No one remembers exactly why and when the circular form of time indication has become the basic one. But it’s hard to argue the fact that the vast majority of tower clocks or pocket watches successfully relied on two or three central hands for centuries. And yet, there will always be some watchmakers willing to experiment and to go an alternative path.

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Louis Moinet Tempograph Chrome

The central part in Tempograph Chrome's design, undoubtedly, goes to the 20-second retrograde indicator, especially since the endless dance of its mechanism can be admired directly from the dial side. The main time sub-dial is decorated with the trademark Gouttes de Rosée motif, while the 44-mm case is available in steel for the very first time. 

Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Volante Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde 

The window of the jumping hour is elegantly inscribed in the retrograde minutes scale. Above its towers a huge flying tourbillon, whose only bridge is also made of a transparent sapphire disk. The level of the 6-day power reserve is displayed on the back side of magnificently decorated movement, while the enamel dial and round 42-mm rose gold case clearly use some aesthetic codes from the pocket watch era. 

HYT H0 Blue Night 

As in other HYT timepieces, the role of the retrograde hours goes to a tube with two liquids – in this case blue and transparent. The work of mechanical movement regulates the pressure, causing the contents of the transparent cylinder to move. On the huge dial you can also find minutes and seconds sub-dials, as well as a power reserve. 

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date

If you really want to do a retrograde date, why not pair it with days of the week, use a very similar-looking hands, and put them both on the same vertical axis. The rest can be a classical Vacheron Constantin design accept the size: pink gold case of a 42.5-mm might seem too big by the brand’s standarts. 

Schwarz Etienne - La-Chaux-de-Fonds – Ode à la semaine

The collection consists of seven pieces – one for each day of the week. The tourbillon carriage is adorned with the figure of the Earth, and each time it is located in different ways, depending on the planet of the solar system a piece is dedicated. The only central hand is responsible for the retrograde indication of minutes. The jumping hour is showed in a tiny window nearby. 

Van Cleef & Arpels Heure d'Ici & Heure d'Ailleurs

Sometimes the overwhelming minimalism can be misleading. The retrograde minute hand moves from the jumping hour window to the similar window of a second time zone. But there’s absolutely nothing simple inside the automatic caliber created by Agenhor. It's work worth watching through the transparent case back for hours.

Urwerk UR-CC1

Retrograde indicators usually don’t come in packs. Well, unless Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei want them to. Two horizontal cylinders are responsible for the indication of jumping hours and minutes. And a huge, continuously rotating second disc, in turn, shows the time in two ways at once: a digital value appears in the small window, and the drawn round line seems to creep along the scale at the top.