Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

The single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus combines Vacheron Constantin’s expertise in grand complication watches with its mastery of artistic crafts. This double-sided wristwatch comprises 16 complications, essentially astronomical and calendar-related, powered by Calibre 2755 GC16 with minute repeater and tourbillon. A technical feat housed in an 18K 5N gold case whose middle is sculpted in bas-relief. In tribute to the Roman god of vines and wine, this “Bacchus” watch finds another source of inspiration in Johannes Kepler, resulting in a captivating association between mythology and astronomy.

The 18K 5N pink gold case of this Les Cabinotiers timepiece features a decoration composed of vine leaves interspersed with bunches of ruby grapes. The engraver’s work is complemented by that of the gem-setter on the outside of the case in giving life to figurative motifs, making this watch a piece of fine craftsmanship.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

The case decoration continues on the bezel and case-back with a hand engraving depicting vine leaves. The difficulty implied by this intaglio engraving lies in the absence of a border or contour line. Hollowed out across the entire width of the bezel, the garland thus stands alone thanks to the metronomic regularity of the motif. This latter aspect is picked up on the two fastening options – folding clasp and pin buckle.

To create the movement of this highly complicated watch, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers took the Tour de l’Île as a reference, a timepiece presented in 2005 as a tribute to 250 years of watchmaking expertise cultivated by the Geneva-based Manufacture. In the same spirit, the Les Cabinotiers – Bacchus timepiece combines 16 complications, making it one of the most complex watches produced by the Maison. Its manual winding Calibre 2755 GC16 is equipped with a tourbillon regulator to compensate for the effects of the earth’s gravity on the mechanism.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

Featuring a cage shaped like Vacheron Constantin’s signature Maltese cross emblem, the tourbillon completes one full rotation per minute, thus serving as a small seconds indicator. This watch also incorporates a minute repeater chiming the hours, quarters and minutes on demand. To avoid unnecessary noise as well as wear and tear on the mechanism, the striking of the gongs is equipped with an ingenious centripetal flying strike regulator. This perfectly silent device regulates the duration of the musical sequences so as to obtain clear, distinct and regular sounds.

The calendar and astronomical functions play a starring role on both sides of the watch. On the front, where the mechanical ballet of the tourbillon can be admired at 6 o’clock, the perpetual calendar indications are displayed on three counters. Positioned in the upper part of the dial, they respectively show the date, day and month.

Designed to keep track of the Gregorian calendar’s vagaries without any need for adjustment until 2100, this horological complication is further enhanced by the indication of the leap-year cycle. The latter appears in a small aperture next to the hand indicating the torque of the minute repeater mechanism between 1 and 2 o’clock. This striking mechanism power reserve is matched by an indication of the movement power reserve, which can be read by means of a serpentine pointer coaxial with the day of the week hand.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

The complex mechanics of this piece also provide an astronomical reading of time representing a tribute to Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), regarded as one of the founders of modern astronomy for having discovered the laws of planetary motion, in perfect agreement with Copernicus’ heliocentric hypotheses. The first astronomical functions thus appear on this same opaline champagne-coloured dial, starting with the equation of time positioned between 10 and 11 o’clock.

As the Earth’s path around the Sun is not circular but elliptical, and since the Earth’s axis is inclined at 24° to the plane of its orbit, the time between two zenith passages of the Sun is not the same throughout the year. This difference between the (true) solar day and the (average) 24-hour civil day ranges from -16 to +14 minutes depending on the time of year and coincides only four times a year. Called the equation of time, or time correction in astronomical language, this differential is displayed by a dedicated pointer, while sunrise and sunset times – adjusted according to a reference city – appear at the bottom of the dial.

The sidereal time display finds its place the back of the watch in the shape of a rotating disc depicting the celestial vault with its constellations observable from the Northern hemisphere. Taking a fixed star in the sky as a reference point, the time required for the Earth to complete a full 360° rotation, or sidereal day, is exactly 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

Since the Earth is both spinning on its axis and revolving around the Sun, it takes about four minutes less than a calendar day to return to its point of origin relative to a given star. On this model, the “celestial” disc thus performs a complete rotation according to sidereal time with the time displayed on the periphery, opposite the date appearing on the periphery of the mobile disc.

This same date is read off by a large central hand moving over the fixed outer flange bearing a scale graduated in five-day increments. This hand also indicates the sign of the zodiac, the season and the four dates corresponding to the solstices and equinoxes. Finally, the small central hand indicates the age of the moon.

Comprising 839 parts and measuring a total 33.90 mm in diameter and 12.15 mm thick, this extremely complex movement is endowed with a 58-hour power reserve. It displays all its functions in a perfectly legible manner on both sides. The balance oscillates at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz).

The 47 mm-diameter 18K 5N pink gold case has been specifically designed to provide the best possible sound quality for the minute repeater.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus
Reference 9700C/000R-B755

Movement
Caliber 2755 GC16
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.90 mm diameter, 12.15 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
839 components
42 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Front side: Hours, minutes, small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage – Minute repeater – Tourbillon – Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year) – Power reserve indication – Equation of time – Sunrise time – Sunset time – Alarm torque indication
Back side: Sky chart – Age and phases of the moon – Sidereal hours and minutes – Seasons, zodiac signs

Crowns and pushers
Setting Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)
Moon phase adjustment: correction push-piece on the case
Perpetual calendar adjustment: two correction push-pieces on the case
Sky chart adjustment: with crown and screwed-down push-piece

Case
18K 5N pink gold with bezel and back side hand-engraved with “vine leaves” and case band hand-engraved with “vine leaves” and gem-set with 113 rubies for a total weight of approximately 1.84 cts representing bunch of grapes
47 mm diameter, 19.10 mm thick

Dials (face & back side)
Champagne opaline dials
18K 5N pink gold applied hour-markers
18K 5N pink gold hands

Strap
Dark brown Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Buckle: 18K 5N pink gold folding clasp and buckle hand-engraved with a “vine leaves” pattern; Half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Les Cabinotiers Prestige box

Accessories
Delivered with a corrector pen and a magnifying glass
A winder box

Edition
Single-piece edition
« Les Cabinotiers », « Pièce unique », « AC » hallmark engraved on caseback

Patek Philippe Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a Perpetual Calendar

Unveiled during the Patek Philippe “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition, this grand complication watch with minute repeater and perpetual calendar features a white-gold case with a blue grand feu enamel dial. This new model replaces the Ref. 5374P-001 in platinum with a black grand feu enamel dial.

The Ref. 5374 with a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar was introduced in 2016 in a platinum version with a black grand feu enamel dial. Now, Patek Philippe is offering a new edition in white gold with a blue grand feu enamel dial.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a Perpetual Calendar
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

The case shape shows the subtle and harmonious interplay of rounds and cambers. The bezel has a concave profile. The same finesse is encountered in the manually satin-finished recesses in the case flank. They contrast beautifully against the polished case segments and against the cabochons that decorate the ends of the lugs.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a Perpetual Calendar
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

The blue grand feu enamel dial is high-gloss finished, and features applied white-gold Breguet numerals. The displays of the perpetual calendar – day, date, month, and leap year cycle – are placed on slightly enlarged subsidiary dials, complemented with a 24-hour display. The leaf-shaped hands in white gold are filled with a luminous coating for excellent legibility. The moon-phase aperture is executed with the champlevé technique and framed in white gold.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a Perpetual Calendar
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

This grand complication timepiece houses the self-winding caliber R 27 Q. The minute repeater mechanism strikes on two cathedral gongs, and their extended length of nearly twice the circumference of the movement produces a full, reverberant sound.

The shiny dusk blue alligator strap is secured with a white-gold fold-over clasp. The scope of delivery includes a sapphire-crystal case back and an interchangeable solid back.

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Minute Repeater with a Perpetual Calendar, Ref. 5374G-001

Movement
Self-winding mechanical movement
Caliber R 27 Q
Diameter: 28 mm
Height: 6.9 mm
Parts: 467
Bridges: 12
Jewels: 39
Power reserve: min. 38 hours, max. 48 hours
Minirotor in 22K gold, unidirectional winding
Balance: Gyromax®
Vibrations/hour: 21 600 (3 Hz)
Balance spring: Spiromax®
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal

Functions
Minute repeater with “cathedral” gongs
Perpetual calendar
Day, date, month, leap year and 24-hour indication by hands
Moon phases

Dial
Blue enamel, gold applied Breguet numerals
18K gold dial plate

Case
White gold
Interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back
Case is humidity and dust protected only (not water resistant)
Case diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12.2 mm

Strap
Alligator leather with scare scales, hand-stitched, shiny dusk blue
Fold-over clasp

About Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021 Collection

On the occasion of the “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition in June 2021, Patek Philippe launched six exceptional wristwatches featuring artistic decorations such as manual engraving, grand feu cloisonné enamel, grand feu champlevé enamel, grand feu flinqué enamel, manual guilloching and gemsetting.

Models

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Patek Philippe Ref. 5304/301R-001 Minute Repeater with a Retrograde Perpetual Calendar

Adorned with 80 baguette diamonds, this new rose-gold version of the Patek Philippe Minute Repeater and Retrograde Perpetual Calendar watch belongs to the Geneva Maison’s “Rare Handcrafts” series. This new grand complication watch features a transparent sapphire crystal dial, allowing the wearer to admire the movement from the front side of the watch.

The first Patek Philippe grand complication with a transparent sapphire-crystal dial was launched as the Ref. 5104 in 2006; it had a platinum case with rose-gold intarsias. From 2014 to 2018, it was followed by the Ref. 5304 in rose gold with white-gold intarsias.

Now, Patek Philippe has released a new haute joaillerie version in rose gold. Its bezel, lugs, and fold-over clasp sparkle with the fire of 80 flawless Top Wesselton baguette diamonds (~6.22 ct).

Patek Philippe Ref. 5304-301R-001 Minute Repeater with a Retrograde Perpetual Calendar
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

For this timepiece, Patek Philippe developed an ingenious system for displaying the day, month, and leap year cycle with transparent sapphire-crystal disks in which the respective displays stand out in white against the black background of the small apertures beneath them. To attach the extremely thin sapphire-crystal disks to their minuscule steel arbors, it was necessary to develop an exclusive, patented assembly process.

The pierced leaf-shaped hands in black-lacquered white gold also enhance the view of the movement and its steel parts with beveled and polished edges that stand out beautifully against the rose gilt plates decorated with perlage. The flyback date display features a hand with a crescent moon tip that marks the numerals on a scale at the outermost edge of the dial. The perpetual calendar is complemented with a moon-phase display at 6 o’clock and a subsidiary seconds dial.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5304-301R-001 Minute Repeater with a Retrograde Perpetual Calendar
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

To further refine the appeal of this timepiece, Patek Philippe integrated delicate white-gold inlays with engraved leaf motifs in the case flanks and the repeater slide.

The sapphire-crystal case back reveals the magnificent views of the self-winding caliber R 27 PS QR LU movement, especially the minute repeater mechanism with two gongs or the centrifugal governor beneath the pierced Calatrava cross motif. The recessed off-center minirotor in rose gold is decorated with a leaf motif and rhodiumed sinks.

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Minute Repeater with a Retrograde Perpetual Calendar, Ref. 5304/301R-001

Movement
Caliber R 27 PS QR LU
Self-winding mechanical movement
Diameter: 28 mm
Height: 7.23 mm
Parts: 517
Bridges: 12
Jewels: 41
Power reserve: min. 38 hours, max. 48 hours
22K gold off-center mini-rotor
Balance: Gyromax®
Vibrations/hour: 21 600 (3 Hz)
Balance spring: Spiromax®
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal

Functions
Minute repeater with classic gongs
Perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand
Day, month and leap year in apertures
Moon phases by hand
Small seconds

Dial
Transparent sapphire, date and minute markers printed in white with golden powdered dots

Case
Rose gold
Sapphire crystal case back
Humidity- and dust-protected only (not water-resistant)
Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 13.3 mm
Gem-setting: 58 baguette diamonds: ~5.25 cts. (bezel and lugs). 22 baguette diamonds: ~0.97 ct. (clasp). Total of 80 baguette diamonds: ~6.22 cts.

Strap
Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black
Diamond-set fold-over clasp

About Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021 Collection

On the occasion of the “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition in June 2021, Patek Philippe launched six exceptional wristwatches featuring artistic decorations such as manual engraving, grand feu cloisonné enamel, grand feu champlevé enamel, grand feu flinqué enamel, manual guilloching and gemsetting.

Models

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Patek Philippe Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat

On the occasion of the “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition, Patek Philippe released a new iteration of its Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon watch featuring a hand-engraved rose-gold case with a brown dial in grand feu champlevé and cloisonné enamel

Debuted in 2001, the Ref. 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon is Patek Philippe’s second most complicated wristwatch. It is one of the grand complications most coveted by collectors and connoisseurs.

From 2013 to 2016, this double-face wristwatch was available in a rare handcrafts version with a white-gold case and a blue enamel dial (reference 6002G-001). It was followed in 2016 by a new version with a black enamel dial (reference 6002G-010).

Patek Philippe Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

The new iteration released during “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” combines the warm shimmer of rose gold with brown grand feu enamel. The periphery of the dial, the moon-phase aperture, and the moon of the rotating disc are executed in champlevé enamel. With this technique, the base metal must first be precisely milled out so that individual elements such as the minute scale remain relieved.

Then, the recesses are manually filled with enamel compound. The center of the dial features a decor in grand feu cloisonné enamel that was created with the help of thin flat gold wire. The case, the crowns, the repeater slide, and the fold-over clasp are manually engraved with a motif of volutes and arabesques on all sides. The master engraver invests more than 100 hours of work and considerable patience to complete the process to the highest standards.

Patek Philippe Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

The Sky Moon Tourbillon combines 12 fascinating complications, including a tourbillon and a minute repeater that strikes on cathedral gongs. The front dial shows a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date, a moon-phase display and the leap year cycle.

The other side shows a celestial chart on which the apparent motion of the moon and the stars can be viewed from the northern hemisphere. To orchestrate the grand ballet of the celestial bodies, Patek Philippe developed a system of three superposed discs that move in different, precisely calculated trajectories.

Patek Philippe Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
Image Credit: Patek Philippe SA

The new Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon is delivered with hand-engraved cufflinks in rose gold. It replaces the Ref. 6002G-010 in white gold with a black grand feu enamel dial.

Technical details

Movement
Mechanical manually wound movement
Caliber R TO 27 QR SID LU CL
Third wheel in gold
Flywheel
Diameter: 38 mm
Height: 12.61 mm
Parts: 705
Bridges: 24
Jewels: 55
Power reserve: min. 38 hours, max. 48 hours
Balance: Gyromax®
Vibrations/hour: 21 600 (3 Hz)
Spiral: Breguet
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal

Functions
Minute repeater with “cathedral” gongs
Tourbillon
Perpetual Calendar

Display
Front side: Perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand. Day, month, leap year in apertures. Hours and minutes of mean solar time. Moon phases
Reverse side: sidereal time, sky chart, phases and orbit of the moon.

Dial
Grand Feu champlevé and cloisonné brown enamel, gold applied Roman numerals
18K gold dial plate

Case
Rose gold
Sapphire-crystal case back
Humidity-and dust-protected only (not water-resistant)
Case diameter: 44 mm. Height: 17.35 mm.

Strap
Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, chestnut patinated
Hand-engraved fold-over clasp

About Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021 Collection

On the occasion of the “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition in June 2021, Patek Philippe launched six exceptional wristwatches featuring artistic decorations such as manual engraving, grand feu cloisonné enamel, grand feu champlevé enamel, grand feu flinqué enamel, manual guilloching and gemsetting.

Models


Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers department has been renowned for bespoke mechanical timepieces that represent the pinnacle of fine watchmaking and artisanal skills of the Geneva Maison.

Among the recent masterpieces from the Les Cabinotiers department, the the Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer is a stand-out horological marvel. A project first undertaken in 2013, this bespoke pocket watch was made according to an esteemed client’s wish. This timepiece embodies art and beauty, exceptional mechanics and technical mastery.

This magnificent micromechanical wonder is equipped with a new in-house movement, Calibre 3761 with Grande Sonnerie and tourbillon, specially developed by the team of watchmakers who designed the Reference 57260 watch.

The craftsmanship adorning this timepiece is equally extraordinary. The case is hand-engraved on its bezel, back and sides using various artisanal techniques, as well as topped by a bow adorned with two hand-sculpted lion heads. The officer-type caseback is stunningly enhanced by a miniature enamel reproduction of Vermeer’s famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring, created by enameller Anita Porchet.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer
Vacheron Constantin Reference 9910C/000J-B413 Pocket watch, Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

Les Cabinotiers is a department in its own right within the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin, dedicated to creating single-piece editions. Following in the footsteps of the Geneva master-watchmakers known as cabinotiers in the Age of Enlightenment, the team took up the challenge of giving substance to the dream of a passionate collector who wanted a pocket watch that was technically and aesthetically exceptional, reflecting the noblest traditions of 18th century Haute Horlogerie. To create this highly complex mechanical pocket watch, it took approximately eight years.

The Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer pocket watch is powered by a new 806-part manual winding calibre, regulated by a tourbillon and comprising Grande and Petite Sonnerie Westminster chimes, coupled with a minute repeater. Within the range of watchmaking complications, Grande Sonnerie models have always enjoyed a special aura, not only because of the inherent complexity of these mechanisms striking several gongs, but also because of the musical qualities required.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

Grande Sonnerie watches have a centuries-old tradition within the Maison. Among the oldest timepieces preserved to date, the first travel clock housing such a complication dates back to 1820. When it comes to pocket watches, the oldest model with Grande and Petite Sonnerie in the Vacheron Constantin private collection is dated 1827.

It was followed by several timepieces equipped with such mechanisms, some of them representing landmark creations endowed with an array of extremely sophisticated complications, such as the “Packard” presented in 1918 or the King Fouad I watch completed in 1929.

More recently, the world’s most complicated pocket watch, Reference 57260, was presented in 2015 on the occasion of the Maison’s 260th anniversary, affirming the expertise of the Maison in the realm of exceptional watchmaking.

The client who commissioned this model wanted a real Westminster chime pocket watch with striking five gongs with five hammers, featuring a Grande and Petite Sonnerie and adorned with miniature enamel. The Calibre 3761 measures 71 mm in diameter and 17 mm thick. It is regulated by a tourbillon majestically enthroned on the lower part of the movement, visible through the caseback and performing one full revolution per minute.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer movement Calibre 3761

The tourbillon is driven by a 2.5Hz balance (18,000 vibrations per hour). The Westminster chime with which the movement is equipped with one of the most complicated striking mechanism to build, as it requires a sequence of five gongs struck in perfect harmony by their respective hammers controlled by four racks.

In wristwatches, Grande Sonnerie (grand strike) mechanisms are usually operated by a single rack, mainly for reasons of miniaturisation. The four rack and snail solution, with four racks for the hour and quarter chimes and one rack for the minute repeater, enhances the sequencing of the melodies and, as an added subtlety, enables different melodies to be played when passing the quarters.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

The term ‘Westminster chime’ refers to the world-famous bells of Big Ben, the British Tower of Parliament in London: a four-bar melody consisting of four notes played at different frequencies. In “Grande Sonnerie” mode, the watch chimes the quarters in passing, with the hour repeated at each quarter, meaning three bars of the Westminster melody followed by five single notes for 5.45 am.

In “Petite Sonnerie” mode, it strikes the quarters at each change of quarter without repeating the hours; and at each change of hour, it strikes the fourth quarter – “the carillon” – as well as the hours. The strikework can be activated at any time by means of the slide on the side of the watch. The watch then functions as a minute repeater that chimes the quarters, minutes and hours in sequence. The selector switch positioned at 9 o’clock thus offers three possible modes.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

In “Sonnerie” (strike) mode, the watch is automatically activated each time the quarters change, like a clock. In “Night Silence” mode, a special feature specifically developed and adapted to this 3761 calibre according to the time zone chosen by the customer, the alarm is deactivated between 11 pm and 9 am, thus saving energy as well as ensuring peace and quiet at night. The third and last “Silence” mode completely suspends the striking mechanism.

A second selector, positioned between 10 and 11 o’clock, serves to switch from Grande Sonnerie to Petite Sonnerie as preferred. The two barrels ensure an autonomy of approximately 16 hours for the musical mechanism in “Grande Sonnerie” mode and 80 hours for the time indications, with stable torque guaranteed until the end of the power reserve.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer movement Calibre 3761

Calibre 3761 is equipped with a centripetal strike governor ensuring perfect regularity of the musical sequences, of which the notes must be both distinctly audible and pleasing to the ear. The system is characterised by a pair of weights whose very special shape has been optimised so as to generate a kind of “engine-braking effect” – by centripetal force – on the regulator’s pivot axis, thereby evening-out the energy released by the barrel.

This unique and original device is also perfectly silent. In another special feature regarding the flow of time, the calibre houses a double-wheel system with clearance adjustment. Given the size of the hands, in order to avoid any potential jerking of the seconds hand positioned at 6 o’clock, such a mechanism ensures its smooth flow thanks to a system based on two coaxial toothed wheels linked by a spring serving to eliminate gear play.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

This Les Cabinotiers model demonstrates high standards and attention to detail in terms of movement finishing. All the components are thus hand-finished – from the completely engraved balance bridge to the bridges buffed with diamond paste to achieve a mirror-polished finish, as well as the galvanic treatment of the plates adorned with Côtes de Genève and featuring a soft champagne colour – creating an overall effect evoking the noblest watchmaking traditions.

The work on the ratchet wheel and the two barrel wheels is an excellent example of these meticulous tasks. The wheels first underwent surface treatment in the form of sandblasting and then sunburst finishing, before the teeth were glazed on all five gear portions. This type of finishing consists of chamfering the teeth and giving them a mirror-polished finish on the flat parts, a skill formerly used in watchmaking and that the Maison is committed to preserving. A week of patience and meticulous care was needed to decorate these three components.

The tuning of the gongs also requires a perfectionist’s spirit. First tested before being cased-up, they are shaped in such a way as to obtain the right note for each of them. This inevitably requires touching up with a file to achieve a perfect sound. There can however be surprises once the chiming mechanism is cased up. On this model, two of the five original gongs had to be replaced for the sake of harmony. By modifying the steel alloys, the sound of the two new gongs acquired a more crystal-clear entirely in tune with the other three.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

This “tuning” of the Grande Sonnerie thus requires several successive casing-up procedures, since the mechanism has to be removed for any adjustments during the “trial runs” of the mechanism. These are indeed not the only elements of the assembled movement that undergo retouching during these various phases, which is why the latter take place even before the case is decorated. An additional difficulty with this single-piece edition was that it was impossible to case up the entire finished movement and part of the final assembly had to be done directly inside the case.

Given the level of finishing and decoration of each component, including the case, as well as the fact that any handling manipulation could potentially impair the quality, the ten operations involved in fitting the calibre – which had to be removed the same number of times for retouching – followed by the final assembly required an uncommonly deft touch. In the end, a very small team of specialised watchmakers conducted the making of this Calibre 3761, from the development, manufacturing and finishing of the various components to the final assembly and casing-up of the movement.

The client expressed the wish that the cover of the officer-type caseback should feature a miniature enamel painting by enameller Anita Porchet. The work chosen was Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted circa 1665 by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

Above and beyond the challenge of reproducing the work of a great master, the size of the 98 mm-diameter surface implied additional difficulties. This size of watch, corresponding more to that of historical carriage watches than to a pocket model, requires a degree of dexterity all the more accurate in that the slightest irregularity is glaringly obvious.

The result is reminiscent of the grand miniature enamel painting tradition in which Geneva came to specialise. Acknowledged since the late 16th century for its production of high-quality enamels, Geneva in fact lent its name to several terms referring to the quality of the work of its craftsmen. “Geneva enamels”, a term commonly used since that time, refers to painted enamels covered with a flux known as the “Fondant de Genève”.

This technique consists of adding a final transparent and colourless protective coating to the layers of vitrified enamel, thereby giving brilliance and depth to the artist’s work. This invention greatly benefited the timepieces of the period, which were subjected to repeated friction as pocket watches.

Only a few rare master enamellers still master these techniques. One need only think of the fact that a single layer of enamel on the young girl’s oriental turban requires at least two weeks of work given the size of the model.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

The colour palette is similarly complex, notably including a composition of seven shades to obtain black, as well as 20 or so firings in the kiln required to stabilise the colours. In all, seven months of intermittent work were necessary to bring this portrait to life. The research and development work – notably relating to the pigments and enamels to be used – began in 2018 and the final result was completed in 2020.

While the decoration of watches and clocks using the various enamelling techniques strongly contributed to the reputation of the Fabrique de Genève which encompassed all the watchmaking and jewellery trades in the 18th century, the term “Geneva enamels” refers above all to enamel miniature painting.

This process consists of painting colours – based on metallic oxides ground to powder and then mixed with an oil-based binder – onto a layer of white enamel coating a copper or gold leaf base. Much like in gouache or oil painting, the master artisan then applies colours to a canvas, enabling a meticulous depiction – these days under a binocular microscope – of even the smallest details. After each phase, the colours are stabilised by successive firings in the kiln, with no chance of touch ups.

The main watch dial is Grand Feu enamelled in an eggshell colour with blue enamelled Roman numerals.

The style of the engravings adorning the case was carefully studied by Vacheron Constantin’s engraver in order to blend harmoniously with Vermeer’s painting. After several proposals and discussions with the client, she chose a main ornamental theme composed of acanthus leaves running along scrolls and flowers with a pearl heart. This motif echoes the theme of The Girl with the Pearl Earring with its classical and feminine decoration.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer

The talents of Vacheron Constantin’s master-engraver have created a visually striking result. Her work began by outlining the décor using a scriber. She then proceeded to create a champlevé effect by flat-hollowing around the motifs, creating volume and depth by carving them with a burin.

Observation and analysis of the pattern is essential to understand the volumes before cutting into the metal. To keep the rhythm and flexibility of the acanthus leaves along the accompanying line, the curves must be stretched. The facets and stripes are then cleaned and polished. This work requires time and patience.

Polishing is indeed a delicate operation to find the right balance between the shimmer of the metal and the volumes of the sculpture which lose their dynamic appeal if they are too rounded. In order to accentuate the shadows and to add details to the leaves and flowers, slender hollow lines are made on each of them using the fine line engraving technique involving incising or hollowing out the material.

The last operation, the point-by-point hand-chasing of the background, accentuates the contrast between the matt chased champlevé surface and the polished motifs. This operation improves legibility and highlights the decoration by its shimmering appearance. Chasing creates a decoration or a texture by striking the material, unlike engraving and sculpture which involving removing material.

The adornment of the case middle is further emphasised by a double ‘pearl’ border, a reference to the painting by Johannes Vermeer. The creation of this border begins with an even distribution of engraved squares running around the bezel and caseback. Then the engraver transforms these squares into half-beads using a beading tool with a spherically hollowed tip leaving an imprint serving to form the half-beads of metal.

Handling this instrument requires a steady, rhythmical touch. The small 0.8 mm beads are then polished by hand using a brush coated with diamond paste. The effect must be regular, while maintaining the personal deft touch that gives life to the result thanks to similar yet unique reflections. This beaded or ‘pearl’ decoration that was particularly in vogue in the early 20th century requires peerless mastery and dexterity.

Like an extension of this delicate craftsmanship performed on the case middle, the bow is a work of art in itself with its two roaring lions. At the client’s request, these three-dimensional ronde bosse sculptures are inspired by classical statues. Incredibly realistic, sculpted in a block of gold, they embody a rare degree of mastery.

Before working the material in its raw state, the Vacheron Constantin engraver made several 3D prints to determine the right volumes that would enable her to express her art. To craft the lions’ heads, which are similar yet not identical in terms of their manes, she drew with a tracing point the outlines of the two profiles, from the front and from above. It is above all a question of understanding the volumes of the head in three dimensions, before starting the sculpture, which gradually makes her lose the previously traced reference points.

The head of the animal must be imprinted in her mind as an infallible reference point throughout the process in order to give it life and character. Observation and precision are essential in creating such an animal sculpture whose expression can be totally distorted by an excessively strong touch.

The engraver first used a milling cutter to rough out the material and then several burins for increasingly fine and accurate work. The details of the satin-brushed, matt and polished textures were obtained using specific tools, some created for the occasion. A total of five months of extremely meticulous craftsmanship was required to engrave and sculpt the various elements of the pocket watch.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie – Tribute to Johannes Vermeer Caseback view movement Calibre 3761

In the interests of safety, particular attention was paid to the design of the hinged officer-type caseback. An internal mechanism inside the case facilitates access by enabling the user to half-open the caseback by pressing the crown-integrated pusher. A cone-shaped titanium pin serves as the hinge, concealed by gold screws, while a spring using approximately 90° of the case angle slows down the closing of the enamelled and engraved caseback.

The extraordinary length of the hands – the minutes hand is 35 mm long – is also a challenge, particularly when it comes to finishing the polished surfaces and ensuring an even surface. To enhance lightness, they are made of pfinodal, an alloy of copper, nickel and tin, and then gilded.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie –Tribute to Johannes Vermeer
Reference 9910C/000J-B413

Movement
Calibre 3761
Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical manual winding
71 mm (31 ½’’’) diameter, 17.05 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 80h
Strikework power reserve (Grande Sonnerie mode): approximately 16 hours
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
806 components
58 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes, small seconds
Tourbillon, minute repeater, Westminster carillon

Case
18K 3N yellow gold, engraved with acanthus leaves on the case sides and with tulips and “pearl” decor on the bezel and the caseback
Bow sculpted with two lion heads
Officer-type cover, Grand Feu miniature enamelling depicting Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring painting, handmade by Anita Porchet
98 mm diameter, 32.60 mm thick

Dial
Grand Feu eggshell-coloured enamelling
Blue enamelled numerals
Golden pfinodal hands

Presentation Box
Les Cabinotiers model exclusively developed for this timepiece

Rarity
Single-piece edition
“Les Cabinotiers“, “Pièce unique”, “AC” hallmark engraved on caseback

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

During the Watches and Wonders 2021 digital event, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque), the world’s first watch with four faces. This grand complication watch incorporates a total of 11 complications, including perpetual calendar, minute repeater, indications of the synodic, draconic and anomalistic cycles (never before presented together in a wristwatch), requiring 12 patents.

The most complicated timepiece ever presented in the Reverso collection, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is the result of over six years of development, combining key areas of expertise at Jaeger-LeCoultre with innovative new astronomical indications.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

Uniting the brand’s unchallenged mastery of chiming watches, precision mechanisms, astronomical complications and ultra-compact watchmaking, it is the world’s first wristwatch with four functioning display faces. It incorporates three displays of lunar information on the interior face of the iconic Reverso cradle: the synodic cycle, the draconic cycle and the anomalistic cycle.

With these functions, the Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque can predict the next global incidence of astronomical events such as supermoons and eclipses — the world’s first wristwatch to provide such astronomical indications.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

Having a multitude of complications in a watch is pointless unless they can be legibly and comprehensibly displayed, and the watch can be reasonably worn. Liberated by the unique design of the iconic Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a world’s first: a double-faced case continuously driven by the in-house Calibre 185, and a double-faced cradle with indications synced and updated by the primary movement every day at the stroke of midnight by an ingenious mechanical system proprietary to Jaeger-LeCoultre.

If accomplished through conventional mechanical means, the 11 complications of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque would result in a timepiece far more suited for a desk than a wrist. Thanks to nearly two centuries of expertise and a thoroughly modern approach to innovation, the Maison has accommodated the extremely complex mechanism in a wristwatch with a 51mm x 31mm x 15mm case.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

The history of Jaeger-LeCoultre is rooted in the pursuit and attainment of precision. One of the earliest inventions of founder Antoine LeCoultre was the millionometer, the first instrument able to measure the micron.

Today, Jaeger-LeCoultre is an undisputed pioneer and leader in creating exceptional executions of the tourbillon, a mechanism designed to enhance the chronometric performance of a timepiece. The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Gyrotourbillon 2 (2008) stunned audiences and won chronometry awards with its multi-axial revolving balance, and the Reverso Hybris Mechanica à Triptyque (2006) remains unique in its use of a tourbillon with a high-precision ellipse isometer escapement.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

Occupying the 7 o’clock position on the recto face of the case, a flying tourbillon makes one rotation a minute, continuously varying the position of the balance in order to achieve a single corrected average time measurement.

The balance beats in regular cadences of 4Hz (28,800vph), every eight beats mark the passing of one second. The seconds accumulate into minutes, into hours, days, weeks, months and years. The recto face of the Quadriptyque case shows the indications of a perpetual calendar. It also takes leap years into account, displaying a 29th day in the month of February every four years.

Highlighting the precision of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 185 construction, the perpetual calendar indications are instantaneous, changing at the stroke of midnight. In addition, the complexities of the Calibre 185 construction required the date to be displayed at the 5 o’clock position on the dial. At Jaeger-LeCoultre, only the perfect legibility of a grande date was considered acceptable for a watch of such prestige, which necessitated the creation of a new system of date display discs in order to accommodate the dimensions of the flying tourbillon at 7 o’clock.

There are extremely few watchmaking manufactures that possess in-house expertise in sonnerie wristwatches. Jaeger-LeCoultre is the only one watchmaking manufacture that has over 200 chiming watch calibres in its historical and modern inventory. The verso face of the Quadriptyque case is a virtuoso tour de force of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s patrimony as a master and innovator of chiming watches.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

With the slide of a lever located just above the crown, the Quadriptyque unleashes its melody. First, a series of low notes, correlating to the number of hours. Second, an alternating couplet of high and low notes, corresponding to the quarter-hours. And concluding the melody, a succession of high notes, indicating the number of minutes to be added to the elapsed quarters. In concert, the hours-quarters-minutes chime plays the current time in musical code.

The striking works of the Reverso Quadriptyque are completely exposed alongside a secondary time display, indicating the same time as the recto dial, but in a jumping-hours and peripheral-minutes format. As the Quadriptyque strikes the time, setting a symphony of springs, cams, hammers and gongs into motion, their acoustic report confirms the visual display of the secondary dial.

Visible through apertures on the movement plate hand-decorated with the guillochage motif known as clous de Paris are elements of the chiming mechanism uniquely associated with the sonnerie expertise of Jaeger-LeCoultre. These include the silent chime governor, patented by the manufacture in 1895 to eliminate the buzzing noise created by the older anchor system.

More recent in-house innovations showcased in the Quadriptyque are the crystal gongs (first seen in the Master Minute Repeater Antoine LeCoultre of 2005) that attach the repeater gongs directly to the sapphire crystal to exploit the material’s optimal acoustic properties, the square cross-sectional profile of the gongs themselves that maximise contact and energy transmission between the hammers and gongs (a mainstay of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s repeating watches since 2006), and the articulated trebuchet hammers (developed for the 2009 Hybris Mechanica Duomètre à Grande Sonnerie) that deliver a clean and strong strike to the gongs. In totality, these innovations allow Jaeger-LeCoultre minute repeaters to produce some of the loudest and clearest chiming wristwatches today.

Debuting in the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is a completely novel engineering of the chiming components to create a seamless chime with no pauses in between the hours, quarters and minutes. The conventional minute repeater mechanism utilises special pivoting racks that read the time off a series of cams and then proceed to activate each group of chimed notes in turn. This often results in silent gaps between the groups of chimed notes, especially when there are only hours and minutes to be struck, with no intervening quarters.

The Hybris Mechanica Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon (2014) and Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel (2019) made exceptional strides in chiming know-how by reducing these silent gaps, but the Reverso Quadriptyque has reached the ultimate stage of expertise in this area. By refining and inverting specific steps in this mechanical sequence, the Quadriptyque has succeeded in eliminating these gaps entirely.

As a watch manufacture with close to two centuries of fine watchmaking expertise, Jaeger-LeCoultre has mastered all aspects of time expression, from the quotidian to the esoteric. One of the hallmark complications of Jaeger-LeCoultre is the display of sidereal time, time that is determined with reference to the stars instead of the Sun, first presented in the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication (2010).

This year, for the first time ever in the history of mechanical horology, Jaeger-LeCoultre unites three displays of lunar information — the synodic cycle, the draconic cycle and the anomalistic cycle — in a single wristwatch. This unique micromechanical combination of indications, located on the interior face of the cradle of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185, allows the determination of eclipse events (both solar and lunar) and rare lunar phenomena such as supermoons.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

Occupying the top half of the interior face of the cradle of the Reverso Quadriptyque is a massive representation of the phases of the moon in the Northern Hemisphere. A laser-engraved moon is progressively covered and revealed by a mobile blue lacquer disc with gold glitter décor, corresponding to the age of the moon in the synodic cycle. While conventional displays of the moon phase accumulate one day of error after 32.5 months, the moon phase display of the Quadriptyque requires only one adjustment after 1,111 years.

Just below the moon phase display, on the left, is a counter with a three-dimensional micro-sculpted pink-gold sun orbited by a tiny hemispherical moon. This counter shows the draconic cycle, showing when the path of the Moon intersects with the orbit of the Earth around the Sun (known as the ecliptic). Such an intersection takes place twice in each cycle, indicated by the horizontal alignment on the counter of the moon and the sun.

At this time, the Moon, Earth and Sun are all on the same plane; however, they may not be aligned. For them to be aligned, a phenomenon known as syzygy, an additional condition must be fulfilled — the Moon must be either in its new or full phase. When that happens, an eclipse event happens on Earth, either a lunar eclipse if the Moon is in its full phase, or a solar eclipse if the Moon is in its new phase. However, the actual visibility of the eclipse is dependent on various factors such as the geographical position of the viewer.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

To the right of the draconic cycle counter is a domed representation of the Earth, micro-painted in enamel, with a hemispherical moon in eccentric orbit around it. This counter represents the anomalistic cycle, showing the varying distance between the Earth and Moon. At its apogee, the Moon is at its furthest distance from the Earth and is closest at its perigee. When the Moon is in its full phase near or at the perigee, an event known as a supermoon occurs, in which the Moon can appear to be up to 14 percent larger than usual in the sky.

The display of the synodic, draconic and anomalistic cycle together in a wristwatch is unprecedented in horology, with the latter two indications protected by patent, making the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 the only watch ever made to provide such depth of information about astronomical phenomena.

The Hybris Mechanica family of timepieces at Jaeger-LeCoultre began with the 2003 Atmos Mystérieuse and has since grown to encompass close to 20 groundbreaking horological creations, including the Master Hybris Mechanica Gyrotourbillon 1 (2004), the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Grande Complication à Triptyque (2006), the Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon (2014) and the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel (2019).

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was born in 1931. The original Reverso bore a single time-telling face, with a mobile case that could be turned over within its cradle, revealing a solid caseback. The next generation of the Reverso featured another dial on its caseback, either in a different design to accommodate the wearer’s aesthetic preference (Duetto) or displaying a second time zone (Duoface) to offer additional functionality when travelling. The Reverso Hybris Mechanica à Triptyque (2006) represented an evolutionary leap in horological innovation, with a third display positioned on the interior face of the Reverso cradle.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque)

This year, the world’s first wristwatch with four faces premieres in the form of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque), the ultimate expression of the Reverso concept. On the last face of the Quadriptyque, the exterior face of the cradle, a representation of the phases of the Moon in the Southern Hemisphere is shown.

Most indications of the moon phase are of the Northern Hemisphere perspective, and the Quadriptyque’s display of the Southern Hemisphere moon phase on its fourth face is the fulfilment of the Reverso’s fundamental dualism. A star-flecked sky chart, engraved and lacquered in a gradient of blue shades forms the backdrop to the pink-gold moon, all of which are created in the Atelier des Métiers Rares® of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The secret to the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque’s four functioning display faces lies in a solution first used in the 2006 Reverso Hybris Mechanca Grande Complication à Triptyque. Every day at midnight, a pin extends out of the main case movement to activate a mechanical corrector in the cradle, which then advances the cradle displays.

The mechanism driving the cradle displays is set directly into the cradle itself, without any additional movement plates that would increase the thickness of the watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in ultra-compact watchmaking makes the Quadriptyque, despite its multiple indications and complications, one of the most wearable high-complication watches of our time.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 comes in an exceptional presentation box with a built-in mechanism that allows the wearer to quickly and intuitively set all the calendar and astronomical displays of the watch after a period of being unworn.

A two-position crown on the side of the box is used to first set the number of days that have elapsed since the watch was last worn. With the Quadriptyque set within the correction support frame, the box corrector crown can then be extended to its second position and wound to rapidly bring the watch to the current date for all calendar and astronomical indications. There is no risk of overcorrecting the watch or damaging the movement, since the entire process is controlled by the box corrector mechanism.

Technical details

Model: Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
Reference: Q7103420

Case
Material: White gold
Case dimensions: 51.2 x 31 mm
Thickness: 15.15 mm
Water resistance: 30 metres

Movement
Manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 185
Power reserve: 50 hours

Functions
Face 1: Hour – Minute, Tourbillon (indicating the Second), Instantaneous Perpetual Calendar, Grande Date, Day, Month, Leap Year, Night & Day
Face 2: Jumping Digital Hour, Minute, Minute Repeater (with system avoiding dead time)
Face 3: Northern Hemisphere Moon Phase, Draconic Lunar Cycle (height of the moon), Anomalistic Lunar Cycle (apogee and perigee), Month, Year
Face 4: Southern Hemisphere Moon Phase

Strap
Blue alligator

Edition
Limited edition of 10 pieces

Vacheron Constantin “La Musique du Temps®” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds Chronograph – Tempo

Vacheron Constantin presents a one-of-a-kind grand complication timepiece powered by a new Manufacture calibre with a total of 24 horological complications.

A double-sided watch, “La Musique du Temps®” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds Chronograph – Tempo is one of the most complicated wristwatches ever produced by the Maison. This creation belongs to “La Musique du Temps®»: an array of one-of-a-kind timepieces produced in Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers department as a tribute to the art of music.

This one-of-a-kind double-sided timepiece displays the chronograph hours and measurements on the front, along with a perpetual calendar. The back is dedicated to astronomical functions, including indications of solar time, equation of time, sunrise and sunset, day and night duration, as well as the age and phase of the moon. This watch featuring a tourbillon regulator is also equipped with a minute repeater. A total of 24 perfectly legible complications are orchestrated by the new in-house 1,163- part 2756 calibre.

Chiming watches hold a special place within the world of horological complications. For more than two centuries, these complex mechanical devices have been given pride of place by Vacheron Constantin. In 2019, the Maison’s Les Cabinotiers department chose to pay tribute to them through one-of-a-kind models grouped under the theme “La Musique du Temps®».

Vacheron Constantin “La Musique du Temps®” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds Chronograph – Tempo

Les Cabinotiers split-seconds chronograph – Tempo is the crowning embodiment of this approach. In addition to the minute repeater function, which involves a «musical» structure that must take into account the positioning of the gongs and their harmonious sound when struck, the front side also displays timekeeping and calendar indications in addition to the split-seconds chronograph. The perpetual calendar indications are provided by the two lower subdials: one for the day and date, the other for the month and leap year.

Vacheron Constantin “La Musique du Temps®” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds Chronograph – Tempo

The symmetrically placed upper subdials are dedicated to marking off time. The hours appear on the left hand subdial with an inner 24-hour disc that can be used to display a second time zone; while the right hand subdial shows the minutes on the outer disc and carries the chronograph 30-minute counter on the inner disc. Given that the chronograph is doubtless one of the most complex horological complications to be integrated into a calibre, the watchmakers of the Maison wanted to express the true measure of its nobility by creating a split-seconds chronograph equipped with a column wheel.

The split-seconds system with two central hands enables intermediate (split) times to be calculated by stopping one of the two hands which, once restarted, «catches up» with the first. With these initial functions, however, the 1,163-component 2756 calibre has revealed only half of its technical prowess.

The timepiece must be turned over to reveal the full scope of this accomplishment. With its perfectly symmetrical case and thanks to the ingenious removable strap attachment system, Les Cabinotiers split-seconds chronograph is perfectly reversible and can be worn on either side, according to the mood of the moment.

On the reverse watch face, the central hands, including the minutes hand with the sun symbol, indicate true solar time. Based on the apparent displacement of the Sun, the latter differs from civil time due to the inclination of the Earth’s axis and the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit. Mean solar time – the civil time that punctuates our daily lives – and true solar time coincide only four times a year, with maximal variations ranging from -16 minutes and 23 seconds to +14 minutes and 22 seconds.

Vacheron Constantin “La Musique du Temps®” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds Chronograph – Tempo

The difference is what is known as the equation of time, which, on this timepiece, is of the “running” variety, given the simultaneous nature of the two readings of time on either side of the watch. This information is complemented by indications of sunrise and sunset times as well as the duration of day and night, respectively positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock.

The lowest part of the dial features a display of the age and phase of the moon by means of a retrograde hand sweeping over a semi-circular subdial. Here too, watchmakers have not taken the easy path with this high-precision moon-phase display, which requires only one correction every 1,000 years. To ensure the visual harmony of this second dial, the tourbillon is majestically enthroned at 12 o’clock with its carriage shaped like a Maltese cross – the emblem of the Maison – topped by the central pointer-type power reserve indicator.

Vacheron Constantin “La Musique du Temps®” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds Chronograph – Tempo

This timepiece with its multiple functions and displays represents an authentic watchmaking challenge.

Firstly, on a technical level, with this calibre developed by the same team as that behind Reference 57260 and in which the smallest detail has been taken into consideration. Witness the split-seconds lifting lever, designed to save energy for a timepiece that thus enjoys a remarkable power reserve of 65 hours and still lasting up to 40 hours even with the chronograph activated.

Secondly, in order to ensure perfect legibility of the two slate grey dials with sunray and guilloché finishes around the circumference. It was indeed the aesthetic options linked to the display that dictated the construction of the calibre within a multidisciplinary approach. The result is an exceptional watch whose generous 50-millimetre diameter and 21-millimetre thickness are softened by the curves of the pink gold case. The alligator leather strap sets the finishing touch to the aesthetic appeal of this watch.

Les Cabinotiers: one-of-a-kind creations

In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of models and to unique creations. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, a time when master watchmakers were called cabinotiers and worked in ateliers bathed in natural light, known as cabinets and located on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings. In the hands of these learned artisans, open to the new ideas of the Enlightenment, exceptional timepieces were born, inspired by astronomy, mechanical engineering and the arts. This expertise, which constitutes the great Geneva watchmaking tradition, has been flowing through Vacheron Constantin’s veins since 1755.

Vacheron Constantin and chiming watches

Chiming watches occupy a special place among horological complications. For more than two centuries, these complex mechanisms have been highlighted by Vacheron Constantin. Today, Les Cabinotiers department has chosen to pay tribute to them through one-of-a-kind creations on the theme “La Musique du temps®”.

Born from the need to tell the time in the dark in an age when people had to rely on candlelight, chiming watches have taken various forms: repeating on demand the hours, quarters or half-quarters, as well as the minutes depending on the versions; Grande and Petite Sonnerie (sounding the hours and quarters in passing, with or without repeating the hour on each quarter) ; and finally those with an alarm (programmable chime). While each of these complications has its own distinctive characteristics, they all combine an integrated and complex mechanism with the finely crafted nature of musical instruments in terms of their resonance, acoustics and harmonics. Featuring watch cases equipped with complex movements as their only means of musical expression, these creations represent a magnificent feat of miniaturisation.

At Vacheron Constantin, the first mention of a chiming watch dates back to 1806: a gold repeater pocket watch registered by the founder’s grandson Jacques Barthélemi Vacheron, in the very first production register kept in the company’s archives. Ever since, sonnerie or repeater watches have been an integral part of the Manufacture’s proud heritage, steadily enriched over the decades.

A sound print certified by Abbey Road Studios

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.

For the first time, the repeater watches from “La Musique du Temps®” range have a unique sound print, recorded and certified by Abbey Road Studios.

Technical details

Collection: “La Musique du Temps®”, Les Cabinotiers: one-of-a-kind creations
Model: Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds chronograph – Tempo
Reference 9740C/000R-B692

Movement
Calibre 2756
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin mechanical manual-winding
33.3 mm (14 ¾’’’) diameter, 16.35 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 65 hours
2.5 Hz (18,800 vibrations/hour)
1,163 components
40 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications

  • Front: Off-centre hours and minutes – Minute repeater (hours, quarters and minutes on demand) – 2nd time zone / 24H time zone – 30-minute counter chronograph – Split-second chronograph – Perpetual calendar (date, day, month and leap year)
  • Back: Regulator tourbillon – Retrograde phase and age of the moon – Running equation of time – Sunrise and sunset time – Day / Night length – Power reserve indication

Case
18K 5N pink gold
50 mm de diameter, 21 mm thick

Dial
Sunray slate opaline for the upper central part
Guilloché central ring
Sunray slate grey external ring
White painted indications

Strap
Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
18K 5N pink gold folding clasp and 18K 5N pink gold buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

Rarity
One-of-a-kind timepiece
”Pièce unique” and “Les Cabinotiers” inscriptions engraved between the lugs of the timepiece

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication – Ode to Music

Les Cabinotiers Astronomical striking grand complication – Ode to Music offers a fresh demonstration of Vacheron Constantin’s technical mastery in the creation of horological grand complications. As part of the range poetically named “La Musique du Temps®”, which includes a collection of exceptional chiming watches – all one-of-a-kind collector’s pieces –, this new creation is based first and foremost on a minute repeater which determined the construction of the entire calibre.

As part of the range of exceptional chiming watches named “La Musique du Temps®”, this new one-of-a-kind creation is based first and foremost on a minute repeater which determined the construction of the entire movement. Redesigned to accommodate a range of astronomical functions, the new 1731 M820 calibre is equipped with 19 complications, notably displaying civil, solar and sidereal time – each with its own gear train in addition to that of the minute repeater.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication – Ode to Music

The starting point was the famous Manufacture 1731 movement, due to its extreme slimness for a minute repeater mechanism. At just 3.90 mm thick, the 1731 calibre also has an impressive 60-hour power reserve and a magnificent sound quality, thanks in particular to the development of an entirely silent flying strike governor. This movement has therefore been reworked to accommodate the astronomical complications that make this timepiece an exceptional watch.

With the new 1731 M820 calibre, this timepiece is thus equipped with 19 complications – a feat in itself – housed in a space barely 7.84 millimetres thick, without straying from the spirit of the ultra-thin base movement. One of the great challenges was to index the running equation of time to the minute repeater while maintaining extreme slenderness.

This watch is equipped with a perpetual calendar that is harmoniously expressed on the blue opaline dial. The date is indicated by a serpentine hand in a snailed counter at 3 o’clock for the sake of legibility. The days, months and leap years are discreetly displayed in windows between 12 and 2 o’clock. The date is indicated by the precision moon phases and age, but also the day / night indication which is coaxial to the moon phases, a logical and lyrical complement to the perpetual calendar.

The lower part of the dial is occupied by the pointer-type display of sunrise and sunset times, complemented by a linear indication of the length of day and night. A 4 o’clock aperture also reveals a disc bearing the signs of the zodiac, seasons, solstices and equinoxes.

As heralded by the latter functions, this piece is first and foremost an astronomical watch which, in addition to the civil time indicated by the two central hands, also displays the particularities of solar time.

Since the Earth’s path around the Sun describes a trajectory that is not circular but instead elliptical, and given that the Earth’s axis is inclined at 24° to the plane of its orbit, the time between two solar zenith passages is not the same throughout the year. This difference between the solar (true) day and the civil (average/mean) 24-hour day ranges from -16 to +14 minutes depending on the time of the year, coinciding only four times in 12 months.

Known as the equation of time, or time correction in astronomical parlance, this information has long fascinated watchmakers. The fact that these variations are rigorously identical from one year to the next makes it possible to programme them mechanically via an annual cam that controls the display of this time differential. For this timepiece, the company’s master watchmakers have chosen the rarer and more complex solution of a running equation of time.

This consists in also displaying solar time by means of a central minutes hand, in this instance symbolically serrated, and thus enables instantaneous reading of both civil and solar time.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication – Ode to Music

The sidereal time is precisely what can be viewed on the back of this timepiece, with a sky chart ingeniously formed by two superimposed sapphire discs. Taking a fixed star in the sky as a reference point, the time it takes the Earth to complete a full 360° revolution, or sidereal day, is exactly 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. Since the Earth both spins on its axis and revolves around the sun, it takes about four minutes less than a calendar day to return to its point of departure in relation to the given star. On this model, the first lower mobile disc is rimmed by a sidereal time scale punctuated by the cardinal points, which thus rotates in step with sidereal time.

Still on the same disc, an off-centred blue ellipse serves as a transparent indicator of the constellations of the celestial vault, which are positioned on the fixed upper disc. This mechanical ballet thus reveals the vision of the sky in motion as seen from a given point on Earth. This same second disc also bears a white ellipse for the celestial equator and a red ellipse for the ecliptic. While the first is a projection of the equator onto the celestial sphere that takes into account the Earth’s approximately 24° inclination, the second represents – from a heliocentric point of view – the plane of the Earth’s orbit serving as a reference for celestial coordinates. Finally, one notes an intense blue dial bearing the months of the year.

The difference between the sidereal day and the mean or average day means that the movable lower disc will accelerate daily by some four minutes in relation to the fixed outer disc, so as to indicate the current month at exactly midnight by means of a yellow arrow.

Housed in a pink gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and barely 12.54 mm thick, perfectly designed to accommodate the sky chart corrector and the minute repeater slide on the case middle, this calibre is one of the very few movements to offer simultaneously a minutes repeater and the civil, solar and sidereal time.

This extreme level of complexity is matched by the exceptional finishing of this timepiece, including the Côtes de Genève that can be admired through the transparency of a movement that appears to be floating in the stars. A midnight blue alligator leather strap with pin buckle rounds off the elegance of this captivatingly complex timepiece.

Les Cabinotiers: one-of-a-kind creations

In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of models and to unique creations. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, a time when master watchmakers were called cabinotiers and worked in ateliers bathed in natural light, known as cabinets and located on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings. In the hands of these learned artisans, open to the new ideas of the Enlightenment, exceptional timepieces were born, inspired by astronomy, mechanical engineering and the arts. This expertise, which constitutes the great Geneva watchmaking tradition, has been flowing through Vacheron Constantin’s veins since 1755.

Vacheron Constantin and chiming watches

Chiming watches occupy a special place among horological complications. For more than two centuries, theses complex mechanisms have been highlighted by Vacheron Constantin. Today, Les Cabinotiers department has chosen to pay tribute to them through one-of-a-kind creations on the theme “La Musique du temps®”.

Born from the need to tell the time in the dark in an age when people had to rely on candlelight, chiming watches have taken various forms: repeating on demand the hours, quarters or half-quarters, as well as the minutes depending on the versions; Grande and Petite Sonnerie (sounding the hours and quarters in passing, with or without repeating the hour on each quarter); and finally those with an alarm (programmable chime).

While each of these complications has its own distinctive characteristics, they all combine an integrated and complex mechanism with the finely crafted nature of musical instruments in terms of their resonance, acoustics and harmonics. Featuring watch cases equipped with complex movements as their only means of musical expression, these creations represent a magnificent feat of miniaturisation.

At Vacheron Constantin, the first mention of a chiming watch dates back to 1806: a gold repeater pocket watch registered by the founder’s grandson Jacques Barthélemi Vacheron, in the very first production register kept in the company’s archives. Ever since, sonnerie or repeater watches have been an integral part of the Manufacture’s proud heritage, steadily enriched over the decades.

A sound print certified by Abbey Road Studios

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. For the first time, the repeater watches from “La Musique du Temps®” range have a unique sound print, recorded and certified by Abbey Road Studios.

Technical details

Collection: « La Musique du Temps®»
Model: Les Cabinotiers Astronomical striking grand complication – Ode to music
Reference 6620C/000R-B656

Movement
Calibre 1731 M820
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
36 mm (16’’’) diameter, 7.84 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 60 hours
3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
600 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Functions

  • Front: Hours, minutes, Minute repeater (hours, quarters and minutes on demand), Perpetual Calendar (day of the week, date, months and leap year), Running equation of time, Precision moon phases, Age of the moon, Day / Night indication, Sunrise/ Sunset indication, Day / Night length indication, Tropic and zodiac disc (seasons, equinox, solstices and zodiac signs)
  • Back: Celestial hours and minutes, Transparent sky chart of the northern hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, of the ecliptic and celestial equator

Case
18K 5N pink gold
45 mm diameter, 12.54 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
Blue opaline
18K 5N pink gold applied baton-shaped hours-makers

Strap
Blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales; 18K 5N pink gold folding clasp
Delivered with an additional 18K 5N pink gold buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation Box & Accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

Rarity
One-of-a-kind timepiece
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » inscriptions engraved on the back of the timepiece

F.P.Journe Astronomic Souveraine Grand Complication Watch

After the success of the prototype’s sale at the Only Watch auction, F.P.Journe presents the final version: Astronomic Souveraine. It is a grand complication watch in a steel case, housing 18 complications including tourbillon and minute repeater. This exceptional creation was unveiled on 14 November in Tokyo at first flagship boutique of the brand.

The Astronomic Blue, the prototype of this grand complication, developed specifically for Only Watch 2019 Charity auction, was sold for the amount of CHF 1’800’000.-, a new world record for an F.P.Journe watch.

The 18 carat rose Gold movement of the Astronomic Souveraine is totally novel and very finely decorated. The white Gold dial, whose sub-dials are embellished with clou de Paris decoration, and the moon phases, with a hyper realistic moon that was traced from a NASA photograph.

At 3, there is the mean time (or civil time) dial, with a blue hand indicating a second time zone. At 9, there is the sidereal time dial, which allows the observation of the stars. Next to it, the mean time seconds are shown on a disc. Between the two are the central minutes and the power reserve indication, which remains optimal up to 40 h. Above all this is a blue aperture showing the sunrise and sunset. Here, metal shutters lengthen or shorten the days.

On the reverse there is the equation of time and a full annual calendar encircled by the signs of the zodiac. It is on this side that the dance of the tourbillon may be admired. In all, this watch, which also strikes the hours, the quarters and the minutes, possesses 18 functions and complications.

It is made up of 758 components, in addition to the case. However, the case is no larger than 44 mm in diameter and 13.80 mm thick. Only a very few pieces of the Astronomic Souveraine will be produced each year.

Technical Specifications

Movement
Calibre 1619
Manual winding (34 turns of crown)
In 18K rose Gold
Power reserve: 40h

Dimensions of the Movement
Overall diameter: 37.00mm
Cased-up diameter: 36.40mm
Height movement: 10.75mm
Height of winding stem: 4.59mm
Diameter of stem thread: S1.20mm

Balance
Balance with 4 inertia weights
Breguet Anachron spring
Pinned stud
Free sprung
Nivatronic laser-welded to collet
Pinned Geneva stud
Frequency: 21,600 V/H, (3Hz)
Inertia: 11.00 mg*cm2
Angle of lift: 52°
Amplitude: 0h dial up: > 260°/ 24h vertical: > 260°

Main Characteristics
Tourbillon with remontoir d’égalité
Minute repeater
Sidereal hours and minutes
2nd time zone
Moon phases
Annual calendar
Equation of time
Sunrise and sunset
Natural dead-beat second
All settings via the crown

Indications
Front: Hours and 2nd time zone at 3
Minutes in the centre
Sunrise and sunset at 12
Sidereal hours and minutes at 9
Power reserve at 6
Moon phases at 5
Second on disc at 7

Back
Equation of time in the center
Annual calendar at 10

Escapement
15 teeth escape wheel
90° Anchor fork

Decorations
Circular waves on bridges
Partly circular grained baseplate
Polished screw heads and chamfered slots
Pegs with polished rounded ends

Case
Steel
Diameter: 44.00mm
Total height: 13.80mm

Number of parts
Movement without dial: 758
Cased on leather strap: 817
Jewels: 68

F.P.Journe Astronomic Blue Prototype Unique Piece for Only Watch 2019

To support the Only Watch 2019 charity auction, F.P.Journe donates a unique prototype of its proposed Astronomic grand complication watch. The unique movement, the unique blue chrome dial and its unique case in Tantalum makes the F.P.Journe Astronomic Blue a masterpiece horological creation.

This grand complication watch incorporates 18 complications including tourbillon, minute repeater, equation of time, sidereal time, sunrise and sunset, moon phases, 2nd time-zone and annual calendar.

Technical details

Case
Case in Tantalum, unique piece developed exclusively for Only Watch
Diameter: 44 mm / Thickness: 13.75 mm

Dial
Blue chrome dial, unique example developed exclusively for Only Watch, with Silver parts.

Indications
Front side: Hours, minutes and seconds of average time, 2nd time zone, Hours and minutes of sidereal time, Sunrise and sunset, Day and night indication, Moon phases and Power reserve
Back side: Annual calendar and Equation of time

Movement
Exclusive manual winding prototype calibre 1619 in 18K rose gold.
Double barrel, minute repeater, tourbillon with « Remontoir d’égalité » performing a complete rotation in 60 seconds, dead-beat second.
Functions and complications: 18

Bracelet
Orange Alligator strap

Estimate
CHF 300,000 – 600,000
EUR 270,000 – 539,000
USD 300,000 – 600,000

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Only Watch 2019 Unique Piece in Steel, Reference 6300A-010

To support Only Watch 2019 Charity auction, Patek Philippe has created a steel version of its Grandmaster Chime watch.

Exclusively presented for Only Watch 2019 and bearing reference number 6300A-010, this unique timepiece is the one and only Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime made in stainless steel.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010, Unique Piece for Only Watch 2019

The Grandmaster Chime is the first Patek Philippe grande-sonnerie wristwatch ever added to the company’s current collection.

The grand complication Ref. 6300A-010 unites accomplishment and elegance in this new and unique stainless steel version boasting two dials in rose gold and black ebony. The reversible case, adorned with a guilloched hobnail pattern, is notable for its patented reversing mechanism.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010, Unique Piece for Only Watch 2019

This exceptional grand complication features 20 complications in its stainless steel case, including no fewer than five chiming modes, two of which are patented world firsts: an acoustic alarm that strikes the preselected time and a date repeater sounding the date on demand.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010, Unique Piece for Only Watch 2019

The shine of steel, rarely used with a Patek Philippe Grand Complication, is particularly striking when combined with the hand-guilloched hobnail pattern which perpetuates the tradition of rare handcrafts.

The special words “The Only One”, which appear at 12 o’clock on the auxiliary dial, further enhance the exclusive value of this unique timepiece.

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010, Unique Piece for Only Watch 2019

Case
Stainless steel, Reversible case with guilloched hobnail pattern, Humidity and dust protected only (not water resistant).
Diameter: 47.7mm
Thickness: 16.07mm

Dial
18K solid gold dial plates. Time side: rose gold, gold applied Breguet numerals, hand-guilloched hobnail center, « The Only One » inscription in the alarm sub-dial Calendar side: black ebony.

Movement
Manually wound mechanical movement. Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM. Strikework isolator indicator. Second time zone. Second time zone day/night indicator. Day, date (on both dials), month, leap-year cycle by hands. Four-digit year display in an aperture. 24-hour and minute subdial. Crown position indication (R,A,H).

Bracelet
Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black. Fold-over clasp.

Specificities
The one and only Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime made in stainless steel

Estimate
CHF 2,500,000 – 3,000,000
EUR 2,000,000 – 2,700,000
USD 2,500,000 – 3,000,000

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-010, New White Gold Version with Blue Opaline Dials

Flagship of the commemorative pieces presented on the occasion of the manufacture’s 175th anniversary in 2014, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime (reference 5175) entered the regular collection in 2016.

Presented at the Basel-world 2016 exhibition, the Grandmaster Chime Reference 6300 was endowed with a white-gold case and black and white dials. Its timeless style now extends to a new white-gold version with two elegant blue opaline dials.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-010, New White Gold Version with Blue Opaline Dials

The first Patek Philippe wristwatch with grande and petite sonnerie, this double-face reversible model also stands out as the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch in regular production.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-010, New White Gold Version with Blue Opaline Dials

Its 20 complications include five chiming modes, including two patented world firsts: an acoustic alarm that strikes the preselected time and a date repeater sounding the date on demand.

The case, adorned with a hand-guilloched hobnail pattern, is notable for its patented reversing mechanism enabling the watch to be worn with either dial on view.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-010, New White Gold Version with Blue Opaline Dials

The front side, with its center decorated with a hand-guilloched hobnail motif, displays the on/off indications for the acoustic functions, together with civil time, a second time zone, the moon phases, the date, and the power-reserve indicators for the movement and the strikework.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-010, New White Gold Version with Blue Opaline Dials

The reverse side is devoted to the perpetual calendar, with a central four-digit year display surrounded by four subsidiary dials (analog date, leap-year cycle, day, month and 24-hour indicator).

Between the two 18K gold dials beats the caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM manually wound movement comprising 1,366 parts.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Movement Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM

The drive energy is stored in two double barrels, one for the movement, the other for the strikework. Isolator mechanisms make the watch easy to use and exclude all risk of damage from accidental mishandling.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Movement Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM

The new Ref. 6300G-010 with blue dials replaces the previous version in white gold with black and white dials.

It is accompanied by white gold cuff links with blue opaline centers, decorated with a hand-guilloched hobnail pattern.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Cufflinks

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-010, New White Gold Version with Blue Opaline Dials

Movement
Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM
Manual winding
Grande and petite sonnerie
Minute repeater with classic gongs
Strikework mode display (S G P)
Alarm with time strike
Alarm on/off indication
Date repeater
Movement and strikework power reserve indication
Strikework isolator indication
Second time zone
Second time zone day/night indication
Instantaneous perpetual calendar
Day, date (on both dials), month, leap-year cycle by hands
Four-digit year display in an aperture
Moon phases
24-hour and minute subdial
Crown position indication (R A H)
Diameter: 37 mm
Height: 10.70 mm
Number of parts: 1366
Frequency: 25,200 semi-oscillations/hour (3.5 Hz)
Power reserve: movement: 72 hours; strikework: 30 hours

Displays
Hour hand
Second time zone hour hand
Minute hand

Subsidiary dials:
– 24-hour and minute indication
– Alarm with time strike
– Movement power reserve
– Strikework power reserve
– Strikework mode indication S G P (silence/grande sonnerie/petite sonnerie)
– Crown position indication R A H (winding [R], alarm [A], time setting [H])
– Date (on both dials)
– Day of the week
– Month
– Leap year cycle
Apertures:
– Second time zone day/night indication
– Moon phases
– Alarm on/off indication
– Strikework isolator indication
– Four-digit year display

Pushers
Minute repeater on demand
Date repeater
Alarm “on”
Adjustment of second time zone (press once = +1 hour)
Adjustment of second time zone (press once = -1 hour)

Correctors
Date correction
Day-of-week correction
Month correction
Chime selection (S G P)
Year correction (press once = +1 year)
Year correction (press once = -1 year)
Moon-phase correction

Three-position crown:
1. Winding the movement (clockwise)
Winding the strikework (counterclockwise)
2. Alarm time setting and alarm “off”
3. Setting the time

Dials
Time side: blue opaline, gold applied Breguet numerals, hand-guilloched hobnail center
Calendar side: blue opaline
18K solid gold dial plates
White gold pear-shaped hands

Case
White gold
Reversible case adorned with handguilloched hobnail pattern
Diameter: 47.7 mm
Height: 16.07 mm
Humidity- and dust-protected only (not water-resistant)

Strap
Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny navy blue
Fold-over clasp

Cuff Links
Blue opaline center adorned with hand guilloched hobnail pattern
White gold
Delivered with the watch

Previous Model

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Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious (Twin Triple Axis Sequential High-Speed Tourbillon, Minute Repeater and Mono Push Chronograph) Baguette Version

Last year, Jacob & Co. turned watchmaking on its ear by introducing the Twin Turbo Furious, a grand complication that combined of a twin accelerated triple axis sequential tourbillon, a minute repeater and a mono-pusher chronograph.

To take the Twin Turbo Furious, Jacob & Co. has done what comes naturally to the brand – add baguette gems to this spectacular timepiece. The case of this timepiece is in 18K White Gold and is set with 344 Baguette Diamonds (~16.7cts). Even the clasp of this timepiece is set with 22 Baguette Diamonds (~1.4cts).

Jacob & Co.’s Twin Turbo Furious, which was three years in development, sets itself apart from this distinguished lot, incorporating two accelerated triple axis sequential tourbillon into its striking design. The tourbillons fly their courses at a rhythm of one rotation in 24 seconds on the first axis, in eight seconds on the second, and in 30 seconds on the third. The tourbillon cages housing the regulating organs sweep over all the positions in half a minute and compensates the effects of gravity on the chronometric precision of the movement.

The benefit of the connection between the two tourbillon cages is to stabilize the entire system. In case of impact, if either one of the two tourbillons were to be affected by the shock, the other would instantly compensate the potential discrepancy and maintain the movement’s perfect accuracy.

Minute repeaters are also the most difficult complication for watchmakers to conceive. Nevertheless, Jacob & Co. sought to push the boundaries of what was considered technically feasible when bringing the Twin Turbo Furious to life. In order to simplify the aural indication of time, the Twin Turbo Furious chimes every ten minutes, a so-called decimal repeater that is very rare in high watchmaking.

The power reserve is displayed on the dial side at 6 o’clock. Thanks to an ingenious planetary system comprising a differential gear mechanism; the hand points to a full power reserve on the left, then moves to the right as the 50 hours of reserve winds down. The watch is wound up through the crank placed on the crown at 3 o’clock.

With the Twin Turbo Furious, Jacob & Co. goes even further by adding a very specific chronograph function. Embodying the Swiss House’s determination to always seek new solutions or to create never-before-seen functions, the Twin Turbo Furious is equipped with a “reference time” indicator. The reference time indicator offers instant reading inspired by the timekeeping panels used in motor racing; with each lap, the panels displayed on the side of the track would tell the drivers the time difference between their time and the lap reference time.

The Twin Turbo Furious display is located in the center of the dial, which indicates the difference in seconds in comparison to a reference time.

Technical details

Movement
Caliber: Manufacture Jacob&Co. Manual Winding JCFM05
Size: 34x46mm
Height: 13.7mm
Components: 832
Material: Titanium
System: Double Triple Axis Sequential High-Speed Tourbillon:
• Internal Cage Flying: in 24 seconds
• Intermediary Cage Flying: in 8 seconds
• External Cage Flying: in 72 seconds
Regulator between the Triple Axis High-Speed Tourbillon Carriers; Patented Double Mechanical Safety℗ Feature During a Chiming Sequence; Integrated Chronograph, Horizontal Column-Wheel, Mono Push Start-StopReset
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Frequency: 21’600 vib/h (3Hz)
Jewels: 75
Finishing: Hand Angled and Polished Plate and Bridges; Flank Draw, Circular Graining; Circular Barrel and Plate; Polished Screw; Conical Pinions; 4 Mechanical Ball Bearing Devices; 2 Screw Balances

Functions
1. Hours, Minutes; Small Second Indicator at 9 O’clock
2. Mono Push Chronograph: Minute Counter at 3 o’clock, Centered Second Hand
3. Reference Time Minute and Second displayed at 6 O’clock Aperture; Reference Time Differential, displayed by Chronograph Second Hand on Dial-Trained Pit Board
4. Decimal Minute Repeater: Hours, 10 min. and minutes; 2 Hammers at 12 O’clock
5. Double Triple Axis Sequential High-Speed Tourbillon
6. Power Reserve Indicator at 6 O’clock

Case
Diameter: Dimensions: 57x52mm
Height: 17mm
Material: 1.18K Rose Gold and Carbon Fiber; 18K Rose Gold Bezel set with 154 Baguette Diamonds (~8.06cts) and 190 Baguette Rubies (~9.81cts) ( 2. White Gold; White Gold Bezel set with 344 Baguette Diamonds (~16.7cts)
1. TT800.40.BR.AA.A
2. TT800.30.BD.AA.A
Crystal: Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire Crystal
Case Back: Sapphire Crystal
Crown: 1.18K Rose Gold; 2. White Gold Crank-handle with Rubber Insert; Integrated Mono-Push Chronograph
Water resistance: 30m
External Parts: Complex shaped case, 88 components

Dial
Smoked Sapphire with “Jacob&Co.” Logo, Red Neoralithe Inner Ring with Second Graduation; Red Neoralithe Indexes with White Superluminova
Hands: 1. 18K Rose Gold; 2. White Gold; White Superluminova

Strap
Black Leather
Clasp: 1.18K Rose Gold deployment clasp set with 22 Baguette Rubies Dégradé (~1.4cts); 2. White Gold deployment clasp set with 22 Baguette Diamonds (~1.4cts).

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix

As a preview of the upcoming SIHH 2019 haute-horlogerie exhibition, Vacheron Constantin presents Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix, a one-of-a-kind twin-dial model created by the watchmakers of the Les Cabinotiers Department.

Equipped with the famous Calibre 2755, a manual wound movement dedicated to grand complications, this timepiece incorporated 15 horological complications including a minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar and equation of time.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix

The “Cabinotiers”, is the name given to the prestigious and cultivated watchmakers who worked in workshops on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings. The expertise of these accomplished masters was backed by vast scientific knowledge, fired by a curiosity for new ideas and nurtured by the philosophy of the Enlightenment. Their deft hands craft exceptional timepieces of rare technical and aesthetic complexity, inspired by astronomy, science and the arts.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix

Vacheron Constantin continues to take on these highly technical and creative challenges within its Les Cabinotiers department, which gives rise to one-of-a-kind models intended for clients and collectors, along with specifically commissioned bespoke timepieces. Engineers, designers, watchmakers and craftsmen unite their imagination, expertise and passion in bringing this extremely refined watchmaking excellence to life.

Taking its named from the legendary phoenix bird, this watch boasts 15 complications. Visible on both sides of the watch, an array of indications – including perpetual calendar, equation of time, sunrise and sunset, sky chart, seasons, signs of the zodiac, age and phase of the moon, solstices, sidereal hours and minutes, power – endow it with nobility and prestige.

A minute repeater and a tourbillon complete this exceptional list of functions. The watchmakers of the Les Cabinotiers department have succeeded in accommodating all these functions within the limited space of the case by maximum miniaturisation of all components, while preserving their reliability.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix

The numerals and hands stand out clearly against the slate-grey colour of the two dials on either side of the watch, beautifully offsetting the pink gold case. The optimal legibility of this complex model is also ensured by the layout of the additional counters and the various time indications.

The Calibre 2755 powering this extremely complicated watch is movement endowed with a 58-hour power reserve.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix

Epitomising a subtle balance between innovation and the transmission of ancestral skills, this exceptional model also pays tribute to a pair of engraving art techniques that few artisans still master: pounced ornament – or bas-relief – for the case-band; and fine line engraving for the bezel and case-back.

Given the extreme care lavished on details that constitutes a Vacheron Constantin signature, the wings of the legendary Phoenix bird appear to be literally ready to unfurl on the case-band, while the movement of its slim neck extends elegantly and gracefully to the very tip of its beak.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix
Reference: 9700C/003R-B187 – Hallmark of Geneva

Movement
Caliber 2755
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin – Mechanical, manual-winding – 33.9 mm diameter,
12.15 mm thick – Approximately 58 hours of power reserve – 2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour) – 839 components
40 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes, Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage

15 complications:
1. Minute repeater
2. Tourbillon
3-6. Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year)
7. Power reserve
8. Equation of time
9. Sunrise time
10. Sunset time
11. Sky chart
12. Age and phases of the moon
13. Sidereal hours and minutes
14. Seasons, zodiac signs
15. Striking mechanism torque

Setting
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions) – Moon phase adjustment: correction push-piece on the case – Perpetual calendar adjustment: two correction push-pieces on the case – Sky chart adjustment: with crown and screwed-down push-piece

Case
18K 5N pink gold with case-band hand-engraved with “Phoenix” sculpture, bezel and case back handengraved with an ornamental pattern – 47 mm diameter, 19.10 mm thick

Dials
(Face & back side) Slate-grey opaline dials – 18K 5N pink gold applied hour-markers – 18K 5N pink gold hands

Strap
Dark brown Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-fnish, large square scales

Buckle
18K 5N pink gold folding clasp and buckle hand-engraved with an ornamental pattern
Half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Prestige winder box made of Makassar ebony wood

Accessories
Delivered with a corrector pen, a magnifying glass

Edition
Unique timepiece, « Les Cabinotiers », « Pièce unique », « AC » hallmark engraved on caseback

Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture Limited Edition

Swiss luxury watch manufacture Frederique Constant celebrates its 30 years anniversary, by launching a limited edition Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture timepiece with the new automatic FC-975 in-house movement.

In 2004, Frederique Constant introduced – after three years of research and development- the first in-house patented manufacture movement: the award-winning Heart Beat Manufacture Caliber. Four years later, the brand unveiled its first in-house manufacture Tourbillon based on the Heart Beat Manufacture. In 2016, Frederique Constant created another grand complication: the manufacture Perpetual Calendar. In honor of the brand’s 30 years anniversary, the Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture represents the outcome of all the knowhow the Brand gathered during the development of its in-house manufacture movements resulting in this grand complication.

This grand complication bears simultaneously: a silicium escapement wheel and anchor, a smart weight balance wheel, and a Tourbillon cage. These timepieces are impressive in horological terms as the Tourbillon has been developed in an industrialized process to the last detail. It’s the accumulation of watchmaking knowledge over the years which allowed this timepiece to emerge. The Perpetual Calendar Manufacture Tourbillon guarantees an exceptional level of performance and the highest standards of craftsmanship distinguished by the features mentioned above.

Innovative techniques overcame the obstacles of using traditional escapement wheels and anchor with the use of materials such as silicium. It benefits the mechanism of the Tourbillon, enabling good friction properties and a gain in efficiency for the energy required in the caliber. This type of material is light, durable, antimagnetic and extremely resistant to temperature changes and achieves a remarkable progress in precision. The friction property is so high that the oil becomes irrelevant. As the escapement wheel activates the “ticking of the watch” and controls the release of energy stored in the mainspring. A lighter escapement wheel enables a reduced inertia and guarantees a greater reliability and accuracy. This ensures an increase of chronometric results over time.

Frederique Constant patented the perfectly balanced cage composed of 80 components all produced with a precision of 1-2 micron (0.001-0.002 mm) by the CNC machine in the Manufacture’s ateliers. In order to achieve the highest degree of precision, small weights are added in the Tourbillon’s cage to obtain a perfect balance. When the Tourbillon is constructed, the balance in the cage is slightly unequal, as the escapement wheel and anchor are decentered. Frederique Constant added a “smart screw” system on the outer edge of the Tourbillon to equalize the weight and deliver a perfect balance in the cage. This results in a more stable amplitude and rate.

Frederique Constant’s Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon mechanism holds a 38 hours power reserve, while running at 4 Hertz with its balance wheel beating 28’800 times per hour. The Tourbillon consists of a mobile cage, driven by a gear train carrying the balance wheel and its escapement. At each impulse received by the balance wheel, the cage rotates slightly with all the components. The gear train moves forward 691,200 times in four years which represents over one billion impulses. This is in high contrast with the Perpetual Calendar system of our movement, which has a wheel turning only once in the same period of four years.

The tourbillon’s cage sits resplendently in an aperture on the dial visible at 6 o’clock, with its incorporated seconds hand that rotates once per minute. Each cage is sequentially numbered on the top plate in the center of the cage, matching the limited edition number on the case. This combination showcases the limited edition of 88 pieces for the stainless steel version and 30 pieces for the 18k rose gold case and displays a unique timepiece number for each collector. The limited 30 pieces edition reflects on the 30 years of the manufacture’s history.

The timepieces range are presented in a substantial 42mm diameter 3 part case, available either in polished stainless steel, in 18k rose gold plated stainless steel or in 18k rose gold with a see through case back. The Swiss-made calibers include 33 jewels and the movements are protected by a 5 ATM case for the stainless steel versions and a 3 ATM case for the 18k gold cases. Two of the timepieces display a breathtaking skeleton silver color dial which boast the aesthetic of a bold design with printed roman numerals.

The watch owner can glance at the elegant perlage hand decorated components of the Perpetual Calendar through the skeleton dial. To complete the look of these timepieces, they bear a brown alligator strap with the rose gold plated stainless steel 3 part case or in a polished stainless steel case with a black alligator strap. The sapphire see-through case back allows the watch owner to admire the delicate Côtes de Genève decoration.

The other two versions display a very clean and refined silver colored dial, with Clous de Paris guilloché decorations and printed Roman numerals. These magnificent timepieces are available in 18k rose gold plated and stainless steel case with a brown alligator strap or in a polished stainless steel case with a black alligator strap.

Technical details

QP Tourbillon Manufacture

Movement
FC-975 Manufacture caliber, automatic tourbillon &perpetual calendar
Perlage &Côtes de Genève decoration on movement
33 jewels, 38 hours power reserve, 28’800 alt/h
Silicium escapement wheel and anchor

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year

Versions

QP Tourbillon Manufacture, Reference: FC-975MC4H6

Polished stainless steel 3-parts case
Diameter of 42mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5ATM
Silvered color dial, Clous de Paris guilloché decoration, with printed roman numeral indexes
Hand polished black hands
Black alligator strap
Limited edition: 88pcs
Price: 19’495 CHF/ 19’495 EUR/19’995 USD

QP Tourbillon Manufacture, Reference: FC-975MC4H4

Rose gold plated polished stainless steel 3-parts case
Diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5ATM
Silvered color dial, Clous de Paris guilloché decoration, with printed roman numeral indexes
Hand polished black hands
Brown alligator strap
Limited edition: 88pcs
Price: 19’995 CHF/ 19’995 EUR/22’995 USD

QP Tourbillon Manufacture, Reference: FC-975S4H6

Polished stainless steel 3-parts case
Diameter of 42mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5ATM
Skeleton silvered color dial
Hand polished black hands
Black alligator strap
Limited edition: 88pcs
Price: 20’995 CHF/ 20’995 EUR/19’995 USD

QP Tourbillon Manufacture, Reference: FC-975S4H9

18K Rose gold polished 3-parts case
Diameter of 42mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 3ATM
Skeleton silvered color dial
Hand polished black hands
Brown alligator strap
Limited edition: 30pcs
Price: 29’995 CHF/ 29’995 EUR/32’995 USD

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Watch – New Black and White Ceramic Models

Presented at SIHH 2018, the new 44mm Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication watch models feature ceramic push-pieces and crowns, push-piece guards, cases, and case-backs for a high tech metal look.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Watch – New Black Ceramic Model

Black ceramic is reinforced with yttrium oxide, making it seven times harder than steel. White ceramic on the other hand is reinforced with aluminium oxide which gives it a high gloss finish and makes it even harder than black ceramic and nine times harder than steel.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Watch – New White Ceramic Model

Equipped with the Manufacture Calibre 2885 automatic movement, this grand complication watch incorporates Minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and split-seconds chronograph.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Watch – New Black Ceramic Model

The new ceramic editions of the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication watch come fitted with black or white rubber strap with titanium pin buckle.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Watch – New White Ceramic ModelTechnical details

Model: Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication

Movement
Self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2885
Total diameter 31.60mm (14 lignes)
Total thickness 8.55mm
Number of jewels 52
Number of parts 648
Minimal guaranteed power reserve 45h
Frequency of balance wheel 2.75Hz (=19,800 vibrations/hour)

Functions
Minute repeater, perpetual calendar, chronograph, split-seconds chronograph

Reference: 26582CB.OO.A010CA.01
– Case: White ceramic case, 44mm, glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback, white ceramic and titanium push-pieces and crown, white ceramic push-piece guards, water-resistant to 20m
– Dial: Sapphire dial, white counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands, silver-toned inner bezel
– Bracelet: White rubber strap with titanium pin buckle

Reference: 26582CE.OO.A002CA.01
– Case: Black ceramic case, 44mm, glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback, black ceramic and titanium push-pieces and crown, black ceramic push-piece guards, water-resistant to 20m
– Dial: Sapphire dial, black counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands, black inner bezel
– Bracelet: Black rubber strap with titanium pin buckle

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Collection – Grande Complication “Ornementale” & Grande Complication “Crocodile”

In January 2018 at SIHH haute-horlogerie exhibition, Vacheron Constantin unveiled two one-of-a-kind grand complication timepieces – “Ornementale” and “Crocodile” – from their prestigious Les Cabinotiers Collection of highly exclusive mechanical timepieces that house multiple horological complications allied with artistic crafts.

A feat of miniaturisation and handcrafted excellence epitomised in two manual-winding calibres respectively driving 16 and 15 complications displayed between front and back dials, framed by a hand-chased gold case.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »

The twin dials of the Grande Complication “Ornementale” and Grande Complication “Crocodile” are adorned with deep shades of aubergine and slate grey, while their cases are respectively engraved with ornamental “Victorian” and crocodile patterns. An elegant alligator leather strap secured by a pin buckle likewise engraved according to the given theme sets the finishing touch to these prestigious watches, presented in a luxurious Makassar ebony wood winder box.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale »
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale »

The manual-winding calibres of these two one-of-a-kind models respectively drive 16 and 15 complications, mostly astronomical. In addition to the hours and minutes, the first (front) dial displays 11 other functions: minute repeater, equation of time, tourbillon, perpetual calendar indicating the date, day of the week, month and leap years, power reserve, as well as sunrise and sunset times.

Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication “Ornementale” also bears an indicator of striking mechanism torque (the power reserve of the minute repeater). The second (back) dial features an array of fascinating astronomical complications: sky chart, equinox and solstice, sidereal hours and minutes, age and phases of the moon, as well as seasons and zodiac signs.

These two new creations are inspired by the famous Tour de l’Île by Vacheron Constantin, paying tribute to 250 years of watchmaking expertise cultivated by the Geneva-based Manufacture.

Launched in 2005, the Tour de l’Île is one of the world’s most complicated wristwatches ever manufactured. The two new masterpieces once again showcase Vacheron Constantin’s expertise in combining a wealth of complications within a small space and magnifying them by remarkable Artistic Crafts.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »

On the front, the various major complications are displayed with exemplary clarity and distinction. The minute repeater striking the hours, quarters and minutes on demand is equipped with an ingenious centripetal flywheel strike governor. Perfectly silent and preventing undue wear of the mechanism, it regulates the duration of the musical sequence in order to ensure melodious and distinctly audible notes.

The tourbillon is equipped with a carriage shaped like the Maltese cross emblem of the Maison. The tourbillon rotates at a rate of one complete turn per minute, making light of gravity in order to improve the movement’s precision and also serving as a small seconds display. Meanwhile, the perpetual calendar is capable of keeping up with the complexities of the Gregorian calendar without any need for human intervention other than a date change every 400 years.

On the back of the watch, the second dial is also graced with a wealth of functions, arranged on two levels. The central disc bears a sky chart as well as the four cardinal points. Two North and South openings reveal the month of the year and sidereal hours, corresponding to “true” time.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale »
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale »

A small hand running around the rim shows the age of the moon, meaning the number of days since the last full moon; while a long slender hand featuring a counterweight adorned with a tiny sun indicates the date as well as the zodiac sign, the season and the corresponding equinox or solstice.

Incorporating the equation of time mechanism into a watch for measuring the difference in minutes between solar time and standard legal time, requires considerable expertise. Setting the finishing touch to this first dial, a “customised complication” displays sunset and sunrise times, adjustable according to the reference city chosen by the client.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »

Among the most complex movements ever made by Vacheron Constantin, these two calibres – comprising 839 parts for the Grande Complication “Ornementale” and 836 for the Grande Complication “Crocodile” – endowed with a 58-hour power reserve measure just 33.90 mm in diameter and 12.15 thick.

Entirely developed and manufactured in-house, these calibres are housed in a 47 mm-diameter gold case whose characteristics are specifically designed to ensure the best possible sound quality of the minute repeater. In addition, each of the components, finely adjusted and harmonised to guarantee optimal performance, is distinguished by meticulous hand-crafted finishing.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale »

This exceptional timepiece displays its multiple functions on two gold dials crafted in an elegant aubergine purple shade with a sunray satin-finish. The front dial is graced with applied hour-markers, Dauphine-type hands and finely snailed counters, suffused with the radiance of the finely crafted white gold case.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale »

The bezel, caseband, lugs and pin buckle are adorned with an ornamental pattern inspired by 19th century Victorian architecture.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Ornementale » watch

Reflecting the traditional skills cultivated by the Maison, this miniature sculpture represents a feat of dexterity and meticulous care, combining pounced ornament and bas-relief techniques with various types of fine line engraving.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Ornementale
Reference 80175/000G-B280 Hallmark of Geneva

Movement
Caliber Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm (14’’’ ¾) diameter
12.15 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
839 components
42 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes
Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
16 complications:
1. Minute repeater
2. Tourbillon
3-7 Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year)
8. Power reserve
9. Equation of time
10. Sunrise time
11. Sunset time
12. Sky chart
13. Age and phases of the moon
14. Sidereal hours and minutes
15. Seasons, zodiac signs
16. Striking mechanism torque

Setting
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)
Moon phase adjustment: correction push-piece on the case
Perpetual calendar adjustment: two correction push-pieces on the case
Sky chart adjustment: with crown and screwed-down push-piece

Case
18K white gold with bezel, case band, and back-side hand-engraved with an ornamental “Victorian” pattern
47 mm diameter, 19.10 mm thick

Dials (face & back side) 
18K white gold, eggplant sunray satin-finished
18K white gold applied hour-markers
18K white gold hands

Strap
Dark brown Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Buckle: 18K white gold open buckle with ornamental “Victorian” pattern; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Prestige winder box made of Makassar ebony wood

Accessories
Delivered with a corrector pen, a magnifying glass

Unique timepiece
«Les Cabinotiers», « Pièce unique », « AC» hallmark engraved on caseback

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile »

This timepiece radiates charisma in a case adorned with two crocodiles and scales in varying sizes. Portraying the reptiles in relief, sculpted from a single block of metal using the pounced ornament technique and various types of fine line engraving (matt, sandblasted, brushed and polished) involves carefully controlled operations requiring virtuoso skill.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile » watch

The finesse of the work on the scales dotted across the bezel, lugs and caseback instil vibrant life, light and contrasts into this miniature masterpiece, born under the expert touch of an experienced master engraver.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication « Crocodile » watch

This pink gold workmanship makes a perfect match with the understated elegance of the two slate-coloured dials on the front and back of the watch. This eminently legible and refined display is enhanced on the front with pink gold applied hour-markers, leaf-shaped hands and finely snailed counters.

Engraved with the inscriptions “Pièce Unique”, “Les Cabinotiers”, and bearing the “AC” (Atelier Cabinotiers) hallmark engraved on the caseback, Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication “Ornementale” et “Crocodile” watches are fitted with a Mississippiensis alligator strap secured by a hand-engraved buckle and presented in an opulent Makassar ebony wood winder box, complete with a corrector pen and a magnifying glass.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Crocodile
Reference 9700C/001R-B187
Hallmark of Geneva

Movement
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm (14’’’ ¾) diameter
12.15 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
836 components
42 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes
Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
15 complications:
1. Minute repeater
2. Tourbillon
3-7. Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year)
8. Power reserve
9. Equation of time
10. Sunrise time
11. Sunset time
12. Sky chart
13. Age and phases of the moon
14. Sidereal hours and minutes
15. Seasons, zodiac signs

Setting
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)
Moon phase adjustment: correction push-piece on the case
Perpetual calendar adjustment: two correction push-pieces on the case
Sky chart adjustment: with crown and screwed-down push-piece

Case
18K 5N pink gold with crocodile pattern hand engraved on the case band
47 mm diameter, 19.10 mm thick

Dials (face & back side)
18K 5N pink gold, Slate-colored, opaline
18K 5N pink gold applied hour-markers
18K 5N pink gold hands

Strap
Dark brown Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Buckle: 18K 5N pink gold open buckle with “crocodile pattern”; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Prestige winder box made of Makassar ebony wood

Accessories
Delivered with a corrector pen, a magnifying glass

Unique timepiece
«Les Cabinotiers», « Pièce unique », « AC» hallmark engraved on caseback

Patek Philippe Grand Complication in Platinum, Reference 5316P-001

Patek Philippe presents a redesigned version of its famous Grand Complication with a minute repeater, a tourbillon, and a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date. It sports a new platinum case with a two-tier bezel and lugs as well as a black enamel dial with an aperture for the enamel lunar disk.

The movement powering this grand complication timepiece is Caliber R TO 27 PS QR. The aperture at 12 o’ clock displays  leap year. The windows at 3 o’ clock and 9 o’ clock respectively indicate month and day of the week.  The retrograde date is indicated by an unusual hand with a diamond-shaped tip.

The sub-dial at 6 o’ clock incorporates small seconds function and moon phases. It also spotlights the inscription “TOURBILLON” to indicate the presence of one of the most spectacular horological complications. The minute repeater can be activated by a slide piece.

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Grand Complication in Platinum, Reference 5316P-001

Movement
Manually wound mechanical movement
Caliber R TO 27 PS QR
Third wheel in gold
Height: 8.61 mm
Jewels: 28
Bridges: 13
Balance: Gyromax®
Vibrations/hour: 21 600 (3 Hz)
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal

Functions
Minute repeater
Tourbillon
Chime with two gongs activated by a slide piece in the case
Perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand
Day, month, leap year in apertures
Moon phases
Seconds subdial

Dial
Black enamel dial, gold applied hour markers
18K gold dial plate

Case
Material: Platinum
Case is humidity and dust protected only (not water resistant)
Case diameter: 40.2 mm
Interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back

Strap
Alligator strap with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, fold-over clasp

HYSEK Colossal

Hysek launches “Colossal”, a 100% in-house Grande Complication piece, of which only eight are being made – a perpetual calendar in which every display uses a roller. This Superlative Grande Complication from Hysek boasts over 1,000 components, took three years to develop, and is protected by several patent applications.

Colossal, the most ambitious undertaken by the manufacture in over ten years, is celebrating the Maison’s twentieth anniversary in style – as well as commemorating the tenth anniversary of one of Hysek’s original creations, the Colosso.

Unveiled at Baselworld 2017, the Colossal embodies a disruptive watchmaking vision, bringing together three concepts much beloved of Hysek: Jumping Hours, a Jumping Perpetual Calendar, and a three-dimensional Moon Phase. Together, they bring to life one of the most complex vertical linear displays ever constructed offering one of the most readable Perpetual Calendars around.

Linear displays – especially ones involving a jumping mechanism – are little short of impossible, technically speaking. The main difficulty with displaying hours and minutes has been that of transposing a flat display to the roller-based system. Simply put, this involves transitioning from a circular display using flat gears to a linear display using vertical gears.

One that barrier had been overcome, Hysek then set out to resolve one of the most insidious challenges with roller displays: the shift from 23:59 to 00:00. Logically speaking, the hour unit roller (the “3” in 23:59) should continue on its course to display a 4; but that would end up displaying the non-existent time of 24:00, inevitably followed by 25:00, and so on.

To prevent that, Hysek has developed an exclusive system that is a world first. A few minutes before midnight, the roller discreetly moves backwards from “3” to “9”, so that it can then jump, appropriately enough, to “0” – such that midnight is properly displayed. As the midnight hour approaches, a veritable mechanical ballet worthy of an automaton takes the stage. Arms, levers, and gears move into position so that the two hour discs roll into place simultaneously at midnight, in complete unison.  The spectacular jump is the final outcome of a mechanical process that begins much earlier, ensuring that the show at midnight is perfectly coordinated – and goes off without a hitch. A patent has been filed for the reverse-and-forward roller system.

Occupying as it does a central place in the Colossal’s WH80 caliber, the Moon Phase could hardly content itself with being traditional when all the surrounding complications were so innovative, and indeed developed specifically for this piece.  In this display, the Moon itself is fixed, and encompassed by a cupola in constant rotation. The result is a display comprising two parts: the Moon in the middle and a dome above it. As this dome revolves, it gradually reveals the different phases of the moon. The cupola completes a complete 360° rotation in 29.5 days, with all the regularity of the actual lunar cycle.

This design posed a twofold problem. The first aspect involved actually inventing a Moon Phase of this type in the first place; no such complication had ever been devised. The other aspect of the problem was that the complication does not simply involve a rotating disc but an entire dome. As a result, a suitable ceramic ball bearing system had to be developed.

Colossal also features three other complications: a dual time zone, a power reserve, and a seasonal day-night indicator. Hysek has clad the essential hours, minutes, and calendar complications in black, whilst the other complications are rhodium-plated.  The GMT display takes the form of a disc placed atop the seasonal roller, powered by the vertical shaft on which the roller rotates. This solution saves a considerable amount of space, and is right in keeping with the Colossal’s style codes – without adding any particular mechanical complexity. The GMT complication is exactly the same diameter as the roller, as though the two worked in tandem, whereas in fact they are technically separate.

The power reserve and seasonal day-night indicator are displayed on the side of the watch, through two sapphire crystal windows. This side display is a legacy feature of the Colosso that Hysek is proudly using once again, giving it a new, creative, and more technical lease of life. The display in question also enhances the Colossal’s three-dimensional aspect.

The Colossal is regulated by a flying tourbillon, not least for its aesthetic qualities. The tourbillon cage is assembled on ceramic ball bearings.  For optimum comfort, Hysek has chosen an automatic winding mechanism, featuring a micro-rotor made of platinum. This material is both rare and precious – as well as offering an excellent moment of inertia for its size. In addition, two barrels, arranged side by side, work in parallel, providing a 42-hour power reserve. Winding and unwinding at the same time, they deliver sufficient power to trigger all the functions – especially important when various rollers have to jump forward at the same time.

Technical details

Movement
Hysek HW80 caliber
Patent: CH00375/16
Automatic, mechanical movement
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Hysek Titanium balance wheel
Balance spring: PE4000 alloy
Platinum micro-rotor, offset and decorated by hot-wire cutting
Twin barrels
Autonomy: 45 +/- 3 hours
1080 components
186 jewels
61 bridges
7 ceramic ball bearings

Functions
Roller retrograde jumping hours
Sweeping minutes
Perpetual Calendar with day, date, and month displayed on 4 rollers
Leap year on a disc at 3 o’clock
“Celestial sphere”Moon Phase display
Hand-painted Moon and “celestial sphere”
Dual time zonedisc at 9 o’clock
Power reserve indicator roller at 3 o’clock
Seasonal Day-Night indicator roller at 9 o’clock
Hand-painted numerals on rollers
Rear-mounted flying tourbillon

Case
Size: L57mm x H18mm x W44mm
Material: 18K Rose gold
Arch-shaped sapphire glass with anti-reflection treatment
Sapphire crystal sides and back with anti-reflection treatment
Rotating lugs
Single-pusher crown
Water resistance: 30 metres

Availability and price
Limited edition: 8 pieces
Price: on request

Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie

Realised after eleven years of R&D and comprising 935 parts, the Grande Sonnerie is Greubel Forsey’s most complex creation to date. For their very first Grande Sonnerie, the prestigious watchmaking house founded by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey has filed two patents. Dressed in a titanium case it houses an acoustic resonance cage and eleven security functions.

This Grande Sonnerie has powerful acoustics. It is water resistant to 3 atm. It is ergonomically designed for optimum ease of use, while an exceptional repeater power reserve enables it to run for about twenty hours in “Grande Sonnerie” mode. The timepiece is equipped with a silent striking regulator and a Tourbillon 24 Secondes, all housed within the standard dimensions of a Greubel Forsey case.

The most important elements and indications (such as the tourbillon, the cathedral gongs, the striking hammers, and the power reserve and mode indicators) were incorporated with the greatest care to ensure architectural balance. The watch designers succeeded in housing the 935 parts comprising this timepiece and its exterior in a space measuring 43.5 mm in diameter and 16.13 mm high.

The movement is manually wound, but the striking mechanism features a self-winding system which provides about 20 hours of power reserve in Grande Sonnerie mode. The minute repeater and its additional striking mechanism sound the exact time on demand, down to the minute. Beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour, the movement assures a 72-hour chronometric power reserve.

This timepiece has three modes to choose from: Grande Sonnerie (which strikes the hours and the quarters in passing), Petite Sonnerie (which strikes the full hours in passing) and Silence (which does not strike in passing). The pure and rich sound of the Grande Sonnerie is enhanced by an acoustic resonance cage made from titanium. Only five to eight pieces of this timepiece will be realised a year.

BOVET 1822 Récital 20 Astérium® – 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Night Sky Annual Calendar with Astronomical Functions

In 2016, BOVET 1822 presented the Récital 18 Shooting Star®, which made headlines for its innovative time display.  The Récital 20 Astérium® seamlessly continues the tradition set by its illustrious predecessor, reprising the characteristic shaped case to present an unprecedented mechanical display that showcases the volumes and decoration of the timepiece.

Time is defined by the position of the stars in the sky. Based on this undeniable fact, the night sky was chosen to play the ‘starring’ role in this new exceptional timepiece. Faithful to the underlying principles governing complication development at BOVET 1822, this sky map was designed to be functional, precise and intuitive all at once. With this in mind, the BOVET 1822 technicians opted to map out the stars and constellations visible from the Earth on a dome of translucent blue sapphire, on which they are laser-engraved before being coated in Super-LumiNova® to create a dazzling true-to life sky. To ensure utmost realism, the highest stars in the sky are depicted at the top of the dome while the lowest stars nearer the horizon appear on the periphery of the display aperture. Yet, this unrivalled exactitude in time display would count for little had Pascal Raffy and his artisans not applied the same rigor to the mechanical precision of the timepiece. To this end, they devised a sidereal calendar.

The duration of a complete Earthly orbit (known as a sidereal year) is 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes and 9.77 seconds, or an unchanging 365.25 days. For obvious reasons, the Gregorian calendar was obliged to round down the number of days in a year to 365 and to compensate for the remaining hours by adding an extra day every four years, giving us our leap years. While the Gregorian calendar is perfect for governing our everyday lives, it differs by 0.25 days per year from sidereal reality before resynchronizing every four years. The calendars usually employed in watchmaking – perpetual or otherwise – are all based on the Gregorian calendar, and the use of such a mechanism to drive a night sky results in a significant cumulative error when reading off the time.

The night sky and the collection of sidereal indications on the Astérium® are thus governed by an annual calendar calculated on a 365.25-day cycle to reflect the real duration of one full terrestrial orbit. Thanks to this combination of display and horological exactitude, the instantaneous position of the stars in the sky is thus displayed with unrivalled precision.

While complex ingenuity went into developing the Astérium®, its mechanism and winding device are designed to be simple, intuitive and reliable, as can be seen by merely turning the timepiece over and looking through the transparent sapphire crystal covering the entire movement. It features a host of graduations linked to the astronomic indications through which a single central hand travels. This hand is driven directly by the annual calendar, and therefore performs a complete rotation once every 365.25 days.

An annual calendar (dates and months) is graduated on the case-back bezel and serves to precisely regulate the night sky. Rapidly setting the time with the crown in the intermediate position disconnects the hours and minutes hands, and enables both the position of the night sky and thus all sidereal information to be adjusted both quickly and easily. To do this, the wearer simply moves the central hand forward until it reflects the correct date before adjusting the time with the crown in its middle position. This operation takes far less time than adjusting a perpetual calendar would, and does not require a corrector. The same hand also travels along a graduation indicating the signs of the zodiac, symbolized by the constellations in front of which the sun appears throughout the year – hence the delicately hand-engraved sun that is riveted to the part of the hand that passes over this section. The seasons are also indicated further inside the timepiece, as are the solstices and equinoxes.

Returning to the front of the timepiece unveils some new additional indications. The lower left- and right-hand sections of the night sky overlook two double hemispheric indicators, while on the left, an hemispheric precision moon phase lingers above the equation of time indicator.

The duration of the true solar day – which corresponds to the exact interval of time between two passages of the sun at its zenith at an identical given point – varies throughout the year. In fact, the Earth takes exactly and consistently 23 hours and 56 minutes to rotate 360° on its own axis. But depending on the Earth’s position in its orbital ellipse, the sun will appear either earlier or later at the zenith at this identical point relative to the average 24-hour solar day.

Depending on the Earth’s position in its orbital ellipse, two periods in which the sun is late will therefore be interrupted by two periods in which the sun is early in relation to our average solar day. On the lower right-hand section of the night sky is a double hemispheric indicator positioned symmetrically opposite the moon phase and equation of time displays. This shows the power reserve and its ten days of autonomy via an internal dome that evolves beneath a fixed hour-marker. The retrograde minutes hand is positioned above it and displayed on the periphery.

In accordance with astral time, the hours pass concentrically across the night sky on a 24-hour dial that is positioned beneath the night sky and visible through the transparent sapphire. To ensure intuitive use and optimal legibility, the hours hand has been designed to execute three functions simultaneously: it indicates the time, points to the north to facilitate map-reading, and carries the elliptical window characteristic of the night sky. Following the curves of the sapphire dome, this triple hand alone symbolizes the Manufacture’s truly diverse range of skills. From its development and its many delicate hand-crafted decorative flourishes to the hi-tech virtuosity that went into its machining, the creation of this hand is a concentration of technical feats all masterfully realized by the BOVET 1822 artisans. Finally, the seconds hand is driven by the patented double face flying tourbillon.

Despite its complexity, setting this timepiece is as quick and easy as for a timepiece with a simple calendar mechanism. The same applies when determining the position of the stars in the sky. To do this, simply point the arrow of the sky map hand northwards. The ellipse opened by this sky map hand outlines the part of the sky that is visible from the wearer’s position at the moment of observation, assuming that the observer is positioned in the center of the elliptical window and enjoys a 360° view.

Whatever the field, the very essence of art lies in an artist’s ability to simplify something that is inherently complex. In this sense, BOVET 1822 watchmakers have demonstrated true artistry in the Astérium®. Once again, by building on their exceptional experience and infusing their work with cutting-edge research, they have driven back the boundaries of perfection.

A single barrel regulates the energy of the timepiece and maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel at 18,000 vph for an autonomy of 10 days. This power reserve remains entirely unaffected by the many indications and the technical intricacy of their displays. The moon phase and power reserve domes, as well as the sapphire night sky dome, are adjusted by patented variable micrometric bearing-blocks composed of ruby runners. This ingenious mechanism is extremely energy-efficient and has already proven its worth in the movement of the Récital 18 Shooting Star®.

The patented double face tourbillon which regulates the Récital 20 Astérium® is equipped with a variable inertia balance wheel. The six collets distributed along the surface of the felly help refine dynamic adjustment for even better chronometry. And once completed and adjusted, each balance wheel is carefully selected and paired with the balance-spring with which it will form the best possible pairing. Through their perfectly mastered manufacture of traditional balance wheel and balance-springs, BOVET 1822 watchmakers continue to constantly redefine the boundaries of isochronism and chronometry. The three arches on the bridge of the titanium carriage – all rounded-off and polished by hand – expertly protect the heart of the timepiece. Their design is suggestive of a Gothic vault, of a cathedral without a roof open to the universal magic of stellar mechanics.

The layout of this side of the movement follows the inclination of the bezel that characterizes this case design. The tourbillon carriage wheel and the seconds hour-marker screwed onto it are on the same level as the plate. Two levels of bridges then fan out from the center of the tourbillon carriage. The upper bridges are screwed to the bottom level by hand-polished pillars, which ensure harmonious volumes and draw the gaze. Finally, the three domes overlook the entire movement, offering a panoramic view of time and space that is both poetic and original.

The decor of the movement matches its ingenuity and innovative structure. For maximum elegance, the Manufacture’s engravers have chosen highly subtle and delicate chiseling to decorate the surface of the bridges and plate. The surface demonstrates all the finesse of graining and all the brilliance of a ‘bris de verre’ motif. This contrasts perfectly with the framework of polished angles tracing the contours of the bridges, and guarantees a clear reading of both the night sky and the sapphire rear dial, all the while affording the admiring observer a clear view of the movement’s architecture and decoration.

Only sixty Astérium® movements will be manufactured across all versions, including requests for unique pieces. Collectors can choose from red gold, white gold or platinum cases, which can be customized by the Manufacture’s artisans in a tradition that has distinguished BOVET 1822 for 195 years.

Technical details
Model: Récital 20 Astérium®
10-Day Flying Tourbillon Night Sky Annual Calendar with Astronomical Functions

Case
Type: DIMIER
Diameter: 46mm
Thickness (With Glasses): 18.3mm
Thickness (Without Glasses): 7.5-14.3mm
Gold Weight: 73.49gr (red gold) / 76.90gr white gold)
Case Material: 18K red or white gold or platinum 950/1000
Water Resistance: 30m

Patents
Display mechanism with radial guidance
Double face tourbillon

Movement
Caliber 17DM02-SKY
Type: Hand-wound
Diameter: 17’’’
Frequency: 18’000 vph
Power reserve: 10 days

Functions
Hours (24h), retrograde minutes, seconds on tourbillon, annual calendar, night sky, equation of time, precision moon phase indicator, season, solstice and equinox indicator, astrological zodiac indicator and power reserve indicator

Edition
Limited Edition of 60 movements

Bracelet
Full skin alligator
Buckle: 18K red or white gold ardillon

Warranty
5 years Warranty

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

At SIHH 2017 luxury watch fair, Vacheron Constantin has unveiled one of the most complicated mechanical wristwatches of modern era: the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600. Boasting 23 horological complications including astronomical functions, Tourbillon with three-week power reserve, solar time and running equation of time, this grand complication watch is a result of five years of development exclusively supervised by a dedicated master-watchmaker.

The unique twin-dial Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 watch combines astronomy and the watchmaking art in a celestial white gold composition. Twenty-three essentially astronomical complications appear on the front and back dials of the watch, providing a reading of time in three modes – civil, solar and sidereal – each driven by its own gear train. Embodying the height of technical sophistication, its new fully integrated 514-part caliber measures a mere 8.7 mm thick, while six barrels guarantee three full weeks of autonomy.

The Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 is a prominent model in the modern day, grand complication watches created by Vacheron Constantin. One fine example among them is the Reference 57260 – the world’s most complicated watch equipped with 57 complications created for the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture in 2015.

Featuring an all-new construction, this mechanical masterpiece follows in the eminent wake of a unique creation representing a milestone in the history of mechanical horology and laying a veritable cornerstone for new watchmaking feats by Vacheron Constantin. The one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600, which boasts 23 complications on its twin dials; provides a combined view of civil, solar and sidereal times by means of three separate gear trains.

A remarkable feat of miniaturisation and engineering, the new Vacheron Constantin Caliber 3600 – an integrated movement comprising 514-part while measuring just 8.7mm thick – controls more than 20 functions and has a three-week power reserve. It is yet another vivid demonstration of the technical expertise cultivated by the Maison in the field of astronomical complications.

Epitomising the peak of horological mastery, this unique timepiece equipped with a wealth of astronomical complications united within an incredibly small area represents an impressive sum of knowledge, calculations and fine adjustments. Its captivating functions notably feature the triple-time civil, solar and sidereal displays powered by three distinct gear trains, including a “tropical” gear train dedicated to all the solar functions.

Swept over by a pair of white gold open-tipped hands, civil (or standard) time is read off in the traditional manner on the front dial. Civil time is a universally recognised mean time based on the fictional principle that the Sun moves around the equator at a constant speed throughout the year, averaging one full turn every 24 hours. This convenient and conventional choice divides the year into 365.25 days, each day into 24 hours and each hour into 60 minutes.

True solar time is on the other hand based on the visible trajectory of the Sun in the course of the day, expressed through its hour angle measured at a given place and time. Depending on the day of the year, the difference between solar time and mean time ranges from +14 to -16 minutes, with the two exactly coinciding only four times a year. This discrepancy is due to the fact that the Earth’s orbit is elliptical (and not round); that the Sun is not in the centre of this ellipse; that the Earth does not follow this orbit at a constant speed; and lastly that the Earth’s rotation axis is tilted in relation to the plane of its orbit.

Thirdly, sidereal time is read off on the back of the watch. Technically regarded as an astronomical time scale based on the Earth’s rate of rotation measured with respect to the apparent motion of the ‘fixed’ stars as observed from a local meridian, sidereal time differs from mean time by approximately four minutes per day, meaning that 24 sidereal hours correspond to 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds of civil time. Sidereal hours and minutes are indicated in an original and refined way by means of two superimposed sapphire discs. The lower one forming the background features the celestial dome, the celestial time minute-track and the four cardinal points; while the second one placed on top bears the constellations, the projections of the equator (white circle) and the ecliptic (red circle) – the latter depicting the Sun’s annual trajectory as seen from Earth. This Lambert projection is an authentic scientific map corresponding to the constellations in the Northern Hemisphere.

To measure and display the difference between civil and solar time, this timepiece is equipped with a complex and refined equation of time mechanism. Moreover, the latter is also a ‘running’ equation of time, a kind rarely seen in wristwatches and indicating solar time by means of an additional coaxial pink gold minutes hand adorned with a cut-out sun. The equation of time is generally displayed by a hand moving across an auxiliary sector with a scale running from +14 to -16 minutes and requiring a bit of mental arithmetic to check solar time. The running equation of time is far more complex to create and enables instant readings of solar and civil times. To ensure exactitude and precision, Vacheron Constantin has adjusted it to a tropical gear train simulating the tropical year, meaning the time the Earth takes to make a full turn around the Sun and corresponding to 365.2421898 days.

This unique creation features a doubled-sided display of 23 complications. On the front, the slate grey dial reveals 15 artfully arranged complications. As well as readings of civil and solar time (running equation of time) by three coaxial hands, it also has a perpetual calendar with a precision moon phase as well as a remarkable mareoscope composed of a tide level indicator and a 3D depiction of the Earth-Moon-Sun alignment. Tides are governed by physical laws and depend on the gravitational attraction and centrifugal forces of these three heavenly bodies.

Representing a ‘memory’ of time yet to come, a perpetual calendar is able to keep track of the irregularities of the Gregorian calendar with no need for any intervention other than a date change every 400 years. It displays the day of the week, the month and the leap-year cycle through apertures, while pointing to the date with a serpentine hand.

The fascinatingly elegant precision moon-phase display requires a one-day correction only once in 122 years and is read off by means of two superimposed discs bearing a laser-engraved true image of the full moon, a day/night indication and the age of the moon – meaning the number of days elapsed since the last full moon. These precious functions are complemented by sunrise and sunset times, pointed two by slim hands moving over two graduated scales, as well as the length of day and night appearing on a special gauge at 6 o’clock. This set of complications that occur but rarely in the Fine Watchmaking sky is further enriched by other captivating indications arranged in a semi-circle: zodiacal signs, seasons, solstices and equinoxes. Solstices – at which the day is at minimum or maximum length – occur twice a year in summer and winter; whereas equinoxes – when day and night are of equal length – correspond to the start of spring and autumn.

On the back of the watch, a second dial is also brimming with worthwhile astronomical functions. Composed of two superimposed sapphire discs, it is distinguished by its limpid, airy design as well as the originality of its translucent celestial chart for which a patent has been filed. In the foreground, this display depicts the constellation viewed from the Northern Hemisphere, ringed by an anthracite inner bezel ring showing the months of the year as well as a gauge-type power-reserve indicator. On this same transparent disc, two ellipses – one red and the other white – respectively correspond to the projections of the ecliptic and the celestial equator. Positioned beneath the constellation, a second disc rimmed by a graduated scale displays sidereal time and the four cardinal points, while an anthracite-coloured sphere reveals a see-through view of the celestial map. In addition, this innovative sky chart also provides a fascinating glimpse of the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

The extremely complex and exclusive Caliber 3600 powering this exceptional watch called for five years of development, from the start of its fully integrated conceptualisation through to the finishing touches on its refined exterior. This mechanical manual-winding movement not only achieves the feat of combining more than 20 horological complications – including three distinct times driven by three dedicated gear trains – but also has an extraordinary three-week power reserve ensured by six barrels, coupled by three. It naturally takes considerable energy to ensure that such an impressive number of astronomical indications operates with all due precision.

To achieve this, the Manufacture worked simultaneously on two fronts: by seeking to save energy on the one hand, and by increasing the size of its power supply. So as to optimise the energy stored as well as its transmission, the barrel springs are made from a sturdy and ductile Bioflex®* alloy, while the involute gears mesh in an ideal manner. Finally, the six barrels guarantee a substantial storage volume, while keeping the caliber as slim as possible. The resulting ensemble is a true feat of miniaturisation comprising 514-part finely adjusted and meticulously decorated parts and measuring just 8.7 mm thick. This unique mechanism, equipped with a tourbillon featuring a large balance wheel for enhanced precision and regularity, fits neatly inside an elegant 45 mm-diameter white gold case.

The eminently legible, visually harmonious and original display of its 23 functions also represents a technical and aesthetic tour de force. Enabling a beautifully balanced layout on the front dial, its movement is adorned with a matt finish and transparent jewels so as to guarantee optimal readability of its sapphire-disc display on the back. Like the entire Vacheron Constantin collection, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 bears the Hallmark of Geneva, confirming that it meets the numerous demanding criteria governing this prestigious quality certification.

Presented in the collection Les Cabinotier, made of exclusive timepieces, this astronomical supercomplication model exemplifies the tradition of Geneva’s 18th century “cabinotiers”. These highly specialised watchmaking artisans in their attic workshops created authentic bespoke masterpieces intended for prestigious clients around the world. Fired by the same spirit of blending horological prowess with exclusive service and extreme personalisation, Vacheron Constantin perpetuates this same philosophy of excellence.

The quintessentially rare Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 is issued in a limited edition of one. Fitted with an alligator leather strap secured by a white gold pin buckle, it comes in a luxurious presentation box adorned with wood marquetry.

Technical details
Model: Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Reference 9720C/000G-B281
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Movement
Calibre 3600 Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Mechanical, manual-winding
36 mm (15 ¾’’’) diameter, 8.7 mm thick
Approximately 3 weeks of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
514 components
64 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, day/night indication, precision moon phase, age of the moon, running equation of time, sunrise and sunset time, day and night length, seasons, solstices, equinoxes and zodiacal signs, tide level indicator, Sun-Earth-Moon conjunction, opposition and quadrature, transparent sky chart of the northern hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, of the ecliptic and celestial equator, hours and minutes of sidereal time, tourbillon, 3 weeks of power reserve (6 barrels), power reserve indication

Case
18K white gold
45 mm diameter, 13.6 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Slate-colored opaline
18K gold applied hour-markers
18K gold hands

Strap
Black Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp:18K white gold pin buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Accessories
Delivered with a corrector pen and a magnifying glass

Unique timepiece
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » engraved on the back of the timepiece

* Bioflex® is a registered mark which does not belong to Vacheron Constantin.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300

With a very fresh and distinctive appearance, the new, highly complex Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 has taken over the top position in Patek Philippe’s ranking of the most complicated regularly produced wristwatches.

The 20 complications of the double-face watch include five chiming functions, two of which are patented world debuts. It comes in a white-gold case with a patented reversing mechanism that allows the timepiece to be worn with either dial facing up.

The new Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 should not be confused with the commemorative Ref. 5175 of the same name. With its breathtakingly hand-engraved rose-gold case, the latter is a limited, seven watch edition.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-001

The new Grandmaster Chime features an inimitably new white-gold case with a hand guilloched hobnail pattern and now belongs to Patek Philippe’s regular collection. However, the process of crafting it is so time-consuming that the Ref. 6300 will also remain an exclusive rarity.

It strikes the time on three gongs: either automatically every quarter-hour with the Grande or Petite Sonnerie, accurate to the minute with the minute repeater, as an alarm that strikes the preset alarm time, or – for greater time intervals – with the date repeater that acoustically indicates the date on demand.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-001 white gold

The modes of these sonorous functions are displayed on the front dial, which also indicates the time, a second time zone, the moon phases, the date, and the power-reserve of the movement and strikework spring barrels.

The opposite side is dedicated to the perpetual calendar. Its center is a four digit year display surrounded by four subsidiary dials: the analog date with the leap year cycle at 6 o’clock, the day of the week at 9 o’clock, the month at 3 o’clock, and the 24-hour time indication at 12 o’clock.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime in White Gold Ref. 6300G-001

The most complicated wristwatch movement ever made by Patek Philippe – the manually wound caliber GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM, composed of 1366 parts – ticks between the two solid-gold dials. Its energy is stored in two double spring barrels. One keeps the movement running for 72 hours. The other one powers the strikework for 30 hours.

Patek Philippe Caliber GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM

It is endowed with numerous supplementary mechanisms that enhance user-friendliness and virtually prevent potentially damaging inadvertent manipulations. The pushers and correctors are labeled with delicate engravings and the dial displays the individual functional modes (time strike mode, alarm ON/OFF, crown position, etc.).

Patek Philippe Caliber GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM

The new Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 comes in an 18K white-gold case with a manually guilloched hobnail motif and features a reversing mechanism integrated between the strap lugs.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-001

The black time-side dial with white printed scale elements as well as white-gold hands and appliques is also decorated with a hobnail pattern.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-001

The dial on the opposite side, all in white, has black scales and hands. The watch is worn on a black alligator strap with a white-gold fold-over clasp.

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G-001

Movement
Caliber GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM
Manually wound mechanical movement, 20 complications, chiming mechanism with 3 gongs and 5 different time strikes (Grande and Petite Sonnerie, minute repeater, alarm with time strike, date repeater); second time zone with day/night indicator; instantaneous perpetual calendar (date on both sides, day of week, month, leap-year cycle, four-digit year display, 24-hour and minute subdial, moon phases, strikework mode display, strikework isolator display, alarm ON/OFF, crown position indicator, and power reserve indicators for the movement and the strikework

Diameter: 37 mm
Height: 10.7 mm
Number of parts: 1366
Number of jewels: 108
Number of bridges: 32
Movement power reserve: Min. 72 hours
Strikework power reserve: 30 hours
Balance: Gyromax®
Frequency: 25,200 semi-oscillations per hour (3.5 Hz)
Balance spring: Spiromax®

Functions
3-position crown
• Pushed home To wind the movement clockwise; to wind the strikework counter clockwise
• Pulled halfway out: To set the alarm time
• Pulled all the way out: To set the time
• Strikework mode selector at 9 o’clock

Time dial displays
Local time in hours and minutes, hours in a second time zone, alarm time, analog perpetual date, moon phases, strikework power-reserve indicator, movement power-reserve indicator, strikework mode display, crown position indicator, strikework isolator display (chimes enabled/disabled), alarm ON/OFF

Calendar dial displays
24-hour and minute subdial, four-digit year display, three calendar subdials with analog indications for the day, month, date, and leap-year cycle

Pushers
Pushers for the second time zone (“+” and “-“), alarm, minute repeater

Correction push pieces
Year display (“+” and “-“), date, month, day, moon phases

Hallmark
Patek Philippe Seal

Case
Round, with patented reversing mechanism on the axis from 12 to 6 o’clock, 18K white gold, 214 parts, sapphire crystals on both sides, protected against dust and moisture, not water-resistant
Case band with hand-guilloched hobnail pattern
Manually engraved function lettering and symbols on the case band and pushers
Diameter (10 to 4 o’clock): 47.4 mm
Thickness (crystal to crystal): 16.1 mm

Time side dial
18K gold, ebony black opaline, center with hand-guilloched hobnail pattern, applied Breguet numerals in 18K white gold
Local time hour and minute hands in 18K white gold, hour hand for second time zone in 18K white gold
Hands for alarm time, movement and strikework power-reserve indicators, strikework mode and crown position in 18K white gold

Calendar side dial
18K gold, white opaline, center with polished gold frame for the four digit year display
Subsidiary dials for the 24-hour display, day, month, date, and leap year cycle with black printed scales and black nickel-plated steel hands

Strap
Alligator leather with large square scales, shiny black, hand-stitched white contrast seams, fold-over clasp in 18K white gold

The 20 Complications of Ref. 6300

  1. Grande Sonnerie
  2. Petite Sonnerie
  3. Minute repeater
  4. Strikework mode display (Silence/Grand Sonnerie/Petite Sonnerie)
  5. Alarm with time strike
  6. Date repeater
  7. Movement power-reserve indicator
  8. Strikework power-reserve indicator
  9. Strikework isolator display
  10. Second time zone
  11. Second time zone day/night indicator
  12. Instantaneous perpetual calendar
  13. Day-of-week display
  14. Month display
  15. Date display (on both dials)
  16. Leap year cycle
  17. Four-digit year display
  18. 24-hour and minute subdial
  19. Moon phase
  20. Crown position indicator (RAH)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

In 2015, Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak Concept RD#1 – the most sonically considered concept watch of modern times, propelling acoustic performance in chiming watches to unparalleled levels. Eight years in the making, with the watchmaker as key sound producer, that concept timepiece presented dynamic innovations that defied practical restrictions, such as waterproofing.

Now, just 12 months later, that concept has become reality. In 2016, Audemars Piguet presents an outstanding new wristwatch: the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, a minute repeater of superior acoustic intensity with a supremely clear, sustained tone.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

Three new pioneering chiming sound developments have become technological achievements, patented innovations. Presented in a super-light titanium case, this exclusive production timepiece is precision-made to awaken sound. It brings unprecedented acoustic performance, exceptionally refined sound quality and the clear, harmonic tone of traditional pocket-watches to a contemporary minute repeater wristwatch.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie titanium

Since the Manufacture was founded, generations of watchmakers have progressed complex mechanisms created in Le Brassus into future-forward technologies through every decade of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie watch

That tradition continues through pioneering chiming watches sound study programme, started in 2006, in collaboration with the EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne).

Today, sound-measurement facilities are installed at the Manufacture, where various amplification methods, such as an anechoic chamber and microphone recordings, assist a dedicated team of watchmakers, artisans, technicians and academics in creating chiming technologies for the future. Restrictions of necessary technology, such as waterproofing, which diffuses sound, are being overcome; acoustic performance is scientifically augmented.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

The outcome of the study programme is a new method for pre-preparing the steel used to create the gong structure, to achieve a unique minute repeater sound. A scientific system of performance targets was devised according to material cross-section, length and rigidity. Today, these pre-defined targets anticipate the final performance of the steel used by the watchmaker to make the gongs, assisting him to hone the right pitch, tone, and harmony. The result is a shortened, precision-mastered tuning process and a unique sound.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie presents a newly developed case construction that prevents sound absorption, boosting amplification. In traditional minute repeater technology, the gongs are fixed to the mainplate.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

In the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie they are attached to a new device, a material spread beneath the movement that acts as a soundboard. Now, the gongs transmit vibrations directly to the soundboard – not to the mainplate. The technology functions like the upper body of a guitar. With the vibration-to-air system improved, sound quality, tone and amplification are richer.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

The striking regulator – the device that sets the pace of the striking sequence of hours, quarters and minutes – is redesigned. The anchor system is more flexible and becomes a shock absorber so that unwanted shock noise – created on action – is eliminated. Noise is almost imperceptible; poor frequencies are diminished and the pure, clear sound created by the watchmaker is freed. The result: a brighter, cleaner tone.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is not simply a striking watch; it is devised as a musical instrument. In an acoustic guitar, the strings are pulled tightly over the bridge.

When plucked, the strings vibrate at a certain frequency and produce a beautiful, tonal sound. This sound is then carried into the body of the guitar – the soundboard – via the bridge. As it travels around the body of the instrument, the sound is amplified. No longer controlled by the player, the sound is freed.

In the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie:-

  • The gongs behave like guitar strings
  • The hammers are the guitar player’s fingers
  • The gong stud is the guitar bridge
  • The internal soundboard spread beneath the movement is the body of the guitar
  • The sound is amplified, the tone improved

In traditional chiming systems, when there is no quarter chiming sequence – for example, at 10.08 – there is a long silence between the hour and minute chiming sequences. In the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, time spent waiting for the gongs to strike is reduced by up to 50 per cent. Furthermore, a security function prevents the user altering the time display while the striking mechanism is active. Timing is improved.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie watch

The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie looks as good as it sounds: a visionary timepiece with a gleaming, futuristic character. The case is architecturally constructed in super-light titanium, while the blackened mainplate is the backdrop for the steel of the high-tech regulator.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

Not only does the open-worked dial reveal the visionary technology within, it illuminates the true essence of this extraordinary timepiece: the movement. Decorated by hand, it is bevelled, polished, engraved and finished to perfection by the artists of Le Brassus.

Technical details

Model: Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie
Reference: 26577TI.OO.D002CA.01

Movement
Hand-wound Manufacture Calibre 2937
Total diameter: 29.90 mm (13 ¼ lignes)
Total thickness: 8.28 mm
Number of jewels: 43
Number of parts: 478
Minimal guaranteed power reserve: 42 h
Frequency of balance wheel: 3 Hz (= 21,600 vibrations/hour)

Functions
Minute repeater on two gongs
Tourbillon
Chronograph with central sweep-seconds hand
30-minute counter
Hours
Minutes

Case
Titanium case, glare-proofed sapphire crystal, titanium bezel, black ceramic screw-locked crown, black ceramic and titanium push-pieces, titanium push-piece guards, water-resistant to 20 m.

Dial
Black dial, open-worked, satin-brushed, black counters, white gold hands with luminescent coating, black inner bezel

Bracelet

Black rubber strap with titanium AP folding clasp

Patek Philippe Grand Complication Ref. 5016A-010 for Only Watch 2015, Unique Piece

One of the great classics of the Patek Philippe wrist Grand Complications between 1993 and 2011, Reference 5016 unites in its Calatrava-style case three of the complications most highly prized by devotees of exceptional watches: the tourbillon, the minute repeater and the perpetual calendar with moon-phase display.

As an additional refinement, the perpetual calendar is endowed with a retrograde date hand, which flies back to the 1stof the month after having reached the 28th, 29th, 30th or 31st under the action of an ingenious mechanism controlled by a spiral-coiled spring.

Patek Philippe Grand Complication Ref. 5016A-010 for Only Watch 2015, Unique Piece

This graceful interplay of sophisticated functions is orchestrated by a movement comprising 506 parts, all painstakingly finished by hand with the dedication to excellence for which the manufacture is known.

Reference 5016A-010 was created specially for Only Watch 2015 and is the first and only version of this watch to be produced in steel.

The sheen of this metal, rarely seen in a Patek Philippe Grand Complication, compliments a blue enameled dial that perpetuates the tradition of the rare handcrafts.

Technical details

Model: Patek Philippe Grand Complication Ref. 5016A-010 for Only Watch 2015, Unique Piece

Movement
Caliber R TO 27 PS QR Manual winding

Functions
Minute repeater
Tourbillon
Perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand
Day, month and leap year in apertures
Moon phases
Seconds subdial at 6o’clock

Dial
Blue enameled dial with gold applied Breguet numerals
18K gold dial plate

Case
Steel Case
Interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back
Case is humidity and dust protected only (not water resistant)
Case diameter: 36.8 mm

Strap
Alligator leather strap, shiny navy blue, hand-stitched
Fold-over clasp

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260

Prestigious Swiss watch manufacture Vacheron Constantin presents horological masterpiece Atelier Cabinotiers reference 57260, the most complicated watch ever made. It took eight years by a team of three highly talented master watch makers from the manufacture to conceive this horological marvel.

The reference 57260 that boasts two dials and features 57 complications, several of which are entirely new and unique. In the reference number 57260, first two digits indicate the number of complications incorporated in this watch and last three digits reminds us the 260th anniversary of Vacheron Constantin (1755 -2015).

The reference 57260 incorporates significant number of ingenious and important new mechanisms that have never been seen before in horology. Made of solid gold (18 carat white gold), polished with glazed bezels on each side, the elegant and well proportioned case has a three position winding crown with corresponding indication window on the case band to show the position of the crown during winding or setting.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260

A coaxial button in the crown controls the start/stop and return to zero functions of the double retrograde chronograph and the push button in the case band at 11’o clock activates and restarts the rattrapante chronograph function. You can also notice a totally un -obstructive and new design of the concealed flush fit alarm winding crown located in the case band at the 4’o clock position.

Both dials are made of soiled silver, while the rotating discs for the displays are made of aluminium which is light weight. The meantime dial is of regulator style, displaying the hours, minutes, and seconds on separate chapter rings. The first displays some world premier horological functions developed by the Vacheron Constantin watchmakers and seen for the first time ever in this watch.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 – First Dial

The Hebraic perpetual calendar

Of the utmost technical and mathematical complexity, the Hebraic perpetual calendar truly is considered to be one of the greatest contributions to traditional watchmaking of recent times.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 first dial

Due to the long term changing cycles of the Hebraic calendar and its difference to the Gregorian calendar, the making of a complete functioning mechanical Hebraic perpetual calendar in a watch has been impossible until now. Highly complicated mathematical calculations combining both the lunar months and solar year were transcribed into not only an operational mechanism but a display that is elegant, logical and easy to read.

The Hebraic perpetual calendar works on the principle of the 19 year Metonic cycle because 19 years it is almost exactly a multiple of the solar year and lunar month over that period. On this watch the Metonic cycle is displayed as a sector a 3’o clock concentric with the chronograph hour register.

The sacred date of Yom Kippur indicated in the Gregorian calendar each year, is represented by the corresponding retrograde hand at 6’o clock, which returns to its starting point every 19 years, at which time the sector is replaced for another for each of the 19 year cycles.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 Leap Year

To keep the 12 month lunar year in pace with the solar year, a 13th leap month called an intercalary month has to be added seven times during the 19 year cycle. Ingeniously the watch not only allows for this addition but also show the user whether the current year is a 12 or 13-month year via an indicator hand and 12/13 display situated concentric with the chronograph minute register and counter hand in the 9’o clock position.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 Jewish calendar lunar phase

In the Hebrew calendar, there are fixed lunar months of 29 or 30 days alternately. Those of Cheshvan and Kislev can have 29 or 30 days, depending on the year, here, the self correcting date hand is concentric to the Yom Kippur sector and constant seconds. On either side of the date, two windows indicate the number of days and months in Hebrew.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 Jewish calendar

The secular Hebrew calendar, which is displayed in a four digit window below the Yom Kippur sector, is calculated from the supposed date to the creation of the world in 3760 BC. To calculate the present year in the Hebrew calendar 2015 is added to 3760 giving the year 5775. The Jewish New Year begins again in September 2015 with therefore the Hebrew year 5776. Tishrei is the first month of the Hebrew calendar.

Within the centre of the hour chapter ring are four representations of the moon phases and also a hand indicating the age of the moon within its 29. 5305882 day cycle. The Vacheron Constantin moon phase system requires correction only once every 1027 years.

Double Retrograde Rattrapante Chronograph

Featuring a totally innovative design and construction, the Vacheron Constantin retrograde rattrapante chronograph is completely new to the world of watch making. This is the first watch ever to be made with a rattrapante chronograph with double retrograde function.

This ingenious chronograph is read by the user exactly in the manner of a classic split seconds chronograph; uniquely however, whilst both hands still work in unison and from the same axis, unlike all other split seconds chronographs, the two hands never actually meet but operate on two separate scales on opposing sides of the dial. In this respect, the new chronograph can perhaps be the best described as a detached split seconds chronograph.

Double Retrograde Rattrapante Chronograph

To create this function, a new chronograph mechanism has been invented and made entirely in house at Vacheron Constantin especially for this timepiece.

Further, it has been necessary to specially design and make the two long and very fine chronograph hands so that chronograph has perfect stability and extreme accuracy during operation. There are two register dials for the chronograph counting each elapsed minute up to 60 minutes and each elapsed hour up to 12 hours so that events up to 12 hours in duration can be accurately recorded.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 Movement Calibre 3750
Vacheron Constantin Calibre 3750 – First Dial Side

The Westminster Chiming, Alarm and Night Silence Feature

Sectors can be seen on the dial to either side of the hour chapter ring, just above the chronograph registers. These sectors with their corresponding hands are indicators for the selection of the mode of chiming, mode of alarm striking and the alarm power reserve indicator.

This watch offers 3 possible striking modes:

  • Striking: The watch chimes automatically at each passing quarter hour, in the same way as a clock. With five hammers striking five finely tuned steel gongs, the chiming sequence is that of Big Ben, the clock of the Palace of Westminster in London.
  • Night silence: Chiming automatically disables from 22h to 8h
  • Silence: Chiming switched off when it is not desired.

There are two additional options to choose from; Grand sonnerie(striking the hours and the quarters at ever passing quarter) and alternatively petite sonnerie(striking the full hours at the hour but only a quarter strike without hours on the quarters). To repeat the chiming at any time, the slide on the band of the case can be activated whenever it is desired by the user.

Night time silence : A unique and very user friendly new feature has been developed especially for the chiming system of this watch, that of the automatically activated Night Time Silence Mode. A special mechanism has been developed by Vacheron Constantin enables the watch for not chiming between the hours 22h-08h in order not to disturb its owner. This system is unique in being the first to be automatically activated without the need to manually set the chime or silence option.

Alarm: In addition to the chiming mechanism, this model houses an integrally connected alarm system with separate power reserve indication. This mechanism allows a choice between either a traditional alarm on an additional differently tuned single gong with single hammer or Westminster Carillion full chiming alarm in either Grande or Petite Sonnerie mode. The alarm is set via the winding crown which moves an additional alarm hand co-axial with the hour and moon’s age hand. The flush fit winding button is situated in the band of the case.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 – Second Dial

As well as the astronomical indications, several unique and major systems developed especially for this watch are presented here including a 12 hour second time zone governed by a digital world time display, a double perpetual calendar and a remarkable fully visible armillary sphere tourbillon.

The blue star chart in the upper half of the dial represents the night sky and the star constellations visible from user’s home city, with the months appearing around the edge. Concentric around the outer border is the scale for the retrograde date of the perpetual calendar, the hand flying back to its start point at the end of each month. Subsidiary dials for the days of the week and the months flank the star dial and the aperture above the month dial shows the number of the year between 1 and 4 in the leap year cycle.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 second dial

Around the edge of the dial are three astronomic scales which are read using the central gold hand identified by its sun counterpoise. The outermost scale for the year divided into zodiac sign periods additionally indicates the dates of Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. The interrelated four seasons are displayed on a further inner concentric ring.

The sector above the tourbillon aperture indicates equation of time showing the discrepancy between true solar time and standard meantime which fluctuates during the year but can be ahead by as much as 16 minutes (around November 3rd) and behind by 14 minutes (around February 12th). Solar and meantime are equal on just for occasions each year. Flanking the tourbillon aperture are two dual sectors for the time of sunrise and day length and time of sunset and night length in the user’s home city. These indications are calculated from the hours of light and darkness and not strictly set times.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260

Another world premier feature is the 12 hour second time zone dial with separates day and night indicator window located in the 10th clock position; the second time zone is used in conjunction with the digitally displayed world time function which gives a choice of 24 cities and countries and their respective time deviations from Greenwich Meantime.

This thoroughly new and discreet 12 hour system of world time mechanism and display is the first new system to be developed since Louis Cottier’s well known world time system with 24 hour indication invented about 1935 and is therefore of major significance.

The Dual Function Perpetual Calendar

The perpetual calendar systems invented and built by the watch makers of Vacheron Constantin are amongst the greatest achievements made during the construction of this watch. They represent Vacheron Constantin’s supreme mastery of both highly complex mathematical calculations and the ability of their watch making team to translate the calculations into mechanisms functioning in complete harmony in relation to the myriad other functions.

Including the Hebraic perpetual calendar seen on the other dial, this watch has the ability to provide three entirely different perpetual calendar readings. The fundamental new departure is that two possible options are available for the reading of the Gregorian perpetual calendar displayed on this dial: either the traditional Gregorian calendar or the business calendar system known as ISO 8601, a numerical system which utilises 52 weeks and 7 days.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 perpetual calendar

The Gregorian perpetual calendar which automatically corrects itself for the appropriate number of days in the month and the leap years can be read on the dial using the retrograde date, the days of the week and months dials, with the leap year window displaying a number between 1 and 4 located to the right side of the retrograde date sector.

The ISO 8601 business calendar is a specific system founded by the International Organisation for Standardization and used mainly in international financial sector.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Reference 57260 business calendar