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Horology Q: Would we call the rotor that winds an automatic watch a "complication"?

rjc149

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Because it makes the watch mechanism more complicated, which allows watch makers to charge you more money to maintain or repair the watch.
 

breakaway01

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I think it depends on whether you consider the self-winding function of an automatic watch to be a complication or not. I am not a watch expert so I am not sure what the consensus would be. However, if the self-winding function is considered a complication, it wouldn't just be the rotor but all of the elements that make the self-winding function work, including the mechanism to transfer force from the rotor to the mainspring.
 

MaE

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No.

A complication is for example a moonphase, a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon or a chronograph (the list is of course not exhaustive).

The rotor is what defines an automatic mechanical watch (vs. a manual wound one) but it isn't a "complication" per se.
 

FirstFormula

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No… it’s the winding mechanism. A complication would be some useable feature the watch has.
 

breakaway01

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While I don’t believe there is consensus here, would point out only that some authorities do count a self-winding mechanism as a complication.
“The tourbillon and the self-winding system are considered to be complications even though they do not fall within the generic definition”, from the website of the Fondation de Haute Horlogerie, “A not-for-profit foundation set up under private law in 2005 by Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux and Richemont, the objective of the FHH is to promote and spread the reputation of watchmaking excellence around the world.”
 

LeeSobe

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The question challenged me enough to join this forum

Everyone has given good answers on both sides - appreciate you all

Wiki says an automatic rotor - and a tourbillon - are "hidden" complications, but they didn't offer enough reasoning for me to be an acceptable conclusion

Today, I reached out to some horological influencers on youtube. Only The Time Teller ("T3") replied, and he says "no." His reasoning sits well enough for me:

"A complication is an addition to a movement - not a power source. That's like saying a battery is a complication.
Similarly, a tourbillon is a form of regulation, not a complication." - Jory Goodman / Time Teller / T3

Thanks all
 

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