In the realm of watchmaking, nothing is too extraordinary, outlandish or creative when it comes to design and aesthetics. Watchmakers who want to stand out through innovation are coming up with timepieces with ever more inventive movements that are as impressive in appearance and in performance. 'Watch aficionados in Hong Kong are very attracted to complex-looking timepieces. They are not afraid to invest in a very expensive timepiece as long as it is unique and the design is spectacular and innovative,' says Piano Chow, director of Enthrone Luxury, a luxury watch distributor in Hong Kong. The 20-piece, limited-edition Urwerk UR-203 (HK$1,680,000) is a perfect example of a complicated timepiece with an interesting take on how to tell time. Shaped like a futuristic spaceship from another galaxy, this masculine skeletal watch in black-coated platinum comes from a long line of avant garde timepieces created by two young Swiss watchmakers, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, founders of the Urwerk brand. The UR-203 features a revolving satellite complication, telescopic hands that show the minutes, and rotating mechanisms that indicate the hours. An 'oil change' indicator alerts wearers when the timepiece needs servicing and a 'horological odometer' - good for up to 150 years - keeps track of how many years the watch has been running. The watch is powered by an automatic winding mechanism and is the first in the world to have its winding rate regulated by fluid dynamics. 'We are quite young and want our creations to reflect the world of today. In our first collection, the UR-101, the inspiration came from the Sputnik, its unique form and its shining metal. The UR-103 is more inspired by science-fiction,' Baumgartner says. Another watch veering away from conventional shapes is the bold HM4 Thunderbolt (HK$1,216,000) from the Geneva-based company MB&F, founded by Maximilian B?sser, a veteran of the Swiss watch world. It features an aviation-inspired case, 54mm wide by 52mm long and 24mm high, with dual jet-turbine-like dials - one for showing time, the other serving as a power indicator - and a complex movement. The aerodynamic-looking case is made of titanium and sapphire, and requires hundreds of hours of machining and polishing to shape. The watch comes with a black hand-stitched calfskin strap with titanium or white gold custom-designed buckle. According to MB&F, 'the interesting shape of the Thunderbolt, inspired by B?sser's childhood passion for assembling model airplanes, intrigues watch fans who want something different'. Only two to three HM4 Thunderbolts are produced a year. The teardrop-shaped Metamorphosis (HK$2,270,000), created by Montblanc, is another extraordinary piece with its revolutionary movement. This timepiece can mechanically transform its appearance - from a wristwatch into a chronograph and vice versa - in about 15 seconds with just the push of a lever. It was created by two young watch specialists, Johnny Girardin and Franck Orny, who wanted to create a wristwatch with two faces, based on the principles of traditional watchmaking. The way the Metamorphosis transforms itself via a sequence of wings and rising discs - a highly complex process involving 567 individual components that need to work in synchronicity - is considered a horological first. The watch is available in a limited edition of 28 pieces. It comes in 18-carat white gold and is water resistant up to 50 metres. Unusual or unique watches include timepieces with many complications packed into one case. Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey are known for creating super-luxe watches with multiple tourbillons, consisting of hundreds of intricate parts. (A tourbillon is a watch mechanism that tries to correct the seconds that are inherently lost in mechanical watches.) 'Unconventional-looking timepieces that employ extremely complicated hand-assembled parts, which can be observed as they work, will always have a huge appeal. They are seen as works of art by collectors and sometimes considered to be good investments. Over time, they can fetch a good price at auction sales,' according to Greubel Forsey. The Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon (HK$3,666,000 to HK$5,226,000) features an eye-catching 43.5mm asymmetrical case specially designed to house four tourbillons which can be viewed from the dial and through a window on the side. The tourbillions are separated into two cages. Each cage has a tourbillon within a tourbillion. The complex movement is manually wound and the watch is available in either red gold, white gold or platinum. Each of these watches, in its own way, is a tour de force of engineering and design, and it seems that master watchmakers will continue to push the boundaries in haute horology as new technologies and materials develop. Watch lovers can expect to see even more innovative pieces in the future. As Baumgartner, puts it: 'We just want to show that there is an alternative to a round watch with two hands'.