This one of a kind grand complication watch was created in 2003-04. The Grande Complication Bentley Masterpiece was assembled on the basis of a century-old ébauche or movement blank from the Breitling archives. Over a year’s work was required to produce it. The Caliber 117 powering the Bentley Masterpiece is equipped with Minute Repeater, Perpetual Calendar and Chronograph functions.
Not only does this mechanical masterpiece strike the hours, quarters and minutes (on request), but its perpetual calendar also indicates the date, the day of the week and the month – taking account of leap years – and even reveals the different phases of the moon during its rotation around the earth. Its single-pushpiece chronograph mechanism indicates 1/5ths of a second.
The finishing of this 19-lignes movement is extremely refined. The decorative “côtes de Genève” ribbing combines with circular-grained motifs; the surfaces of the components are drawn out with a file to create elegant parallel lines; the steel parts and bridges are meticulously hand-bevelled and their chamfer is polished,as are the screw-heads and the jewels. The spectacular beauty of this complex architecture is revealed through a transparent caseback.
The 18-carat gold hunter-type case is composed of six parts and adorned on the cover and back with a signature Bentley motif.
The Grande Complication Bentley Masterpiece watch was put on sale by Sotheby’s year end auctions in 2004, but this unique pocket was acquired by an American collector before the sales event.