today to meet with one of our specialists by visiting our website or contacting us at