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A Guide to Watch Complications

February 15th, 2024

a close up image of a watch face with different complications

Watch complications refer to any function in a timepiece that goes beyond simple timekeeping. These sophisticated features transform a watch into a marvel of engineering and design. Complications can range from the relatively straightforward, like date displays and chronographs (stopwatches), to the highly complex, such as moon phase indicators, perpetual calendars, and tourbillons that counteract the effects of gravity. Each complication adds depth and functionality, elevating a watch from a mere time-telling device to a symbol of craftsmanship and innovation. For enthusiasts and collectors, these complications aren't just about added utility; they're a celebration of horological artistry, showcasing the intricate mechanics and meticulous attention to detail that define luxury watchmaking. It is our distinct pleasure here at Clarkes Jewelers to offer our clientele an incredible inventory of timepieces featuring an array of precisely functioning complications. 


The day-date complication displays both the day of the week and the date. Commonly, the day and date are adjusted using the crown, with different directions for each. The day is often abbreviated and shown in an aperture or a subdial, while the date is commonly displayed in a small window or also via a subdial.


Building upon the day and date functions, the month complication in watches is a sophisticated addition that displays the current month. Often abbreviated, it's either visible through a small window on the dial for quick reference or presented on a sub-dial, marked by a unique hand, enhancing the watch's functionality.

lady wearing a luxury watch and standing in a field of flowers

Perpetual Calendar

The Perpetual Calendar is a pinnacle of watchmaking complexity, masterfully displaying the date, day, month, and year. Ingeniously designed, it even adjusts for leap years, eliminating the need for manual corrections. This advanced feature represents the height of horological ingenuity and a marvel in the realm of calendar complications.

GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Perfect for globetrotters, the GMT complication in watches showcases a second time zone, invaluable for keeping track of time across borders. Achieved through either dual movements or a special 24-hour hand set independently, it's an essential feature for those who travel or work in different time zones.


The popular chronograph is basically a watch with a built-in stopwatch function. A typical chronograph has an independent second hand and a minute subdial. Early models had a single pusher, but modern chronographs usually have two, allowing for interrupted time measurements.

close up of a watch face with complications

Moonphase Complication

The moonphase complication is a blend of beauty and tradition, seamlessly displaying the lunar cycle phases - full, half, quarter, or new moon. Once a practical tool for sailors, it has transcended its origins to become a beloved and aesthetic hallmark in the art of watchmaking.

Power Reserve Indicator

This feature, unique to mechanical watches, elegantly shows how much power remains in the mainspring. In high-end models, the indicator can even display the power reserve in days, highlighting watches with extended power capabilities, adding both functionality and a visually appealing element.

Jumping Hour

A compelling display of time, where the hour is shown in a specific window and instantaneously jumps at the hour's turn. This complication offers a modern, extravagant alternative to traditional hour hands, providing a unique visual experience in time-telling.

man wearing a suit and luxury watch


Versatile across manual, automatic, and quartz movements, this function lets you set a separate alarm time. Innovatively designed, some alarms are powered by wrist movements, while others require manual winding, offering a personalized touch to timekeeping.

Minute Repeater

A complex and revered watch movement, the minute repeater melodiously chimes the current time when a lever is engaged. This smart feature, once a staple in pocket watches, has evolved into a sought-after and collectible element in the realm of luxury watchmaking, manifesting both heritage and horological mastery.


Invented by A.L. Breguet, this complex mechanism enhances a watch's accuracy by negating the effects of gravity. While not indispensable in modern timekeeping, the tourbillon remains a symbol of horological excellence, showcasing the pinnacle of watchmaking expertise and artistry.

close up of watches on a wood table

Shop for Luxury Watches at Clarkes Jewelers

Discover the model of luxury at Clarkes Jewelers, Shreveport's premier destination for fine watches. Our collection features a phenomenal selection of timepieces that exemplify intricacy and craftsmanship. At Clarkes, we're not just about sales; we also specialize in custom design and repairs, ensuring that your cherished timepieces receive the care they deserve. Whether you're seeking a bespoke creation or need expert repair services, our skilled artisans are at your service. Contact us for personalized assistance. Elevate your style with a timeless piece from Clarkes Jewelers, where luxury meets precision.