Vacheron Constantin presents a single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers timepiece featuring a regulator-type display and perpetual calendar with precision moon phases, powered by in-house Calibre 2460 RQP. Set with precious stones on the bezel and the delicately guilloché dial, this model combines a technical display mode with an elegant reading of time. This new model, presented at Watches & Wonders 2021, is part of the theme of the Maison for 2021: entitled Classic with a Twist.
Watches with a regulator-type display are reminiscent of the precision clocks developed for astronomers more than 200 years ago. This concept has been picked up in the creation of this single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers regulator perpetual calendar – Moonlight Jewellery Sapphire timepiece, whose astronomical references are accentuated by a perpetual calendar function with precision moon phases.
These Haute Horlogerie complications are highlighted by the artisans of the Manufacture. To lend depth to the delicately hand-engraved guilloché dial, sparkling diamond and sapphire edging echoes the diamond-set bezel, in an alternation elegantly accentuating the various timekeeping and astronomical displays.
The single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers regulator perpetual calendar – Moonlight Jewellery Sapphire watch is immediately set apart by its regulator-type display. Powered by self-winding Calibre 2460 RQP, this timepiece offers a separate reading of the minutes with a central hand and the hours on a dial positioned at 12 o’clock.
This way of indicating time by non-coaxial markers dates back to the late 17th century. Through their observations of the sky and the path of heavenly bodies, astronomers soon realised the necessity of reliable and regular time measuring instruments. To meet this need, horologists developed regulating clocks, also known as master clocks, because they were used as reference timekeepers.
The extreme precision of these clocks stemmed from bimetallic pendulums used to compensate for the effect of temperature variations. In addition, by offering a display of the hours and seconds on separate counters along with a central minutes hand, they enabled clear and accurate readings of the timekeeping indications.
This mechanical invention was not forgotten with the advent of pocket watches, followed by wristwatches, and was especially favoured for the originality and extreme legibility of its display. The Les Cabinotiers regulator perpetual calendar – Moonlight Jewellery Sapphire watch echoes this layout, further enhanced by a perpetual calendar with precision moon phases as a tribute to the astronomical origins of regulators. In place of the small seconds hand, the 6 o’clock counter thus serves to indicate the date and the moon phases.
The mechanical difficulty inherent in moon phases is the duration of a lunar cycle – i.e. 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.8 seconds (29.5305881 days) – which must be regulated by movements based on a sexagesimal system. To achieve this, the most common solution consists of rounding off lunar cycles to 29.5 days, enabling the moon phases to be activated via a 59-tooth gear with two lunar cycles – a solution which results in an approximately one-day discrepancy every 32 months.
More complex yet more accurate, the system based on a 135-tooth gear yields what is known as a precision astronomical moon phase display, whose drift amounts to only one day every 122 years and 46 days. It is precisely this device that has been integrated into the perpetual calendar of Calibre 2460 RQP with its 40-hour power reserve.
Successfully keeping step with the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar and requiring no adjustment until 2100, this perpetual calendar is distinguished on this timepiece by the indication of the days and months through apertures on either side of the hours dial, which itself bears the leap-year indication at 4 o’clock. The date is displayed by a pointer and the moon phases appear on the subdial at 6 o’clock.
Perfectly illustrating the creative spirit of Vacheron Constantin, this single-piece edition has been preciously embellished by the gifted artist’s hands of artisans. On the dial swept over by white gold hands, the guilloche artist has created a delicate spiral pattern, enhanced by a row of 44 baguette-cut diamonds rimming the bezel.
The silver-toned dial is also set with an edging of precious stones facing the minute track, a border composed of 36 baguette-cut diamonds, alternating with 10 sapphires positioned every five minutes. The spark of the sapphires is further accentuated by the two hours and moon-phase subdials, which adopt the same dark blue hue.
The noble distinction of this timepiece with its 42 mm 18K white gold case is perceptible even in the meticulous hand finishing adorning the movement. The watch’s sapphire caseback reveals the delicate circular graining of the mainplate with bridges featuring the Côtes de Genève motif, as well as the subtle guilloché pattern on the 18K 5N gold oscillating weight.
The Les Cabinotiers regulator perpetual calendar – Moonlight Jewellery Sapphire watch is fitted with a dark blue alligator leather strap, secured by an 18K gold pin buckle whose outline is inspired by the shape of a Maltese cross adorned with 12 baguette-cut diamonds.
Each year, the Les Cabinotiers department unveils a range of single-piece editions relating to a theme cherished by Vacheron Constantin. The year 2021 is dedicated to “Le Temps Céleste” (which means Celestial Time), with timepieces referring to the astronomical origins of time measurement.
Collection: Les Cabinotiers
Model: Regulator perpetual calendar – Moonlight Jewellery Sapphire
Calibre 2460 RQP
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
31 mm diameter, 6.05 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 40h
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Hours and minutes
18K white gold, bezel set with 44 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 2.9 cts)
42 mm diameter, 11.80 mm thick
Silver-toned dial hand-guilloché with spiral motif, set with 36 baguette-cut diamonds (0.6 ct) and 10 sapphires (0.2 ct)
18K white gold hands
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp: 18K white gold buckle set with 12 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 1.1 cts)
Les Cabinotiers model
“Les Cabinotiers”, “Pièce unique”, “AC” hallmark engraved on caseback