Inspired by Qilin, the mythical creature from Asian mythology, Vacheron Constantin created a limited edition of its Traditionnelle Tourbillon watch. Featuring an 18K 5N pink gold case entirely engraved by hand, its hand-guilloché gold dial is adorned with two Qilin, symbols of wisdom, prosperity and peace, created using the pounced ornament technique.
Emerging from the hand-guilloché gold dial and finished with a black galvanic treatment, two gold appliques represent the fabled Qilin figure with extraordinary finesse. These genuine miniature sculptures are created by dint of extremely precise work using the ramolayé pounced ornament technique. The latter consists of pushing back the material by cutting into, scraping or softening it in order to give volume to a two-dimensional drawing. To achieve this, artisans use their own individual methods and self-made tools – small stones, brushes, paper or files.
Rhythmically punctuated by raised and hollowed areas, flat and curved surfaces, matt and polished finishes, the coat and scaly skin of the Qilins is revealed in a strikingly realistic manner, accentuated by a subtle play on light and shade. The fine line engraving technique adorning the stepped sides of the case (emphasised by a fluted caseback), the slim bezel and the curved lugs, sets the scene for a lucky-charm cloud motif. This pattern contributes to enriching the aesthetic appeal of this elegant watch, embracing the wrist with a black alligator leather strap.
The Qilin belongs to the pantheon of figures populating Asian mythology, and it only appears during periods of peace and prosperity. Qilin’s benevolence and gentleness are among its greatest virtues. So much so that it does not move across any living creature, including plants, for fear of damaging it, generally preferring to travel on water or clouds.
For this reason, the two Qilin engraved on the dial of the Traditionnelle Tourbillon appear on a bed of lucky clouds, a traditional motif adorning ancient Asian artefacts. As a final detail, the two Qilin respectively stand one of their hooves on one traditional Chinese item. The Qi (male) on the globe, a symbol of authority and prosperity; and Lin (female) on an ingot, a harbinger of good fortune.
This timepiece is equipped with the in-house mechanical manual winding Calibre 2260. Designed to compensate for the adverse effects of the Earth’s gravity on the movement, the tourbillon is considered to be one of the most sophisticated mechanisms in the realm of Haute Horlogerie.
On the dial of this model, it is majestically revealed at 6 o’clock in its openworked mobile carriage shaped like a Maltese cross, topped by an entirely hand-chamfered bar. This ingenious construction conceals two sets of series-coupled barrels measuring a total 2.20 metres in length and endowing the movement with an exceptional two-week power reserve.
To ensure balance and harmony, the latter is indicated along the same axis as the tourbillon, on a 280° sector. Through the case-back, we can admire the meticulous finishing of the movement adorned with a “Côtes de Genève” motif.
This Traditionnelle Tourbillon timepiece is issued in an 18-piece numbered limited edition, exclusively available in Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
Model: Traditionnelle Tourbillon
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
29.1 mm (12¾’’’) diameter, 6.8 mm thick
Approximately 336 hours of power reserve (14 days)
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Small seconds on tourbillon carriage
18K 5N pink gold
42 mm diameter, 12.22 mm thick
Hand-engraved bezel, case-band and lug sides
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
Hand-guilloché, black galvanic treatment
Hand-engraved 22K 5N pink gold applied Qilin
Black Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
18K 5N pink gold folding clasp; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
Limited Edition of 18 pieces, individually numbered
Only available in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques