I think it depends on what kind of challenge you set for yourself. For example, for our Quantième Perpétuel à Équation, the principal goal was to integrate a bi-directional calendar system (featuring day, date, month, year) with an innovative and complete equation of time display, all driven by our unique 24-second tourbillon, all within the volume of an existing case that is 43.5mm wide and 16mm in height. Furthermore, the timepiece had to be very easy to use—as if it just had a simple date feature. To overcome these challenges, we had to develop a new groundbreaking mechanical computer for the perpetual calendar, thus transfiguring the whole approach to perpetual calendar and complicated timepieces.
Our main motivation to keep pushing the envelope is the unknown variable “X.” Each of the 20 calibers that we’ve developed over the last 12 years seeks to resolve a particular equation, whether it be strictly mathematical or otherwise. So. we’re not combining complications just for the sake it, but rather, we’re seeking to resolve an equation, and then the perfect combination of complications can emerge. Since there’re still so many unsolved equations left in watchmaking, I think we’re in for some real treats in the years to come.
From the very beginning, Robert Greubel and I were convinced that there was still plenty of room for creativity in watchmaking. Of course, this is the hardest path to follow, rejecting convention and pushing back the boundaries. Yet over the last 12 years, we have developed seven fundamental inventions, among them the Double Tourbillon 30°, the Quadruple Tourbillon and the Mechanical Computer. These are just a few examples of complications that hadn’t existed until very recently.
We always seek to surprise and delight collectors and enthusiasts by reinventing existing complications and yet almost “sublimating” those complications, so that they are as simple and interactive as possible for the collector. It is very difficult to make a complication simple!