First Watch with All-Mechanical "Digital" Display (Verdict: Absolutely Amazing)

Looking at this limited-edition Di Grisogono Meccanica DG, you probably think it's a hybrid mechanical-digital watch. Well, chaps, you're wrong. Despite its appearance, the Meccanica DG is completely analog, comprising of 651 pieces and absolutely no digital parts or LEDs whatsoever. Video and pics after the jump.


Just 177 of these amazing timepieces are going to be made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Geneva-based horloger. Billed as the most complicated digital-analogue timepiece in the world, the digital display is actually mechanical, with rolling tubes forming the digital segments. This is how it works, according to the press release.

The mechanically operated digital display of the second timezone shows tens of hours, single hours, tens of minutes and single minutes, all displayed by mobile microsegments driven by an assemblage of 23 cams connected to a set of gears and a triggering and synchronisation system. The time information is displayed by an array of 23 horizontally and vertically positioned microsegments. Vertical segments are 9 mm high and weigh at most 25 milligrams while the horizontal segments measure 2.90 mm in length and weigh only 10 milligrams. The segments have four faces: two opposing visible faces fitted with coloured strips and two opposing unmarked faces. Time changes are effected by 90° rotations of the required segment or segments. Involving one to twelve segments, time changes are lightning fast.

Forward to 40 seconds in to hear Fawaz Gruosi, the CEO of Di Grisogono, talk about the watch. "Some people, they say, 'Do you smoke something when you came out with the idea?'" he tells the CNN journalist. Available in four styles—red gold, titanium and gold, titanium and platinum and titanium and rubber—the Meccanica DG is waterproof to 100 feet and, presumably, is heinously expensive. [Sybarites and and YouTube]