The Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin watch belongs to “La Musique du Temps”: an assortment of one-of-a-kind creations crafted within the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers department as a tribute to the musical arts.
The unique Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin watch is powered by the 1731 calibre, an ultra-thin movement featuring carefully studied acoustics. Its classic style exuding a very refined look, embellished with Arabic numerals appearing in an original font on a Grand Feu enamel dial, makes this 41 mm-diameter timepiece a timepiece for connoisseurs: only the minute repeater slide piece hints at its true nature as a complicated watch.
The main characteristic of the 1731 calibre (thus named in a nod to Jean-Marc Vacheron’s birth year) is its extreme thinness for a minute repeater movement. At just 3.90 mm, it is only slightly thicker than its predecessor – the 1755 calibre dating from 1992 – because of its impressive 65-hour power reserve. It took four years to solve this most complex equation: to create a minute repeater movement, combining slimness, a pure sound, pleasing aesthetics, reliability and robustness.
Moreover, the technical feats are not confined to the challenge of extreme thinness, since the 1731 calibre is equipped with one of the most ingenious devices developed in 2007 for the 2755 movement – another member of this exclusive family of minute repeater calibres – a flying strike governor that is entirely silent, unlike conventional lever-type governors, and is tasked with regulating the rate at which hammers strike the gongs.
Acoustics, the real raison d’être of a minute repeater, was the focus of attention. To ensure the sound is crystal clear and perfectly harmonious, several different technical choices had to be made. The gongs are thus not only connected to the case middle so as to amplify the sound, but also superimposed, rather than aligned side by side.
The two pink gold cases are designed to form a single entity with the movement, in a composition that incorporates such subtle parameters as the circulation of air between the mechanism and the case in order to ensure optimal note propagation. The case has also been seamlessly constructed so that the elements can interact metal to metal and thus increase the amplitude of the sound.
The Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin watch features an 18K 5N pink gold case measuring 41 mm in diameter and just 8.5 mm thick. This one-of-a-kind model features a dial crafted in Grand Feu enamel, one of the most demanding enamelling techniques, of which the “eggshell” colour blends perfectly with the aesthetics of the model.
Exuding an aura of unmistakable classicism, inspired by reference 4261 – an extremely understated Vacheron Constantin minute repeater watch dating from 1941 – this model is spiced up with an original font used for the railroad and the leaning Arabic black enamelled numerals. Slim hollow-tipped hands complete the “romantic” appearance of this piece, which is fitted with a brown alligator leather strap. Only the presence of slide piece on the left side of the case hints at the complexity of a minute repeater housed in this watch with its pure design.
Sound and music have always played a role in the Maison’s partnerships, the latest of which is with Abbey Road Studios, a name closely associated with iconic artists such as The Beatles, Adele and Oasis. In collaboration with the studios, Vacheron Constantin launched its Fiftysix® collection, backed by the “One of not Many” campaign. The partnership also has a role to play for “La Musique du Temps®”, as Vacheron Constantin entrusts Abbey Road Studios with recording the unique sound of each model.
Model: Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin mechanical manual-winding
32.80 mm diameter, 3.90 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 65 hours
3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Minute repeater (hours, quarters and minutes on demand)
18K 5N pink gold
41 mm diameter, 8.50 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
18K gold, enamelled Grand Feu « coquille d’œuf »
12 Arabic numerals enamelled in black
Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
18K 5N pink gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » engraved on the back of the timepiece