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

Christophe Claret Napoleon: Westminster Flying Tourbillon Minute Repeater with Jaquemart Automata

Independent Swiss luxury watch manufacture Christophe Claret pays homage to Napoleon Bonaparte on the occasion of the bicentenary of his death by producing an exceptional watch. The «Napoleon» is a Westminster flying tourbillon minute repeater provided with a jaquemart automata featuring Napoleon with his soldiers.

To pay tribute to the genius military strategist, a military campaign, entirely handmade miniature painting, is staged in the first painting of this series of unique pieces. The animated characters are embossed and enhanced with colors.

Christophe Claret Napoleon Red Gold watch

Christophe Claret Napoleon red gold watch case back

Napoleon, to reward his bravest soldiers, created, from the start of his reign, the Legion of Honor and his famous medal. Christophe Claret decided to put the exceptional symbol on the tourbillon cage of this timepiece.

Christophe Claret Napoleon titanium

Christophe Claret Napoleon titanium case back

The Westminster minute repeater mechanism plays a musical tune when the quarters ring. Each quarters has a different ringtone «C D E G; G D E C; E G D C. » This ringtone, resulting from a collaboration between Christophe Claret and a virtuoso violinist, offers notes with optimal quality.

This musical tone is accompanied by the animation of the stage automatons. The «Napoleon» is available in two limited editions of 8 pieces, an edition in Red Gold and an edition in Titanium. All unique, they are each differentiated by their decor.

Christophe Claret Napoleon red gold

Christophe Claret Napoleon casebackDriven by NBC98 caliber, the Christophe Claret Napoleon sets the tone in the family of traditional complications watches, the first of the four collections of the brand. It is inspired by previous creations by the master watchmaker, while once again pushing the limits of what is possible in this area.

With a frequency of 3 hertz (21,600 vibrations per hour) by means of its flying tourbillon, the NBC98caliber comes to life thanks to a single barrel. The mechanism has a power reserve of around 60 hours. The activation of the minute repeater is traditionally made through a sliding pusher on the left side of the case. We can therefore contemplate the animation of the Jaquemart automata, while listening the melodious sound of time by the Westminster cathedral ringing.

Christophe Claret Napoleon titanium

Christophe Claret Napoleon titanium case backChristophe Claret is the designer of this four-branch balance wheel which offers an inertia / weight ratio close to the ideal balance: although very complex to manufacture, this aerodynamic balance is easy to adjust and balance.

The «cathedral» stamps of Napoleon’s «Westminster» ringing have been the subject of special care -as always with Christophe Claret. This type of bell has the particularity of going around the movement twice in order to express sounds that are longer, clearer and more powerful. Excellence is required for their manufacture in drawn steel, for their assembly and tuning. They benefit from a patented in-house invention which blocks significant vibrations despite their exceptional lengths and thus prohibits all parasitic noises.

Christophe Claret Napoleon

Christophe Claret NapoleonThe case harmoniously combines the polished and satin finishes of 5N red gold or titanium, highlighting the play of lights.

Grade 5 titanium is hard and very difficult to machine, it has the advantage of being extremely light and above all of sublimating the transmission of the ringing sound. The dial also magnifies the light and dark, with its unique nuances of hues and personalized materials.

Christophe Claret Napoleon

Christophe Claret NapoleonThe Napoleon watch displays a handmade miniature painting of a different battle setting on each of the 8 unique pieces.

Technical details

Model: Christophe Claret Napoleon

Movement
Caliber NBC98, mechanical, hand-wound movement
Diameter: 37.00 mm
Height: 9.03mm (without hands)
Components: 511
Jewels: 36
Barrel: Single mainspring barrel
Power reserve: Approximately 60 hours
Escapement: Swiss lever
Frequency: 3 Hz (21’600 vph)
Flying tourbillon with cage bridge decorated with the Legion of Honor
Tourbillon rotates once every 60 seconds

Functions
Hours, minutes
Hours, quarters and minutes repeater on demand
Inertia wheel
4-note minute repeater playing Westminster chime
4-jaquemart automata animated when ringing

Operating devices
Slide to activate the minute repeater function
2-position crown
– Drawn: time setting
– Thrust: winding the movement

Case
Diameter: 47mm
Height: 15 mm
Water resistance: 3 ATM / 30 m / 100 ft

Editions

Christophe Claret Napoleon Titanium, MTR.NBC98

Case: Grade 5 titanium
Dial: hand painting
Hands: Steel
Crown: Grade 5 titanium
Strap: Embossed Vegetable leather
Edition: 8 unique pieces
Price: CHF 590’000(excluding taxes)

Christophe Claret Napoleon Red Gold, MTR.NBC98

Case: 5N red gold
Dial: hand painting
Hands: Gold
Crown: 5N red gold
Strap: Embossed Vegetable leather
Edition: 8 unique pieces
Price: CHF 590’000 (excluding taxes)

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 Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

Vacheron Constantin presents the Les Cabinotiers minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery watch, a single-piece edition adding an artistic dimension to the technical prowess of its Calibre 2755 TMRCC. The Manufacture’s craftsmen, gemsetters and guilloché specialists have adorned an extraordinarily complex timepiece with a creative and original evocation of the Leo constellation.

This new model, presented at Watches & Wonders 2021, is part of the theme of the Maison for 2021: entitled Classic with a Twist, it highlights Vacheron Constantin’s creative energy, guided by an identity that celebrates a heritage and dares to deliver the unexpected.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

Early astronomers’ observations led them to recognise animal forms in the configuration of the constellations, including that of a lion. Vacheron Constantin’s artisan drew inspiration from this to highlight the astronomical complication of this single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers watch.

Hand-guilloché and set with diamonds forming the Leo constellation, the noble creature stands majestically on the dial, framed by a case set with baguette-cut sapphires. This artistic and artisanal interpretation adds an artistic dimension to the technical prowess of Calibre 2755 TMRCC, which combines a tourbillon regulating device, a minute repeater in the grand tradition of the Maison’s striking watches, as well as a rotating sky chart.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

The watch flaunts its elegance in an 18K white gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and barely 15.1 mm thick, fitted with a dark blue alligator strap secured by a gemset gold buckle.

Already accentuated by the presence of a tourbillon, the complexity of the Les Cabinotiers minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery watch is further heightened by the mobile representation of the sky chart on the back of the watch. This vision of the constellations inspired the motif adorning the guilloche opaline dark blue dial, itself enhanced by the sparkling case adorned with 100 baguette-cut sapphires bezel-set on the lugs, crown and bezel.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

The Leo constellation is staged to great effect on the dial. A masterpiece of hand guilloché craftsmanship created in the Vacheron Constantin workshops, the feline’s silhouette is composed of a multitude of triangles bearing their own motifs.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

Since the rose engines operated by skilled artisans with an artist’s touch are designed to engrave decorative elements that are generally circular and geometric, it is easy to grasp the difficulties implied by depicting a lion in the form of a combination of polygons whose linear engravings provide striking depth effects. The stars composing the constellation are represented by brilliant-cut diamonds adorning the great cat’s tawny coat.

The 413-component Calibre 2755 TMRCC of the Les Cabinotiers minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery watch combines three horological complications in the technical, astronomical and musical categories.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

This manual-winding movement with a 58-hour power reserve is equipped with a one-minute tourbillon bearing the small seconds hand. Invented at the beginning of the 19th century, this device – which incorporates the escapement as well as the balance-and-spring assembly within a mobile carriage – is designed to compensate for the effects of the Earth’s gravity on the regulator’s isochronism, thereby enhancing its precision.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

This tourbillon is distinguished by its carriage shaped like a Maltese cross – Vacheron Constantin’s signature emblem since 1880 – and featuring a bar on which the delicate finishing operations involving manual chamfering and polishing require a full 36 hours of work.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

Displayed through the back of the watch on a concave dial designed to accentuate the depth effect, the sky chart offers a striking view of the Milky Way and the constellations that appear in real time, as if through a telescope.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

For the sake of accuracy, this sky chart performs a complete rotation in one sidereal day. Taking a fixed star in the sky as a reference point, the time required by the Earth to complete a full 360° rotation, or sidereal day, is exactly 23 h 56 min 4 s. Since the Earth rotates both within itself and around the Sun, it takes about four minutes less than on a calendar day to find its point of origin in relation to the given star.

This sidereal time can be read off counter-clockwise on the 24-hour circle, graduated in 10-minute increments, opposite the current date appearing on a rotating disc with a five by five-day scale. This display is essential for correctly adjusting the sky chart moving beneath the sapphire crystal. The sapphire crystal also bears an off-centred ellipse serving to highlight the exact position of the constellations in the Northern hemisphere at the moment the watch is consulted.

The watch is also equipped with a minute repeater enabling the hours, quarters and minutes to be chimed on demand. To create this particularly complex striking mechanism, controlled by a slide-piece housed in the case middle, Vacheron Constantin’s engineers and watchmakers were inspired by the work carried out on the 2005 La Tour de l’Île watch, and in particular its centripetal strike governor.

This silent system makes it possible to perfectly regulate the duration of musical sequences in order to obtain a distinct and harmonious sound of the notes played for the hours, quarters and minutes by the hammers striking two circular gongs.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart Leo Constellation Jewellery

Each year, the Les Cabinotiers department unveils a range of single-piece editions relating to a theme cherished by Vacheron Constantin. The year 2021 is dedicated to “Celestial Time”, with timepieces referring to the astronomical origins of time measurement.

In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of Grand Complication models and single-piece editions. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, an age 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.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery
Reference 9737C/000G-005C

Movement
Calibre 2755 TMRCC
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical manual winding
33.90 mm (14¾’’’) diameter, 9.40 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 58h
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
413 components
38 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes
Small seconds at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
Tourbillon
Minute repeater
Sky chart

Case
18K white gold, set with 60 baguette-cut sapphires on the bezel (approx. 3.8 cts), 24 baguette-cut sapphires on case sides (approx. 1.9 cts) and 16 baguette-cut sapphires on lugs (approx. 0.3 ct.)
45 mm diameter, 15.10 mm thick

Dials (front & back)
18K white gold, opaline dark blue dial, Leo constellation hand-guilloché
9 brilliant-cut diamonds as hour-markers (approx. 0.03 ct)
18k white gold hands

Strap
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
18K white gold pin buckle set with 16 baguette-cut sapphires (approx. 1 ct)
18k white gold folding clasp set with 16 baguette-cut sapphires (approx. 1.10 cts)

Presentation box
Les Cabinotiers model

Edition
Unique piece
“Les Cabinotiers”, “Pièce unique”, “AC” hallmark engraved on caseback

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

Premiered during Watches and Wonders 2021, the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony is the most extraordinary timepiece Carl F. Bucherer has created in a long and impressive history that can be traced back to 1888.

The COSC-certified chronometer takes peripheral technology to places no watch brand has ever been before, with three peripheral movement elements – the rotor, the regulator, and a remarkable tourbillon that appears to float freely – developed in-house and patented by Carl F. Bucherer.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

Not only does the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony´s MR3000 manufacture movement have a peripheral winding system and a peripherally suspended floating tourbillon, it also features a minute repeater with a peripherally mounted regulator.

This regulator, along with the peripheral winding system and the floating tourbillon, are patented by Carl F. Bucherer, and, together, these peripheral innovations combine to create a true horological symphony – a composition which, in fact, inspired the renowned Lucerne Festival Orchestra to honor it with a brilliant new opus.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

The peripheral technology premiered with the peripheral rotor, patented by the brand in 2008, when this in-house manufactured caliber became the first movement ever to implement this principle successfully in series production.

Not only does the bidirectional automatic winding movement draw its energy from a peripherally rotating oscillating weight, its slim rotor also reveals the beauty of the movement. With the T3000 movement, which premiered in 2018, the manufacturer further extended its lead in peripheral technology when peripheral winding was combined with a groundbreaking Carl. F. Bucherer–patented transparent peripherally mounted tourbillon that appears to float.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

As the heart of the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony, the elaborately finished and COSC-certified MR3000 manufacture movement with a power reserve of 65 hours has ushered in an exciting new era of peripheral technology.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

The Manero Minute Repeater Symphony takes the classic minute repeater technique and puts this innovation to use in true Carl F. Bucherer style. Its mechanism is finely orchestrated to produce two different tones on two gongs which, along with the sculpted hammers, can be admired, most unusually, through cut-outs at the edge of the dial.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

They are complemented by openings at 5 and 7 o’clock, through which the work of the striking hammers can be observed. A window above 6 o’clock showcases the watch’s innovative regulator, which sets the beat of the chimes. This patented regulator is mounted peripherally via three low-friction ceramic ball bearings.

However, the minute repeater from Carl F. Bucherer scores not only with outstanding technology, but also with genuine functionality. A protective mechanism built into the movement prevents inadvertent misuse: visible via the discrete display at 9 o’clock, it indicates the current mode of the watch – a blue dot shows that the crown is pulled out, and a musical note lets the wearer know that the minute repeater function is activated.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

Another safety measure further ensures the protection of the watch: the crown cannot be pulled out when the repeater mechanism is running – it locks. Conversely, when the crown is pulled out, the repeater mechanism is locked.

The tourbillon – the classic complication originally designed by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the eighteenth century to offset the effects of gravity on the accuracy of the watch – is another sublime expression of the art and craft of watchmaking. And the watchmakers at Carl F. Bucherer have made this epitome of their craft float: the cage of their minute tourbillon is supported peripherally – and invisibly to the observer – by three ball bearings.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

These frictionless ceramic ball bearings ensure stability and precise guidance. It is another ingenious technical feature on which Carl F. Bucherer also holds a patent. The tourbillon in the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony, which is proudly and prominently displayed at 12 o’clock, not only “floats”, but also stops on command: thanks to the stop-seconds function, the rotating cage is locked when the crown is pulled, allowing the time to be set to the second.

The Manero Minute Repeater Symphony has a 43.8 mm diameter case of 18-karat rose gold. Its open-worked and hand-angled lugs seductively follow the silhouette of the wrist.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

These spoke-shaped horns reduce the mass of the case and thus amplify the watch’s melodious sound. The 18-karat white gold dial is hand-galvanized and features a fine grainé texture. 18-karat rose gold hands and hour markers reflect the warm hue of the case.

Connoisseurs of sophisticated watchmaking will appreciate the elaborate finishing: the carefully diamond-beveled and highly polished chamfers, the sandblasted crown, the hand-angled dial edges and windows, or the Geneva-striped, angled, and diamond-beveled bridges that can be seen through the sapphire crystal case back.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

The individual numbering of the model, limited to 88 pieces, is engraved by hand on a small plaque in 18-karat gold at the 6 o’clock position on the dial. The watch is presented on a hand-stitched alligator leather strap whose every individual scale has been finished by hand. It is secured with an 18-karat rose gold folding clasp.

For those who wish to accentuate the unique character of this limited-edition masterpiece to create their very own symphony, Carl F. Bucherer offers further customization options. There are opportunities for the customer to choose from different designs and finishes, creating a personilsed timepiece.

Inside the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony´s luxury box is a stunning, specially designed resonator that will allow proud owners of this remarkable watch to share its unique music with their friends. The ingenious amplification system is meticulously crafted from spruce harvested from the forests in Switzerland’s Jura Mountains.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony

This spruce has long been regarded for its qualities as a tone wood and has been used for the tops of some of the world’s finest guitars, violins, and other stringed instruments. This unusual amplification system doubles the volume of the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony minute repetitions, making it easy to let others enjoy the phenomenon.

Not only do the celebrated Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Carl F. Bucherer share a hometown, but also a rich history and the common pursuit of excellence. Through the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony, these two prominent Lucerne natives have now found each other: inspired by the unmistakable sound of the minute repeater, the young Swedish composer Lisa Streich wrote the piece “PERIPHERY”, commissioned by Lucerne Festival. In addition to the watch’s unique striking mechanism, its three peripheral elements also play an important role in this intriguing musical composition.

Lisa Streich’s inspired piece takes core elements of the watch’s design and gives them voice for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The Manero Minute Repeater Symphony is distinguished by its minute repeater and triple peripheral technology, so these components are represented musically by an imaginative combination of instruments and techniques. For example, the repeater function’s extremely mobile beat generator – its peripherally-mounted regulator – is reproduced by the striking and stroking of a triangle positioned vertically on a timpani.

The sounds of a violin bow drawn against the length the strings, breathing noises from the wind instruments, and the quirky drone of an instrument called a buzzing bow combine to express the complexity of the peripheral rotor. The floating tourbillon and its delicate cage find their counterpart in the brass section, whose players tap the bells of their horns with a pencil, triggering the wiping motion among the strings.

In doing so, the trumpet stimulates a response from the higher strings, and the trombone the lower ones; the exquisite choreography of the hands is recreated with a distinctive tick, tock, tick, tock.

Technical details

Model: Manero Minute Repeater Symphony
Reference number: 00.10925.03.63.01

Movement
Automatic with a 22 k rose gold oscillating weight, CFB MR3000 manufacture caliber, COSC-certified chronometer, diameter 35.70 mm, height 8.59 mm, 47 rubies, power reserve 65 hours

Functions
Minute repeater with two gongs, floating tourbillon, hour, minute, small seconds on tourbillon cage, stop-second, protection function for the mechanism

Case
18 k rose gold, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back with sapphire crystal and anti-reflecting coating on both sides, water resistant to 10 m (1 bar), diameter 43.8 mm, height 12.47 mm.

Dial 
18 k white gold Pd210 electroplated and grained pattern with 18 k rose gold hands and indexes

Strap
Dark brown Louisiana alligator leather, lining in dark brown Louisiana alligator leather, hand-stitched, 18k rose gold pin-lock folding clasp

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina (New Models in Pink Gold and DLC-coated Titanium)

Roger Dubuis presents two new editions of its high complication watch, the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina. Now available in pink gold and DLC-coated titanium, this hyper horology creation incorporates a minute repeater, alongside the Geneva Maison’s signature flying tourbillon, as well as a double micro-rotor automatic system.

Its minute repeater chimes the tritone, the “Diabolus in Musica” chord outlawed in medieval religious music. The Excalibur Diabolus in Machina also features two other functions: a tone playback disc indicator and an “all or nothing” safety device.

The Excalibur Diabolus in Machina was introduced in 2020. The inaugural model features CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM case. Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina

The Excalibur Diabolus in Machina has a push-piece for activating a chime. The information on each cam is mechanically read off by the Minute Repeater’s main feeler-spindle system, which passes it on to the racks enabling the hammers to strike the gongs. The latter sounds a low pitch for the hours, a high pitch for the minutes, and two tones for the quarter hours, allowing the wearer to check the time at will. Consisting of three tones, or six semitones, the tritone – also known as the triad or the flatted fifth – an unsettling interval that does not conform to listeners’ expectations.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina

This distinctive dissonance was referred to in medieval times as “the devil’s chord” or diabolus in musica and strictly prohibited in religious compositions. It has nonetheless continued to play a crucial role in complex melodic harmony, notably appearing in Camille Saint-Saëns’ symphonic poem Danse Macabre and in the signature tune of the Black Sabbath metal band.

Cleverly shaking up the world of minute repeaters, Roger Dubuis has chosen the sound of the tritone as the chime of its Minute Repeater in the Diabolus in Machina. Pressing the minute repeater button between 9 and 10 o’clock activates the dissonant tonality – tuned to C and G flat – resounding through noble materials and providing a fascinating listening experience.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina

Various key technical advances featured in the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina include the Tone Playback Disc Indicator at 11 o’clock. Activating the Minute Repeater sets off the rotation of this disc – merged with a Roman numeral and bearing the words Hours, Quarters and Minutes. The result is a visually striking depiction of the time intervals being chimed.

An additional functional indicator further simplifies usage by showing whether the watch is in “manual winding” or “time setting” position. As well as enhancing the design through its artful integration at 4 o’clock, it plays a useful safety role in avoiding potential damage by warning the wearer not to adjust the watch while the Minute Repeater is chiming.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina

The “all or nothing” mechanism offers additional security by ensuring the minute repeater can be activated only once the pusher has been pressed all the way in. This eliminates the risk of harming the mechanism by inadvertent triggering, as well as facilitating comprehension of the chime by avoiding any partial and potentially confusing indications of time.

Roger Dubuis RD0107 Calibre
RD0107 Calibre, Pink Gold Version

The intricate complexities of this model are naturally heightened by Roger Dubuis’ typically bold decision to combine this fresh approach to the minute repeater with its signature flying tourbillon. Each of these two horological complications involves its own technical challenges and associating them within the same model is the kind of endeavour reserved for the most skilled and experienced master-watchmakers.

Roger Dubuis RD0107 Calibre
RD0107 Calibre, Black DLC Titanium Version

This Hallmark of Geneva-certified series powered by Calibre RD 107 is housed in an imposing 45 mm pink gold or DLC titanium-coated case and fitted with a calf leather strap designed for maximum comfort.

Technical details

Model: Excalibur Diabolus in Machina, RDDBEX0840

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina pink gold

Case
Skeletonized, Ø45 mm, case, bezel and crown in pink gold
Case back in pink gold with sapphire crystal and anti-reflective treatment
Thickness: 16.8 mm
Water resistance: 5 BAR (50 m)

Dial
Grey double surface flange with engraved minute track, transfered texts
Polished and pink gold plated hour markers filled with SLN in the center

Movement
RD0107 Calibre: Mechanical automatic with minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Features: Minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Decorations: circular-grained or trued-up or shot-blasted or Cotes de Genève and NAC coated bridges and plate
Number of parts: 558 components
Jewels: 54 rubis
Diameter: 14 ¾’’’
Thickness: 10 mm
Frequency: 3 Hz (21’600 vph)
Power-reserve: 72 hours

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Minute repeater, function indicator, chiming indicator

Strap
Interchangeable 3D calf leather strap
Buckle: Interchangeable titanium cover with titanium triple folding buckle

Production
Unique series 1 of 1

Model: Excalibur Diabolus in Machina, RDDBEX0841

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina black dlc titanium

Case
Skeletonized, Ø45 mm, case, bezel and crown in black DLC Titanium
Case back in black DLC titanium with sapphire crystal and anti-reflective treatment
Thickness: 16.8 mm
Water resistance: 5 BAR (50 m)

Dial
Black double surface flange with engraved minute track, transfered texts
Polished and rhodium plated hour markers filled with SLN in the center

Movement
RD0107 Calibre: Mechanical automatic with minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Features: Minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Decorations: circular-grained or trued-up or shot-blasted or Cotes de Genève and NAC coated bridges and plate
Number of parts: 558 components
Jewels: 54 rubis
Diameter: 14 ¾’’’
Thickness: 10 mm
Frequency: 3 Hz (21’600 vph)
Power-reserve: 72 hours

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Minute repeater, function indicator, chiming indicator

Strap
Interchangeable 3D calf leather strap
Buckle: Interchangeable black DLC titanium cover, titanium blades, triple folding buckle

Production
Unique series 1 of 1

H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Titanium

For the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon, H. Moser & Cie. presents one of the most traditional watch complications and combines it with a magnificent flying tourbillon performing a spinning waltz. Two shaped chimes and the minute repeater hammers are resplendent against a dial featuring the newest colour in the H. Moser & Cie. catalogue, Electric Blue, intertwining with the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon

To develop the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon, H. Moser & Cie. drew on the expertise of Timeless SA, a specialist in minute repeaters. Together, the two manufactures created a brand-new design, showcasing the beauty of the complication by positioning the chimes and the hammers on the dial side. This involved overcoming many technical challenges. In particular, the chimes (which are placed on one level to preserve the finesse of the piece) had to be curved so as not to interfere with the flying tourbillon and to respect H. Moser & Cie.’s main focus to keep the design understated.

H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon

In creating the movement and the case, significant effort has gone into ensuring elegant proportions. The sliding bolt, fitted on a Teflon runner to ensure it slides perfectly smoothly, is built into the main plate to save space. The case middle has been widened to the maximum in order to accommodate the movement while allowing enough space to create a soundbox. This amplifies the chiming of hours, quarter-hours and minutes by two gongs, onto which fall two hammers that are raised based on information provided by different feeler-spindles.

H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon

The geometry of the case has been meticulously designed, developed and adapted to maximise the properties of titanium and enhance its impact, amplifying the resonance chamber whilst allowing the essential walls to form part of the resonance. Titanium has a high elastic modulus, which means that this material deforms very little under stress and is consequently more rigid; its low density ensures that it is also lightweight, and it retains the vibratory energy from sound well, rather than allowing it to dissipate thanks to its low damping effect.

While ensuring the functioning of the minute repeater mechanism was already a complex technical feat, it also required perfect understanding of the subject to achieve a beautiful sound that combines amplitude, a certain length and a pure note.

H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Visible behind a skeletonised bridge, the dazzling one-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock is fitted to a ball bearing that improves the accuracy and chronometry. The tourbillon appears to float weightlessly on the Electric Blue dial stripped of both logo and indices.

The strap, made from black alligator leather, adds the final touch of elegance to this high-complication timepiece.

Technical details

Model: Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon
Reference: 1903-0500, titanium model, Electric Blue dial, black alligator leather strap, limited edition of 20 pieces

Case
Titanium
Diameter: 43.0 mm/height: 14.0 mm
Sapphire crystal
Sliding bolt with runner made from Teflon
See-through sapphire crystal case back
Crown adorned with an “M”

Dial
Electric Blue with sunburst pattern
Hammers and chimes on dial side
Leaf-shaped hour and minute hands

Movement
Hand-wound HMC 903 calibre
Diameter: 33.0 mm/height: 9.62 mm
Frequency: 21,600 Vib/h
35 jewels
Power reserve: 90 hours
Double Moser stripes on the plate and bridges
Movement and components hand-finished and decorated
One-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock with skeletonised bridge
Minute repeater

Functions
Hours and minutes
Minute repeater with hour, quarter-hour and minute chimes

Strap
Hand-stitched black alligator leather with red lining
Titanium pin buckle, engraved with the Moser logo

Roger Dubuis – Excalibur Diabolus in Machina Pink Gold and Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Pink Gold, Diamond Set

The Geneva based Luxury Swiss watch maker Roger Dubuis has unveiled two new watch models Mexico’s Salón Internacional Alta Relojería México (SIAR) horlogerie exhibition, which opened its doors on 20th October for a two day event.

The new two technically elaborate and extravagant pieces are the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina and the diamond-studded Excalibur Automatic Skeleton. Both timepieces are in pink gold.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina

Styled in the iconic Excalibur case and flaunting a fascinating combination of matte and polished finishes, the 45 mm, one-off limited edition Excalibur Diabolus in Machina features two highly sophisticated complications: a Flying tourbillon with a minute repeater, accompanied by tone playback function indicators.

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Diabolus in Machina Pink Gold

The epitome of the expressive singularity on which Roger Dubuis prides itself, the single tourbillon and the specific tritone sound of the minute repeater represent the highest standards of Haute Horlogerie and contemporary design.

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Diabolus in Machina Pink Gold - RD0107 Calibre

The movement powering this high-complication timepiece is the RD0107 Calibre. It beats at 3 Hz (21’600 vph). Fitted with 54 rubies, this movement incorporates fine watchmaking finishes and decorations. This self-winding movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.

Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Diamond Set 42mm

With its trademark skeleton calibre flaunting the Maison’s unchallenged expertise in the realms of technical skill and creativity, the 42 mm Excalibur Automatic Skeleton is the quintessence of Roger Dubuis’ identity. In this latest ultra-contemporary reinterpretation of the iconic 820SQ calibre, sparkling diamonds adorn the case, lugs and the case middle.

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Pink Gold, Diamond Set

The 820SQ calibre is a Poinçon de Genève certified, self-winding mechanical skeleton movement driven by a micro-rotor. This meticulously finished calibre features 35 jewels and beats at 4 Hz (28’800 vph). It has a power reserve of approximately 60 hours.

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Pink Gold, Diamond Set - RD820SQ Calibre

The watch is topped with a sapphire crystal glass. It also has a sapphire crystal caseback to observe the movement. Fitted with a 3D Pixel Camo rubber strap, this timepiece is available in a limited edition of 28 pieces.

Technical details

Model: Excalibur Diabolus in Machina
Reference RDDBEX0840

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Diabolus in Machina Pink Gold

Case
Ø45 mm, case, bezel and crown in pink gold
Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
Case back in pink gold with sapphire crystal and anti-reflective treatment
Thickness: 16.8 mm
Water resistance: 3 BAR (30 m)

Dial
Double surface flange with engraved minute track, transferred texts
Hour markers filled with SLN

Strap
Interchangeable 3D calf leather strap
Buckle: Interchangeable pink gold cover with titanium triple folding buckle

Movement
RD0107 Calibre: Mechanical automatic with minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Features: Minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Decorations: circular-grained or trued-up or shot-blasted or Cotes de Genève bridges and plate with Rhodium or NAC coating
Number of parts: 558 components
Jewels: 54 rubies
Diameter: 14 ¾’’’
Thickness: 10 mm
Frequency: 3 Hz (21’600 vph)
Power-reserve: 60 hours
Poinçon de Genève certified

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Minute repeater, function indicator, chiming indicator

Production
Unique series 1 of 1

Model: Excalibur Automatic Skeleton
Reference: RDDBEX937

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Pink Gold, Diamond Set watch

Case
Ø42 mm, pink gold case set with round diamonds on the lugs and on the side
Glass in sapphire crystal
Case back in pink gold
Thickness: 11.5 mm

Dial
Flange set with two rows of round diamonds
Total diamonds: 523 diamonds for 4.1 cts
Water resistance: 3 BAR (30 m)

Strap
3D Pixel Camo rubber strap
Buckle: Pink gold and cover set with round diamonds, double folding

Movement
RD820SQ Calibre automatic with micro-rotor
Features: Skeleton automatic with micro-rotor
Decorations: circular grained or trued-up plate and bridges with 5N gold coating
Number of parts: 166 components
Jewels: 35
Diameter: 37
Thickness: 6 mm
Frequency: 4 Hz (28’800 vph)
Power-reserve: 60 hours
Poinçon de Genève certified

Functions
Hours, Minutes

Production
Limited edition of 28 pieces

Hermès Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!

Hermès presents the Arceau Pocket Aaaaaargh!, a high-complication pocket watch created in co-operation with English artist Alice Shirley. It is the third timepiece born from the collaboration between the Swiss luxury watch brand and Alice Shirley. First two creations were the Slim of Hermes Grrrrr! & the Arceau Awooooo.

Hermes Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!_cadran©Claude Joray
©Claude Joray

After the gruff bear of the Slim of Hermes Grrrrr! and the wolf howling in the moonlight of the Arceau Awooooo, the Arceau Pocket Aaaaaargh! Watch highlights a tyrannosaurus aka T-Rex. On this new watch model, the «king of the tyrant lizards» with half-open jaws and an attentive eye comes to life under the expert guidance of Hermès watchmakers, after a month of meticulous work using exclusive techniques developed in its leather workshops.

Hermes Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!_cadran©Claude Joray
©Claude Joray

The design of the tyrannosaurus, which appears to be peeking through a porthole, stands out against the cover and involves a combination of several demanding skills. The head and scales are made in leather mosaic: thousands of finely hand-cut multi-coloured leather fragments are applied one by one to faithfully reproduce the original pattern.

Hermes Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!_cadran©Claude Joray (3)
©Claude Joray

The domed eye of the dinosaur, visible on both sides of the cover, is made of cabochon-cut Grand Feu enamel. Finally, the jaw and tongue are crafted in leather marquetry: fine tesserae are cut from various coloured leathers, previously thinned to just 0.5 mm, before being juxtaposed on the enamel base. Setting the final touch to this miniaturized leather artwork, a matt green alligator leather cord-strap is secured to the rectangular stirrup and accentuates the overall design.

Hermes Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!_cadran©Claude Joray (4)
©Claude Joray

This 48mm white gold pocket watch houses the Hermès H1924 manufacture self-winding movement equipped with minute repeater and flying tourbillion complications. Beats at 3Hz, it has a power reserve of 90 hours.

Technical details

Model: ARCEAU Pocket Aaaaargh!
Edition: One-of-a-kind creation

Movement
Manufacture Hermès H1924 movement
Mechanical self-winding movement, crafted in Switzerland
Diameter: 30mm
Thickness: 8.89mm
Power reserve: 90 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3Hz)

Functions
Hours, minutes, minute repeater, flying tourbillion

Case
Shape/size: Round, 48 mm in diameter
Material: White gold case and cover
Watch glass: Anti-glare sapphire crystal and caseback
Caseback engraved with the inscription “Pièce unique”
Water resistance: 3 bar

Dial
White enamel on a white gold base

Cover
“Aaaaargh” marquetry and leather mosaic motif
Grand Feu enamel eye

Leather cord-strap
Medium – green alligator leather

Links

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes

Hermès expands its iconic Arceau watch family by revealing a high-complication watch with flying tourbillon and minute repeater mechanisms.

The timeless silhouette of this Arceau watch takes the form of a round case with stirrup-like asymmetrical lugs. A one-of-a-kind model in rose or white gold, the Arceau Lift tourbillon répétition minutes features a white or Abyss blue-lacquered dial. A horse-shaped cut-out in the lacquered dial reveals the Hermès tourbillon and minute-repeater movement.

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes rose gold

Framed by the equestrian profile cut-out hugging the curves of the case, the complexity of the double-gong minute-repeater mechanism is captivating. This traditional horological complication is combined here with another horological exception – the flying tourbillon – coiled inside the horse’s neck and visible through a round aperture at 6 o’clock.

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes white gold

Forming a double H, the architecture of the tourbillon is inspired by mot emblematic of the Hermès boutique on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. This design crowning the tourbillon carriage and barrel bridge picks up the pattern of the artistic wrought ironwork adorning the entrance, railings, staircase and lift at the Parisian establishment.

The pleasing overall effect is swept over by slim open-worked hands and punctuated by the Arceau line’s characteristic sloping numerals that evoke a galloping horse.

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes caseback

Visible through the dial cut-outs and the sapphire crystal case-back, the new mechanical hand-wound movement H1924 from Manufacture Hermès emits the clear chime of its minute repeater from a white or rose gold case measuring 43 mm in diameter. Re-designed to incorporate two major Haute Horlogerie complications, this precious case was designed in the Hermès Horloger workshops, as were the lacquered dial and matt black alligator strap.

Technical details

Model: ARCEAU Lift tourbillon répétition minutes (Rose gold)

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes rose gold

Edition
One-of-a-kind model

Movement
Manufacture Hermès H1924 movement
Mechanical hand-wound, crafted in Switzerland
Diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼ ‘’’)
Thickness: 6.1 mm
Power reserve: 90 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3Hz)
Functions: Double gong, minute repeater, hours, minutes
Decoration: Mirror-polished tourbillon carriage topped with the Lift motif. Hand-chamfered and polished bridges
Distinctive feature: flying tourbillon

Case
Shape / dimensions: Round, 43 mm in diameter
Material: Rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire crystal and case-back with anti-glare treatment
Water resistance: 3 bar

Dial
White-lacquered dial
“Horse” cut-out motif

Strap
Havana alligator

Model: ARCEAU Lift tourbillon répétition minutes (White gold)

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes white gold

Edition
One-of-a-kind model

Movement
Manufacture Hermès H1924 movement
Mechanical hand-wound, crafted in Switzerland
Diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼ ‘’’)
Thickness: 6.1 mm
Power reserve: 90 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3Hz)
Functions: Double gong, minute repeater, hours, minutes
Decoration: Mirror-polished tourbillon carriage topped with the Lift motif. Hand-chamfered and polished bridges
Distinctive feature: flying tourbillon

Case
Shape / dimensions: Round, 43 mm in diameter
Material: White gold
Crystal: Sapphire crystal and case-back with anti-glare treatment
Water resistance: 3 bar

Dial
Blue-lacquered dial
“Horse” cut-out motif

Strap
Abyss blue alligator

Links

Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Introduced this year as a new member of the prestigious Geneva watch brand’s Grand Complications family, the new Ref. 5303 is the first Patek Philippe minute repeater with visible striking mechanism on the dial side.

The Ref. 5303 was unveiled in 2019 in a limited edition of 12 watches as a world debut on the occasion of the “Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019”. The new slightly modified version of the Ref. 5303 Minute Repeater Tourbillon stands out with an eye-catching open-worked dial.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

The repeater mechanism – for the first time with the hammers and gongs – can be admired in action without removing the watch from the wrist. Further, the back side of the tourbillon cage can be seen beneath the seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. In this wonderful work of art, the filigreed steel parts glisten against the backdrop of the rose gilt plate.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

The aesthetic of the manually wound caliber R TO 27 PS was subtly reworked to emphasize its appeal. For instance, certain components were pierced, as is common for skeletonized movements. This movement also highlights Patek Philippe’s rich heritage in the manual finissage. The manufacture decorated the movement plate with Genevan circular graining, applied a delicate perlage to the recesses, and decorated the hammers with a circular satin finish.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

The matchless rose-gold case sports a wide, cambered and polished bezel as well as white gold inlays with foliage engravings that grace the caseband and the strap lugs. The white-gold slide in the left-hand case flank that activates the minute repeater features the same motif.

The hour circle is black-lacquered sapphire-crystal rim with powdered rose-gold markers. The movement can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back and is framed by a white gold rim. Its open-worked decoration echoes the case inlays and the repeater slide.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

This finest example of the traditional watchmaking artistry is complemented with the unique sound that is typical of Patek Philippe repeater timepieces. As is the case for every Patek Philippe minute repeater, this melody of time is personally rated with great care by manufacture president Thierry Stern.

This year, Patek Philippe has also added a reinterpretation of the legendary Ref. 5370 Split-Seconds Chronograph and a redesigned edition of the classic Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph into their Grand Complication collection.

Technical details

Model: Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Movement
Caliber R TO 27 PS
Manually wound mechanical movement, minute repeater, tourbillon and subsidiary seconds
Diameter: 31.6 mm
Height: 8.35 mm
Number of parts: 356
Number of jewels: 29
Power reserve: Min. 40 hours, max. 48 hours
Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)
Balance: Gyromax®
Balance spring: Breguet
Balance spring stud: Adjustable
Functions: Two-position crown:
• Pushed in: To wind the watch
• Pulled out: To set the time
Displays: Center hour and minute hands; Subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock
Activation of minute repeater: Slide in left-hand case flank
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal

Case
18K rose gold 5N with inlays in 18K white gold
Sapphire-crystal case back
Case protected against moisture and dust, not water-resistant
Case dimensions: Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12.13 mm
Width between lugs: 20 mm

Dial
Hour circle in black-lacquered sapphire-crystal with white printed minute scale and powdered rose-gold markers
Leaf-shaped hour and minute hands in 18K white gold, pierced and lacquered in black
Subsidiary seconds with leaf-shaped hand in 18K rose gold 5NPage 6

Strap
Alligator leather with large square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, fold-over clasp in 18K rose gold 5N

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart

Incorporating three major horological complications – minute repeater, tourbillon and sky chart – this one-of-a-kind timepiece was created by the watchmakers of the dedicated Les Cabinotiers department of Vacheron Constantin.

Following the footsteps of the Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 and the Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860 created by the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers department in 2017, this high technical complication watch successfully associates three high horology complications: the minute repeater function, a tourbillon and a depiction of the starry heavens. Showcasing the technical art of horology along with the aesthetic values of the Manufacture, this new creation echoes the consummate skills that have given rise to the Vacheron Constantin most emblematic and technical models.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart

The white gold case of Les Cabinotiers minute repeater tourbillon sky chart features a powerful aesthetic contrast: the bezel and lugs set with baguette-cut diamonds illuminate a pure black dial punctuated by baguette-cut diamond hour-markers and accentuated by a central guilloche pattern. This subtle contrast between the pure design and the sparkle of precious stones highlights the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart

The sky chart appearing on the case-back depicts the night sky above Geneva, the Milky Way, constellations and stars shine brightly as if viewed through a telescope. The celestial tableau performs one full spin on its axis in 23 hours and 56 minutes, corresponding to sidereal time.

The concave dial shape accentuates the depth effect. In keeping with horological standards, an ellipse drawn on the sapphire crystal emphasises the exact position of the constellations when the wearer consults the watch. Finally, this fascinating sight is complemented by indications of sidereal time, months and cardinal points.

The new manual-winding high complication movement specifically dedicated to the Les Cabinotiers collection is endowed with a 58-hour power reserve.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart
Reference: 9737C/000G-B480
Hallmark of Geneva

Movement
Caliber 2755
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm diameter, 9.4 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
413 components
38 jewels

Functions
Hours, minutes
Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
Minute repeater
Tourbillon
Sidereal time, months and sky chart at the back of the watch

Case
18K white gold
45 mm diameter, 15.1 mm thick
Bezel and horns set with 112 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 5.80 cts)

Dial
Black guilloché dial
18K white gold hours, minutes, and small seconds hands
Back hand-engraved with luminescent sky chart (North hemisphere)

Strap
Black Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
18K white gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Luxury box made of Makassar ebony wood

Accessories
Delivered with a corrector pen

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

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon

This grand complication timepiece from Vacheron Constantin incorporates a brand new Manufacture Calibre 2755 TMR, which drives two major horological complications: the minute repeater and the tourbillon.

Unveiled as a preview model for the upcoming SIHH 2017 haute-horlogerie exhibition, this finely crafted model, which comes in a choice of pink gold and platinum versions and equipped with an original Manufacture movement, is enriching the Traditionnelle line, dedicated to a supremely demanding exercise of the watchmaking art inherited from the finest 18th century traditions.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon platinum watch

Certified by the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, the Traditionnelle minute repeater tourbillon meets the highest standards criteria of craftsmanship and reliability.

The Traditionnelle minute repeater tourbillon reflects the technical and aesthetic sophistication pervading every Vacheron Constantin model.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon Platinum watch with slate grey dial

It testifies to the rich watchmaking history of the Manufacture, which has pursued its activities uninterrupted since 1755. Its new caliber, entirely developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin, combines two of the most demanding complications. The prestigious and complex tourbillon serves to compensate for the effects of gravity and thereby enhances the precision of the watch.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon platinum watch with silver guilloche dial

The minute repeater also testifies to consummate mastery of the watchmaking art and remains one of the most sought-after complications. On demand and at a press on a single pusher, the gongs of the mechanism chime the hours, quarters and minutes.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon watch with platinum case and slate grey dial

In addition to mastering the technical complexity of this complication, watchmakers must also have an excellent musical ear in order to adjust the gongs as one would an instrument. By uniting these two complications within a single caliber, Vacheron Constantin is accomplishing a remarkable technical feat and paying tribute to traditional handcrafted watchmaking expertise passed on from generation to generation.

Striking the perfect chord between technical and aesthetic considerations, the Traditionnelle minute repeater tourbillon highlights the expertise of the Manufacture in crafting exceptional timepieces. The dial comes in slate grey or silver-toned variations on the platinum models; and is silver-toned for the pink gold version.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon pink gold watch

It is graved with a refined hand-guilloché motif reserved for timepieces exclusively available from Vacheron Constantin boutiques. This unique pattern reflects the inventiveness of the Maison and its mastery of guilloché work – a delicate traditional skill applied to watchmaking from the 18th century onwards.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon pink gold version

The hours and minutes hands, made of pink or white gold depending on the versions, are slightly offset towards the upper section of the dial, so as to provide more space for the tourbillon carriage appearing in the lower half.

The 6 o’clock opening provides a chance to admire the stately dance of the tourbillon, which is all the more entrancing in that the caliber beats at the low frequency of 2.5 Hz, a speed characteristic of traditional watchmaking and providing an opportunity to appreciate the rhythm of its pulsations to the full.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon pink gold watch with silver guilloche dial

Fashioned in the shape of Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross emblem, the tourbillon carriage features a hand-polished bar that in itself required around 11 hours of meticulous workmanship.

Vacheron Constantin Caliber 2755 TMR

The Traditionnelle minute repeater tourbillon is driven by the new Caliber 2755 TMR; designed, developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin. This hand-wound movement bears the Hallmark of Geneva and features an exceptional level of chronometric and aesthetic quality.

Vacheron Constantin Caliber 2755 TMR

Combining a minute repeater mechanism striking on demand with a tourbillon, it displays the hours and minutes as well as small seconds on the tourbillon carriage. The 58-hour power-reserve indication – with its pink gold pointer whose colour is achieved by a black oxide process – is unusually placed on the back of the watch rather than on the dial.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon watch case back view platinum

The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the caliber, composed of 471 parts and adorned with 40 jewels, along with its hand-crafted finishes meeting the highest watchmaking standards.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon watch case back pink gold

Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques, the Traditionnelle minute repeater tourbillon is delivered with a resonance holder « La Musique du Temps » that serves to amplify the sound and the harmony of the notes struck by the minute repeater.

Technical details

Model: Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon, Platinum
References: 6500T/000P-9949 & 6500T/000P-B100
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
Only available in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques

Movement
Caliber2755 TMR
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm (14’’’¾) diameter, 6.1 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
471 components
40 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes, minute repeater, tourbillon, small seconds on tourbillon cage, power reserve indicator (on the back of the watch)

Case
950 platinum
44 mm diameter, 12.2 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, hand-guilloché, silvered opaline/slate-colored
18K white gold hour-markers

Strap
Blue/black Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Clasp
950 platinum folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Prestige model, delivered withthe resonator of sound “La Musique du Temps” enhancing the sound and the harmony of notes of the Vacheron Constantin minute repeater

Model: Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon, Pink Gold, Reference: 6500T/000R-B324
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Only available in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques

Movement
Caliber 2755 TMR
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm (14’’’¾) diameter, 6.1 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
471 components
40 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes, minute repeater, tourbillon, small seconds on tourbillon cage, power reserve indicator (on the back of the watch)

Case
18K 5N pink gold 44mm diameter, 12.2 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, hand-guilloché, silvered opaline
18K 5N pink gold hour-markers

Strap
Dark brown Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Clasp
18K 5N pink gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Prestige model, delivered with the resonator of sound “La Musique du Temps” enhancing the sound and the harmony of notes of the Vacheron Constantin minute repeater

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm

Equipped with the exclusive Tourbillon Regulator and the remarkable Double Minute Repeater Mechanism Chiming either local time or a second time zone, the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT is technically the most complicated watch ever made by the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel.

For the creation of the new Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT, Officine Panerai has sought inspiration from its own history – for over a century indissolubly linked to the world of the sea – and from the marine tradition of marking the passage of time by a ship’s bell. On sailing ships in particular, the striking of a bell played an essential part in life on board: it served to rouse the crew in the morning, to summon the sailors for meals and to indicate the end of each watch.

But it was also used to warn of danger, to convene an assembly or to indicate the presence of the ship to others when visibility was restricted by fog. This ancient tradition is invoked again today by the special tones of the chimes of this exceptional new Special Edition created by the Panerai Haute Horlogerie Manufacture in Neuchâtel.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm, Reference: PAM00600

For the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT Officine Panerai has developed the new P.2005/MR Manufacture movement, a hand-wound skeleton calibre fitted with a high-end minute repeater mechanism with distinctive technical characteristics, faithful to the philosophy of the brand of innovating by pursuing constructional simplicity which results in practical benefits and ease of operation.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm, Reference: PAM00600

The chiming is activated by a push-piece at 8 o’clock, and it is carried out by three hammers which strike an equal number of gongs fixed to the movement and the case. The choice of three hammers, instead of the traditional two, enables three different sounds to be combined, so that the carillon can play a melody, like that of a bell.

As is traditional, the first gong is the lowest and identifies the hour, while the last and highest indicates individual minutes. The unusual feature is that the second gong sounds triple chimes of an intermediate note, each triple chime corresponding to ten minutes instead of the traditional fifteen.

An example will help to describe the operation: in an ordinary repeater, the time of 10.28 is usually indicated by ten chimes for the hour, a different chime for the quarter of an hour and thirteen individual chimes for the minutes.

In Officine Panerai’s Minute Repeater Carillon, however, the sequence consists of ten chimes for the hour, then two triple chimes (the two ten-minute intervals) and eight single chimes. The system of tens, reducing the number of chimes, makes telling the time easier and quicker, and it also corresponds to customary way in which time is now indicated by digital watches.

The quality of the sound propagated by the minute repeater is also enhanced by the specificities of the red gold of which the case is made and by its structure, being formed of two parts created separately and then soldered together.

This construction enables the empty spaces inside the case to be optimised in order to enhance the quality of the sound. The hand work by master watchmakers gives the sound of each watch a unique character, similar yet imperceptibly different from each other.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm, Reference: PAM00600

The most remarkable feature of Officine Panerai’s Minute Repeater Carillon is the fact that the repeater function can be activated both for local time and for a second time zone, which is indicated on the dial by the central arrow hand and the am/pm indicator on the counter at 3 o’clock.

In this case too, the simplicity of selection and of activating what is, in essence, a double hour and minute repeater mechanism, is astonishing and the device is designed not to affect the safety of the movement.

To avoid accidental activation, the carillon can be operated by the push-piece at 8 o’clock only when the winding crown is rotated slightly.

The degree of rotation required is shown by a black indicator placed on the side of the crown: when the indicator can be seen from the front, the carillon cannot be sounded but, by a single pressure on the push-piece on the crown, the local time or the second time zone can be selected, and the red HT/LT (Home Time/ Local Time) indicator at 8 o’clock marks which of the two alternatives is in force.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm, Reference: PAM00600

As well as the minute repeater mechanism, the hand-wound P.2005/MR calibre, the result of four years of research and development by the Laboratorio di Idee in the Neuchâtel manufacture, also has the remarkable Panerai tourbillon regulator, which can be admired from both the front and the back of the watch thanks to the sophisticated work of skeletonisation.

In the system patented by Officine Panerai, the rotation of the tourbillon is different from that of the classic tourbillon. In the traditional version the balance cage rotates continuously on itself, cancelling out any variations caused by gravity and possible shocks. In the innovative Panerai mechanism, the tourbillon cage rotates on an axis which is perpendicular, not parallel, to that of the balance.

Also, while the rotation is once a minute in a traditional tourbillon, in the P.2005/MR it takes 30 seconds, and this is shown by an indicator which rotates in the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock. The greater speed and the particular arrangement of the mechanism enable it to compensate for any changes of rate very effectively, ensuring a very accurate precision timepiece.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm, Reference: PAM00600

The sophisticated work of skeletonising is helpful in providing better acoustic performance and it also enables the sophisticated technology of the P.2005/MR calibre and its fascinating details to be admired. All the elements which form the dial are directly mounted on the movement or on the flange, on which the words ‘RADIOMIR 1940 PANERAI’ and ‘MINUTE REPEATER CARILLON’ are engraved.

The little hammers of the minute repeaters and the two spring barrels, which store a power reserve of at least four days, are visible from the open back, through which the power reserve indicator mounted on the movement can also be read.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm, Reference: PAM00600

From the aesthetic point of view, the codes of the new Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT are the immediately recognisable ones of the Panerai style, such as the historic Radiomir 1940 case (49 mm in diameter) and the characteristic bar markers and figures covered with Super-LumiNova®.

The case is presented in 18 carat red gold, a metal of intense colour and excellent properties both in terms of resistance to corrosion – thanks to a percentage of platinum in the composition of the alloy – and in propagating the sound, with its particular hardness.

For this watch, realised as a Special Edition and only made to order for clients, Officine Panerai has anticipated the possibility of personalisation, which includes not only the choice of strap, of the hands or of other special features, but also the possibility of making the case in a material other than red gold.

Another essential element of a Panerai watch, even for an exceptionally complicated model such as the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT (PAM00600), is water- resistance, in this case guaranteed to 3 bar (equivalent to a depth of about 30 metres).

Technical details

Model: Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT – 49mm
Reference: PAM00600

Movement
Hand-wound mechanical, P.2005/MR calibre
Hand-wound mechanical
16 ¼ lignes in diameter
Thickness 10.35 mm
59 jewels
28,800 alternations/hour
Incabloc® anti-shock device
Two spring barrels
633 components
Power reserve: 96 h (4 days)

Functions
Hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT 12/24 h, power reserve indicator on the back, local time and home time Minute Repeater for hours, 10 minutes and minutes, tourbillon

Case
49 mm, 18ct. polished red gold
Water resistance: 3 bar (~30 metres)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research

Exceptional engineering and the power of sound merge in one of the most innovative concept watches created by a Swiss haute horlogerie watchmaking house.

The result of an in-depth eight-year sound research programme with three patents pending, this new Royal Oak Concept watch, a unique prototype, will be unveiled by Audemars Piguet at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2015 (SIHH) in Geneva.

Engineered within Audemars Piguet’s acoustic research lab, this new Royal Oak Concept is the first chiming watch so acoustically considered as to become a sound concept in its own right.

It has been sonically developed through an ongoing acoustic study programme in collaboration with the EPFL (EcolePolytechniqueFédérale de Lausanne) and it took three years to transfer that technological study into a watch concept. The result is scientifically defined sonic targets for watchmakers to measure and attain the ‘perfect’ minute repeater sound at a volume level never achieved before.

By applying the principles of stringed instrument making, Audemars Piguet has made a breakthrough in the acoustic quality of chiming watch technology and significantly enhanced sound transmission. In parallel, the Manufacture has innovated to overcome the necessary restrictions of water-resistance, which naturally dampens volume, with creative solutions increasing sound intensity.

Finally, to further improve sound perception, Audemars Piguet developed a new – almost silent – striking mechanism regulator. The result?  The volume, pitch, tones and harmony of sound in a modern water-resistant minute repeater watch are all scientifically enhanced.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research

For the first time in the history of chiming wristwatches, this timepiece isn’t a minute repeater simply meant for the confidential use of its wearer. Instead, its unique sound becomes a powerful experience to be shared.

The family-owned watchmaker took a passionate as well as a technological approach to the study programme, engaging a carefully chosen community of researchers, including watchmakers, artisans, technicians and academics.

The inner working of musical instruments was explored by a stringed instrument maker, an esteemed academic of the Geneva conservatory contributed on the subject of perceived sound, and an engineer from EPFL worked to improve sonic quality. Each added to the texture of the research programme, preventing it from becoming a simple academic exercise and highlighting sound as an expressive tool.

This new piece is a milestone in Audemars Piguet’s rich history of creating inventive, masterful and unique concepts: it breaks the rules of chiming watches by mastering sound.

Technical details

Model: Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research

Movement
Hand-wound Manufacture movement with minute repeater, tourbillon and column-wheel chronograph
Total diameter: 29.90 mm (13 ¼  lignes)
Minimal guaranteed power reserve> 48 h
Frequency of balance wheel: 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations / hour)

Functions
Hours and minutes
Chronograph with central sweep-seconds hand, 30-minute counter (at 3 o’clock)
Minute Repeater

Case
Titanium case, Titanium bezel, titanium push piece guards
Diameter: 44 mm
Water Resistance: 20 m

Dial
Black dial, black counters, Royal Oak concept hands with luminescent coating

Strap
Black rubber with titanium folding buckle

AUDEMARS PIGUET Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph Limited Edition

AUDEMARS PIGUET, the legendary Swiss watch Manufacture based in Le Brassus unveils Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph, a limited edition timepiece model equipped with complications and clothed in a case inspired by that of a 1920s cushion-shaped pocket watch belonging to its private museum.

Unveiled at SIHH 2013,  the Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph is produced in two 10-piece limited editions: one in pink and white gold, and the other in titanium and white gold.

The first version, featuring a pink gold case middle topped by a white gold bezel, associated with an anthracite dial, pink gold hands and hour-markers, lends the model an original and timeless charm.  The other version with its titanium case middle and white gold bezel offers the wearer the best possible auditory experience when the minute repeater is in operation.

Few people are aware that the quality of the sound emitted by a watch largely depends on the metal from which the case is made, as well as its volume. The larger the case and the lighter and harder the materials, the more it enables the acoustic waves to expand. The 47 mm titanium case thereby maximises the sound volume, thus enhancing connoisseurs’ listening pleasure.

AUDEMARS PIGUET Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph Limited Edition

In addition to its original design, this extraordinary instrument also houses an exceptional movement combining highly sought-after horological complications including a tourbillon regulator and a minute repeater mechanism. Assembled within a single mechanism and complemented by a chronograph function, they form a rare and outstanding whole.

The appealingly curved case of the Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph accommodates a mechanical hand-wound 13 ¼-ligne (29.90 mm) calibre that is  7.65 mm thick and comprises 504 parts – of which some of the individual elements and mechanical subsets are visible through the transparent case-back.

Moreover, the  83 parts composing the one-minute rotating tourbillon with its balance oscillating at a rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour may be admired through the dial opening, thus enabling the owner of this fantastic instrument to revel in the sight of this 0.4 gram regulator of which the constant revolutions are designed to enhance the precision of the watch.

AUDEMARS PIGUET Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph Limited Edition

This exceptional timepiece is also superbly crafted by hand according to the highest Fine Watchmaking standards in order to reveal meticulously worked parts fully respectful of tradition.

The patient finishing work, to which specialised artisans devote hundreds of hours, is clearly visible through the transparent case-back. Finishes such as bevelling, recesses, sinks and sandblasting are required countless hours of fine craftsmanship and incredible dexterity, in a process amounting to around one-third of the price of the movement.

Among the techniques used to make this movement visually appealing, bevelling is undoubtedly the most highly appreciated manual technique, as well as that which requires the greatest accuracy. This exercise, which calls for years of experience, consists in using a file to cut down the edges of components and in polishing them with a slightly curved burnisher, so as to highlight the rim by enabling the light to play across the bevels.

These finishes serve historically functional purpose, by protecting the movement against dust and humidity, and thus any risk of oxidation. Nonetheless, these finishes and decorations will only effectively magnify the beauty of the mechanism if the technique involved in this art is fully mastered.

AUDEMARS PIGUET Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph Limited Edition

In the case of this model, each part has been treated with infinite care. Some components, such as the hammers of the minute repeater striking mechanism which are visible through the case-back, combine two finishes entailing highly complex execution: a mirror polish that is so fine that artisans even joke among themselves that “a glance is enough to scratch it”; along with a bevelling featuring interior and external angles embodying the ultimate expression of the artist’s mastery.

These specific angles, which can be easily pinpointed in the mechanism, may be viewed as the secret signature of the artisan, and provide undeniable proof of the authenticity of a work performed by hand because no machine could possibly produce this type of finish.

Manufacture Audemars Piguet hand-wound Calibre 2874

These two intense and exceptional models, with their cases featuring a particularly distinctive design, share the same Manufacture Audemars Piguet hand-wound Calibre 2874, partially visible through the case-back and ensuring a 48-hour power reserve.

This watch interpreted in pink and white gold version fitted with an alligator strap is secured to the wrist by a pink gold folding clasp, while the titanium and white gold version of this Tradition watch comes with a white gold folding clasp.

Technical details

Model: Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph

Movement
Proprietary Calibre 2874, hand-wound
Total diameter: 29.90 mm (13¼ lines)
Movement thickness: 7.65 mm
Number of jewels: 38
Number of parts: 504
Minimum guaranteed power reserve: 48 hrs
Cadence of the balance: 21,600 vph

Case
Titanium case (47 mm), glareproofed sapphire crystal and case-back, 18K white gold crown, bezel, pushpieces and case-back.

Dial
Silvered opaline dial, pink gold applied Arabic numerals and hands.

Functions
Tourbillon, chronograph, minute repeater striking on 2 gongs, hours, minutes, small seconds.

Specific Characteristics
Triple complication movement
Column-wheel chronograph mechanism
30-minute counter
Hand-finished bridges and mainplate
Hand-finished cut-out parts (polished bevels, straight-grained on top and matt surface underneath)

Strap
Hand-sewn black “large square scales” crocodile leather with 18K white gold AP folding clasp.

Reference
26564IC.OO.D002CR.01
10-piece limited edition

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers : Philosophia & Vladimir

Created in 2006, Vacheron Constantin’s Atelier Cabinotiers revives the very unique spirit of 18th century Geneva. At that time, prestigious clients came to order directly from the cabinotiers, the watch industry craftsmen who forged the city’s reputation. Royalty such as King Fouad of Egypt or his son King Farouk were also fervent collectors of one-of-a-kind models created by the Manufacture.

Today, for the first time, Vacheron Constantin is unveiling two timepieces ordered from Atelier Cabinotiers, a new and unique service that custom-makes Fine Watches.

Secrecy and confidentiality surround most of the watches made to order by Vacheron Constantin. Sometimes embodying the wildest of dreams, always expressions of a burning desire, they are heard of more often than seen. These exceptional collection pieces come to life in Geneva at Atelier Cabinotiers.

Unique in the watchmaking industry, this custom-building department offers clients a very exclusive service representing far more than just a finished product and based on the attentive listening skills and expertise of this Fine Watchmaking Manufacture founded in 1755.

By providing this service, the latter is reviving the spirit of the cabinotiers, the highly specialised Geneva craftsmen who made the city famous beginning in the 11th century – first in jewellery, and then in watchmaking. This year, for the first time, Vacheron Constantin is unveiling two unique pieces stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva and made by its Atelier Cabinotiers service.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia

This one of a kind, custom made model is christened Philosophia by its owner. It brilliantly sets the scene for the peaceful coexistence of Fine Watchmaking and approximate time. The original idea was based on the postulate that mankind does not need to constantly know the exact time to the nearest minute.

In some parts of the world, making an appointment “in the morning” or “in the evening” is quite sufficient to allow two people to meet. In the same spirit, knowing that it is 12 or 17 minutes past ten o’clock does not make the Philosophia’s owner any happier or unhappier.

However, while this man has decided on a lifestyle of displaying approximate time, he is no less a connoisseur of excellence. Far from being indifferent, he is in fact a Fine Watchmaking enthusiast and a major collector of timepieces.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia Watch

The Philosophia conveys all of these things at once. Based on a model from the Patrimony collection, it has only one hand in the centre, the hour hand, with a 24-hour display, allowing the approximate hour to be read without worrying about the minutes.

But if the owner wants a more exact idea of the time at any given moment, he simply engages the on-off slide of the Philosophia’s minute repeater, which reveals the exact hour, quarter hour and minute. If the hand is a little before 6 o’clock, the chime will sound five times on a low note, three times on a low-to-high note pair, and, for example, twelve times on a high note. That means it is exactly 5:57.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia Watch

Another sophisticated touch in the Philosophia is an opening in the dial at 6 o’clock that reveals a tourbillon rotating once every 60 seconds. The commissioner of the piece, who also likes astronomy, asked for a customised precision moon phase; the moon is shown with its craters, and a single star – the pole star—shines near it.

On the back of the watch, the power reserve indicator bears a small plaque stamped with the intertwined constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Nearby, engraved in the 18-carat pink gold of the custom case, the identifying phrase “Les Cabinotiers” and the Atelier Cabinotiers coat of arms attest to the exceptional origin of this timepiece, which is also stamped with the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia Watch

Highly customised, the entire Philosophia – a one-of-a-kind model – was made piece by piece at Vacheron Constantin by Atelier Cabinotiers. At its owner’s request, it was engraved with “No Un/Un” [No. One/One] instead of the usual “1/1” marked on one-of-a-kind pieces.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia Watch

This attention to detail was the rule for all 522 components of the hand-wound mechanical movement that makes the Philosophia tick. The movement that drives a minute repeater, a 60-second tourbillon and the moon-phase display. Careful attention was paid to the finishes of all components; even the surfaces that will never be seen are hand decorated.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia Watch

This is true, for example, of the plate and its hand matt-effect file-stroke treatment, which gives it a very beautiful granulated sandy effect but which no one –except the watchmaker who takes the watch apart for maintenance – will ever see. Another special detail is the openwork at the centre of the escapement wheel, which provides a place for a pierced Maltese Cross motif, the symbol of Vacheron Constantin.

Unique in its spirit, aesthetics and exclusive mechanism, the Philosophia model was recently delivered to its owner by Vacheron Constantin’s Atelier Cabinotiers. It goes without saying that the presentation box as well as all the accessories and related documents – including the instructions – were also custom-made, one of each.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Philosophia Watch
Reference: 80173/000R9483

Movement
Calibre: 2755 , Stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva
Energy:Mechanical, manual-winding
Movement diameter: 33.30 mm
Movement thickness: 7.65 mm
Jewels: 40
Frequency: 18’000 vibrations / hour (2.5 Hz)

Indications
Hours 24 H, second on tourbillon
Minute Repeater
Tourbillon
Power reserve on the back of the watch
Power reserve: Approx. 58 hours
Bespoke power reserve dial engraved with “great and lesser Bear”

Case
18K 5N pink gold
43 mm in diameter
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on one side
Water-Resistance: None

Dial
Silvered opaline
Moon-phases disc in 18K 5N pink gold
Black painted minute-track and 11 Arabic numerals

Strap
Brown Mississipiensis alligator leather, square scales,hand-stitched, saddle finish

Clasp
Buckle in 18K 5N pink gold
Polished half Maltese Cross

Unique piece
Case-back engraved with “Les Cabinotiers” identification and “AC” Hallmark

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir

The second special order was named Vladimir by its owner. This Slavic first name is derived from the ancient term Volodimir, which literally means “domination by peace” or “peace to all.”

This superlative watch is none other than one of the world’s most complicated timepieces. That is what its owner wanted, and Vacheron Constantin’s Atelier Cabinotiers gathered the resources to meet this very ambitious goal.

As it began this extraordinary adventure and accepted this uncommon mechanical challenge, Vacheron Constantin knew it could count on its unusual expertise garnered over an uninterrupted span of more than 250 years in business.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch

The Genevese Manufacture had demonstrated this during its quarter-millennial celebration in 2005 by designing and producing in its own workshops what was at the time the world’s most complicated wristwatch, the famous Tour de l’Ile. The Vladimir model that has just left Ateliers Cabinotiers is even more complicated than that legendary model of 2005.

The hand-wound mechanical movement of this unique Vladimir watch drives no less than 17 complications. This exceptional movement, bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, has some 891 components, all hand-finished or hand-decorated at Vacheron Constantin. It is both a technical and aesthetic triumph that took Atelier Cabinotiers and its top-flight watchmakers four years to develop.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch

Vladimir’s main dial was hand-engraved on a rose engine at Atelier Cabinotiers, gives an indication of the complexity of this horological masterpiece and reveals an impressive array of complications, in addition to the usual display of hours and minutes.

To begin with the supreme example, the very refined 60-second tourbillon mechanism stands out at 6 o’clock, while next to it at 3 o’clock appears the moon phase on a blue sky with a precision moon in gold, smiling or serious depending on the phase and hand-engraved by Atelier Cabinotiers craftsmen. To its right, a smaller counter with a small blued hand indicates the striking mechanism torque, i.e., whether the minute repeater mechanism is engaged.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch

In addition to the hour and minute hands – one-of-a-kind pieces made especially for this watch –that travel around the slightly off-centre minute markers, the front side of the main dial provides a second time zone with day/night indicator at 11 o’clock. The power reserve indicator is located in the 9 o’clock sector, also enhanced by a 52-week indicator.

At this point, we have already seen seven easily identifiable complications on a well-balanced dial – with all of the motifs and materials having been selected by the purchaser – that are perfectly legible and aesthetically flawless. As another sign of the personalisation evident throughout the entire creative process, the guilloché pattern on the dial was also chosen by the collector of this exceptional timepiece.

The back is no less admirable than the front, having a wealth of information that is pleasantly arranged, exciting, subtle and surprising. On the upper portion, the perpetual calendar dials are arranged in a triangle, displaying the days of the week, month and date from left to right.

A small window at 1 o’clock shows the leap-year cycle. In the centre of the dial, a blued hand sweeps over a small sector devoted to the equation of time, the variable difference observable between true (solar) time and the time marked by clocks, which for convenience is divided into equal intervals.

Two other pieces of astronomical information are conveyed by hands traversing two sectors at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock: the time of sunrise and sunset. The list of functions ends in a blaze of glory with a precision sky chart of the northern hemisphere, as one rarely sees it.

This exceptional mechanical watch bearing the Hallmark of Geneva has a setting to match. The Vladimir’s case is itself a work of art, epitomising the legendary expertise and nimble fingers of Atelier Cabinotiers’ artistic craftsmen.

On the sides of this unique and imposing piece, which is 47 mm in diameter, the signs of the Chinese zodiac appear in bas-relief. The motifs and the bas-relief technique (which is extremely rare in watchmaking) used here were both done by request of the owner.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch

Before getting to the heart of the matter with regard to the subject and materials, the designers showed the purchaser many sketches. The decision was then made to depict the signs of the zodiac on both sides of the case, which itself is made of 18-carat pink gold.

In the end, the twelve figures – from the dragon through the rabbit and the rooster to the snake – were made to stand out slightly from the main body of 18-carat pink gold. It was a colossal task for the engravers – the twelve figures alone took more than six months – and required that a very special case first had to be made with extra-thick sides, from which the superfluous material was removed, carving roughly at first and then in very fine detail.

Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch

As with every other timepiece from Vacheron Constantin’s workshop, the case was then polished very subtly, a task made all the more difficult by the fact that it absolutely must not destroy the engraver’s incredible work on the bas-reliefs.

In order to meet the challenge and create this extremely complex and unique timepiece, Atelier Cabinotiers called on more than 20 experts and craftsmen. It was a Herculean effort for a watch that deserves to join the legendary ranks of exceptional watchmaking.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch
Reference: 80253/000R-9593

Movement
Calibre: 2750, Stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva
Energy Mechanical, manual-winding
Movement diameter: 36.00 mm
Movement thickness: 11.25 mm
Jewels: 38
Frequency: 18’000 Vibrations / hour (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: Approx. 58 hours

Indications
Hours, minutes, second on tourbillon
Minute repeater
Perpetual Calendar
Power reserve
Second time zone
Moon phase indication, age of the moon
Striking-mechanism torque
Perpetual time equation
Sunrise, sunset
Celestial map
Week number indication

Case
18K 5N pink gold
47.00 mm in diameter
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on one side
Manual engraving of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs on the side of the case
Water-Resistance: None

Dial
18K white gold
Hand-guilloched
Minute-track painted in white
8 applied hour markers in 18K pink gold

Strap
Brown Mississipiensis alligator leather, square scales, hand-stitched, saddle finish

Clasp
Buckle in 18K 5N pink gold
Polished half Maltese Cross

Unique piece
Case-back engraved with “Les Cabinotiers” identification and “AC” Hallmark

Manufacture Royale OPERA

Swiss luxury watch brand Manufacture Royale has announced that it will manufacture its first Opera model series after having unveiled it at the end of 2010. This high complication wristwatch incorporates tourbillon and minute repeater mechanisms.

Manufacture Royale OPERA

Although the first few that were made remain unique pieces reserved for the art market and the manufacturing heritage, Opera now has 5 editions in series production (rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, bicolour gold, and platinum).

Each 100% Swiss-made collection piece is numbered, designed at the Vallorbe manufacturing site, and made strictly identical to the original work of art. With its very original mechanism, Opera is the first timepiece to combine a Minute Repeater and a Tourbillon providing a 108-hour power reserve.

Manufacture Royale OPERA

The ultimate in luxury, each numbered Opera piece has a lifetime warranty from Manufacture Royale, and extra, separate clockwork parts for each piece are filed with the manufacturer’s notary along with assembly instructions.

Manufacture Royale OPERA

Now that it is in series production, Manufacture Royale can offer the Opera timepiece (Répétition Minute Tourbillon) to many amateurs, enthusiasts, and collectors at a recommended retail price of 345,600 CHF (including all applicable taxes) through a select network of the world’s best retailers in the biggest cities.

It is important to note that technical research for waterproofing timepieces while providing optimum sound diffusion of the Répétition Minute has been accomplished, which now meets the needs of well-informed collectors that live in humid areas of the world, specifically in Asia.

Manufacture Royale OPERA

Technical details

Model: Manufacture Royale OPERA

Case
Case materials and finishing:
Folding/unfolding case in patented 18 carat gray or rose gold. 3 sapphire crystals.
Moveable transparent back. Screws and axles in 18 carat gray or rose gold.
Assembled and polished entirely by hand
Individually numbered
Case dimensions: 50mm in diameter
Number of components: 60

Crown
– 18 carat rose gold. Polished and diamond encrusted
– Manufacture Royale logo hand-polished surface

Hands
Hours and minutes in hand-polished 18 carat rose gold.

Movement
Movement dimensions Height: 5.45 mm / Diameter: 32 mm
Number of components: 319
Number of rubies: 29
Power reserve: 108 hours
Frequency: 3Hz, 21,600 vibrations per hour
Plates: Brass with sunray brushing, polished angles
Bridges: Brass with sunray brushing, polished angles
Entirely hand finished
Bells/chimes: Hours in A / Minutes in C sharp

Tourbillon
– Escape wheel and anchors in silicon
– One rotation per minute

Gears: Counter gears and sound system NIHS 20-02
Balance: spring Flat
Balance: with screws

Functions
Hours, Minutes and Repeater (triggered by slide)

Strap
Hand sewn Mississippi alligator skin
Buckle: Hand-polished 18 carat rose and gray gold

Proposed versions

Opera Bi-Color Gold, References: OP50.0508P.1 and OP50.0805P.1

50mm, folding-unfolding case in 18k rose and white gold
3 sapphire crystals, Moveable transparent back
Brown alligator leather with 18k rose and white gold pin buckle

Opera White Gold, Ref. OP50.05P.1

50mm folding-unfolding case in 18k white gold
3 sapphire crystals, Moveable transparent back
Brown alligator leather with 18k white gold pin buckle

Opera Black Gold, REF. OP50.06P.1

50mm folding-unfolding case in black DLC-PVD coated white gold
3 sapphire crystals, Moveable transparent back
Black alligator leather strap with black DLC-PVD coated white gold pin buckle

Opera Yellow Gold, REF. OP50.07P.1

50mm folding-unfolding case in 18k yellow gold
3 sapphire crystals, Moveable transparent back
Brown alligator leather strap with 18k yellow gold pin buckle

Opera Rose Gold, REF. OP50.08P.1

50mm folding-unfolding case in 18k rose gold
3 sapphire crystals, Moveable transparent back
Brown alligator leather strap with 18k rose gold pin buckle

Badollet Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater

The Badollet Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater combines the rich horological heritage of the Badollet brand with resolutely contemporary technical sophistication and functionality.

In 1872, in order to improve the already renowned performances of the Geneva watchmaking business, the Classe d’Industrie et de Commerce de la Société des Arts entrusted the Geneva Observatory with supervising the chronometer rating competition. Badollet won the first edition of the Concours de l’Observatoire, intended to reward the accuracy of the best chronometer, with its pocket-watches sweeping the first three places.

Badollet, having played an active part in the watchmaking adventure from the 18th to the 20th centuries, wished to create a series of models linking the brand’s rich past to its current renewal and reflecting its respect for time-honoured values.

These Instruments of Time, named “Observatoire 1872”, combine a classic case with a shape evoking that of pocket-watches, and movements boasting a resolutely contemporary technical sophistication.

With the Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater, Badollet houses one of the most intricate complications, the minute repeater, within a classic pocket-watch type construction, while endowing it with the technological breakthroughs characterising the brand renewal.

Badollet Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater with flying tourbillon

This understated and elegant Instrument of Time features a round 44 mm-diameter case with gentle shapes in 18-carat gold. Water-resistant to 30 metres, it is enhanced by a glare-proofed sapphire crystal glass and case-back.

Presented here with an open-worked opaline dial set with 72 diamonds and 12 sapphires, the Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater, like all Badollet Instruments of Time, can be interpreted and customised according to personal wishes within the boundaries of technical feasibility. The rhodium-plated leaf-type hands can also be customised.

Clearly visible through the transparent case-back and dial opening, the meticulous finishing – bevelling, circular graining and Côtes de Genève – cleverly reveal the added value inherent to this Haute Horlogerie creation. The hammer, gongs and inertial flywheel of the minute repeater mechanism can be admired on the bridge side.

At the heart of this horological gem beats Calibre BAD1655, a mechanical hand-wound movement with tourbillon type Swiss lever escapement.

This Calibre combines two major complications of the watchmaking art: the flying tourbillon and the minute repeater, which is triggered by a dedicated sliding bolt at 9 o’clock.

Driven by the same concern for optimal functionality, the Observatoire 1972 Minute Repeater is distinguished by the exceptional clarity of the sound it emits. When the mechanism is activated, the time is audibly signalled by the hammers striking the appropriate gongs. These hammers sound the hours on the low-pitched gong, quarters by alternating between the low- and high-pitched gongs, and minutes on the high-pitched gong.

Moreover, its striking work is visible on the dial side, while the hammers, gongs and flying tourbillon can be viewed on the bridge side. The watch displays the hours and minutes, while the flying tourbillon carriage – enhanced by a bridge bearing the Badollet signature – performs one complete rotation that may be admired at 6 o’clock on the dial side.

Technical details

Model: The Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater

Movement
Calibre BAD1655
Hand-wound movement
80-hour power reserve
Tourbillon visible on the dial side at 6 o’clock
Minute repeater with striking mechanism sliding bolt at 9 o’clock

Case
18-carat white gold
Cambered colourless sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides, ultra-hard surface treatment
Colourless glare-proofed sapphire crystal back 18-carat white gold crown
External diameter: 44 mm
Wristband lugs: 24 mm
Water-resistant to 30 metres

Dial
18-carat gold Opaline silver-coloured dial, set with 72 diamonds and 12 sapphires

Hands
Hours and minutes: leap type, blued steel

Strap
Safari alligator mississipieinsis leather, cut-padded, leather-lined, hand-sewn, saddle-stitched. Matt or shiny finish
Folding clasp in 18-carat white gold
Pin buckle in 18-carat white gold

ATELIERS DE MONACO Carré d’’Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Repetition Minute

Monaco based luxury watch maker ATELIERS DE MONACO unveils a fully in-house developed and manufactured Minute Repeater: Carré d’’Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Répétition Minute TB-RM1.

ATELIERS DE MONACO Carré d’'Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Repetition Minute

With this latest invention, Ateliers deMonaco joins a very exclusive group of only a few watch makers in the world that have the ability to design and manufacture such a complication in-house.

ATELIERS DE MONACO Carré d’'Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Repetition Minute

Among others, the TB-RM1 has a square case with a hand cut open dial (skeleton), is water-resistant due to the special case construction around the activation mechanism within the 18K gold side panel (which consists of 55 components), has its own 18K speed regulation system to minimize unnecessary sound production and last but not least, the TB-RM1 movement is hand engraved on the front and back, a signature trademark of the brand.

The ATELIERS DE MONACO Carré d’’Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Repetition Minute is made in a limited edition of only 8 pieces worldwide and comes in a special box that is designed as a resonance instrument.

ATELIERS DE MONACO Carré d’'Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Minute Repeater

Technical details

Model: Carré d’’Or Squelette Grand Tourbillon Repetition Minute

Movement
Grand Tourbillon Repetition Minute TB-RM1
Chiming hours, quarters and minutes on command
Speed regulation of minute repeater with 18K gold weights
Patented XP® 1 minute tourbillon
Manual winding
Power reserve 48 hours
Curved chamfered and unique 3 dimensional deMonaco engraving
Hand engraved sunbeam pattern carved into the main plate of the movement
Ruthenium (also called black gold) plated main plate
Silicium escape wheel and silicium lever
Alternances 28800 beats/hour (4 Hrz)
Custom made hand engraving on tourbillon cage
Sapphire tourbillon bridge

Functions
Hour, minutes, small seconds (6 o’clock)
Tourbillon Minute Repeater

Case
Dimensions 46 x 50 MM
Height 16 MM
7 main parts
55 parts overall.
Ultra light Titanium core
Curved shaped 18 K gold side panels
Integrated activation mechanism and titanium slide in 9 o’clock side panel
Brushed and polished by hand
Assembled by hand
See trough case back
Front and back sapphire crystal
Multi layered anti reflection coating on sapphire crystal
Hand engraved case back, secured with 4 gold screws
Water resistant up to 3 ATM

Dial
Roman skeleton dial cut out by hand
Diamond formed titanium hour markers applied on hour ring
6 o’clock tourbillon opening
Hands: Solid gold skeleton hands

Strap
ATELIERS DE MONACO personalised hand stitched alligator strap
18 K gold folding buckle, adjustable
Folding clasp lock finished with curved chamfered edges engraved ATELIERS DE MONACO

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum

Vacheron Constantin presents Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum, a new high complication watch from its Collection Excellence Platine series.

The Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” belongs to the super-complication category as a worthy heir of Vacheron Constantin’s 250th anniversary masterpiece and as the ultimate demonstration of its unequalled skills.

In fact, this incomparable timepiece harbours three of the most sophisticated complications in the universe of high-class watchmaking: the tourbillon, the perpetual calendar and the minute-repeater. Such a revelation of the quintessence of the watchmaker’s art provides the most accomplished expression of that art and its three score of associated crafts that are in daily practice at Vacheron Constantin.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum

As the descendant of the Tour de l’Ile watch, the exceptional and much noticed flagship watch of the brand’s 250th anniversary in 2005, the Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755”, took three years of development and thousands of hours of work to get right.

It is the most complicated model in Vacheron Constantin’s current catalogue. Its movement consists of no fewer than 602 parts fitted into a diameter of 33.30 mm only 7.90 mm high. This feat of true prowess also delivers more than 55 hours of running time, indicated through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum

Among its three complications, the minute-repeater is undoubtedly the one handled in the most original way, as if yet another demonstration that Vacheron Constantin remains one of the world’s most inventive manufacturers were strictly necessary.

Caught between the desire to extend the frontiers of technical possibility and concern over the practical use of this multi-complication timepiece, Vacheron Constantin’s engineers and watchmakers came up with an original device to regulate the repeater’s chiming rate: a centripetal governor.

The role of this device is to steady the rate at which the hammers strike the gongs of a chiming watch to repeat the hours, quarters and minutes in a series of notes. Without a regulator, the spring-driven strike would come out in a rush of indiscernible notes.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum

The device developed by Vacheron Constantin goes further than the more traditional strike regulator – a noisy recoil escapement with a lever that is subject to wear.

During the development of the movement for the Tour de l’Ile anniversary watch of 2005, Vacheron Constantin’s engineers and watchmakers sought to replace the strike’s escapement governor with a totally silent system that would reduce wear.

A centrifugal governor existed, essentially a flywheel with a pair of weights that moved away from the centre as it spun to slow the wheel by increasing its inertia. Nevertheless, true to the tradition of a brand whose motto recalls that it is always possible to do better, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers preferred to steer their choice towards a centripetal strike governor.

This device has two weights shaped so as to act as a brake on the governor’s rotating shaft, thus evening-out the energy released by the repeater’s spring. To achieve this, it uses the opposite centrifugal and centripetal forces.

When the governor spins, the centrifugal force pivots one end of the weights outwards so that the other end acts as a brake on the central shaft to bring the rotation and the strike to a steady rate. This original and undoubtedly unique device is quite silent. The enthusiast can satisfy his curiosity while marvelling at the spinning governor through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

Patrimony Traditionnelle Calibre 2755

In addition to its minute-repeater, the Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” features a tourbillon, which, apart from its function of equalizing the effects of gravity on different positions of the balance, offers the visual attraction of an exposed mechanism that allows the beating heart of the watch to be observed. The perpetual calendar, which holds the future in its mechanical memory, tracks the meanderings of the Gregorian calendar without intervention apart from resetting the date every 400 years.

Vacheron Constantin not only entirely developed the Calibre 2755; it was also manufactured in its workshops, apart from standard parts. Each component is made with a margin so that the specialists who assemble and adjust them can remove material to introduce the right amount of shake.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Calibre 2755 in Platinum

This procedure, which is in perfect keeping with the tenets governing the design and manufacture of the great horological complications, ensures the best possible performance and makes each movement unique. Once assembled, the Calibre 2755 beats at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations an hour and has a power reserve of about 55 hours.

The level of its finish can be appreciated in the painstakingly chamfered edges of the bridge plates adorned with Côtes de Genève, the circular graining on the baseplate and the rounding-off of the tourbillon bridge. The high-status Hallmark of Geneva on the movement denotes its compliance with the twelve requirements of this independent and legally sanctioned label of workmanship, provenance, accuracy, durability and watchmaking proficiency.

This amazing calibre is fitted in a generously proportioned platinum case, 44 mm in diameter and designed to achieve the most remarkable quality of sound from the minute-repeater. The optimal tuning of the strike is made possible by the ingenious use of the blocks to which the chimes are attached.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum

The rest of the exterior has also benefited from multiple refinements: dials available in silvered or slate finishes, and the folding clasp in 950 platinum with a half Maltese Cross. Noteworthy also is that the dial is shifted slightly off-centre to better display the tourbillon carriage.

Minute-repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar: bringing the three major complications together in a single timepiece remains a rare exercise in style and mastery. Its complexity severely limits the number of Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” platinum watches that can be produced.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” in Platinum

Movement
Calibre 2755, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva
Energy: Mechanical, manual-winding
Movement thickness: 7.90 mm
Movement diameter: 33.30 mm
Jewels: 40 jewels
Frequency: 18,000 vibrations/hour
Power reserve: More than 55 hours

Indications
Minute repeater; Tourbillon
Hours, minutes, seconds on tourbillon
Perpetual calendar
Power reserve on the caseback

Case
950 platinum
Diameter: 44 mm
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on one side
Open-worked back secured with screws, sapphire crystal
Water-resistance: None

Dial
Silvered or dark grey opaline
Finely snailed counters with diamond-polished fillets
Black or white painted minute-track

Strap
Dark blue or black, hand-stitched alligator leather
Clasp: 950 platinum folding clasp; Polished half Maltese Cross

Patrimony Traditionnelle Collection Excellence Platine Edition 2010

Platinum, at the top of the hierarchy of precious metals, denotes the highest prestige in fine watchmaking. Extremely rare, it can be used to protect only watch movements of the most elaborate complexity. Vacheron Constantin thus gives full honour to this most precious of metals by choosing it to encase the very complicated movements of three models introduced in 2010.

The Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2253” model in the Collection Excellence Platine is an outstanding timepiece and chief among the Grand Complication models presented by Vacheron Constantin at the SIHH 2010. In addition to the tourbillon escapement, it includes such astronomical complications as the perpetual calendar, the times of sunrise and sunset and the equation of time. Furthermore it has an exceptional running time of 14 days. Only 10 numbered pieces will be produced in this limited edition.

The Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” watch in platinum concentrates the major complications in which Vacheron Constantin excels both technically and stylistically. It combines the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar with a minute-repeater that features an original and completely silent mechanism to pace the strike.

The third model, also in platinum, is the Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar “Calibre 1141QP”, which embodies the Vacheron Constantin convention in styling. It brings together a chronograph and a perpetual calendar driven by a highly regarded hand-wound movement. The Calibre 1141 is an exceptional design that has been used in some of the best chronographs. Experts consider it a model of highly complex chronograph construction.

The Collection Excellence Platine

Platinum’s rarity, purity and incorruptibility qualify it as supreme among symbols of excellence. Vacheron Constantin started working with platinum in the early 19th century to offer its clients pieces in the most valuable of all metals.

While 18-carat gold contains 75% of the pure metal, platinum is 95% pure. Platinum is also 30 times scarcer than gold and there are very few deposits. Its hardness and density make it more resistant than any other metal and thus the best choice for an everlasting object.

A scratch in platinum displaces rather than removes material, avoiding the loss through wear and tear of a softer metal. Platinum’s ability to retain its full weight and value has made it popular as a token of eternity. Platinum has other remarkable features: it is malleable and very ductile. A gram of the metal can be drawn into a thread almost two kilometers long.

To herald the start of another quarter millennium in 2006, the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin, in tribute to the most extraordinary and aristocratic of precious metals, decided that all platinum watches would henceforth be initially produced in limited editions of never more than 150 pieces.

Their availability would be reserved for collectors and connoisseurs. The Collection Excellence Platine was thus born. In addition to a platinum caseband, each watch in the collection has a rare watchmaking feature that distinguishes it from other watches in this metal. These might include a clasp, a winding crown or hands in platinum, as well as a brushed platinum dial, discreetly hallmarked “PT950”.

Attention to detail is taken to the extreme of using platinum thread entwined with silk to sew the dark blue alligator straps fitted to these watches.

Long reserved for royalty, platinum conveys unrivalled distinction, attracting both arbiters of taste and well-informed collectors. Such owners of Vacheron Constantin timepieces in platinum know that they belong to a most exclusive club.

Patrimony Traditionnelle Collection

In the world of Vacheron Constantin, the Patrimony collection best expresses the manufacturing company’s genetic makeup – the inher-itance of skills painstakingly acquired since its inception. Their round cases span the past and the future as an eternal design of natural elegance that needs no adornment, for the simple beauty of time-honored workmanship is sufficient to denote Swiss watchmaking of the highest order.

The Patrimony Traditionnelle collection remains true to the artistry apparent in some of Vacheron Constantin’s finest historical work. Beyond the studied restraint of the styling, the collection symbolizes certain values shared by those who treasure fine horology.

Those who know something about watches will appreciate the finer points of the company’s “special reserve” watchmaking: the thin bezel, the knurled surround of the screw-held caseback with its sapphire-crystal window, the perfectly ground trapezoid marking each hour – with a pair for the 6 and the 12 – and the faceted Dauphine hands on silvery dials of varied hues.

The case, with welded lugs, has a stepped profile bisected by a cleanly drawn caseband. The artistic heritage of the Patrimony Traditionnelle collection, expressed in today’s terms, serves as a reminder that tradition and modernity coexist as a matter of course at Vacheron Constantin.

Such established artistic parameters can be readily applied across the range of watches in the Patrimony Traditionnelle collection, from a self-winding wristwatch confined to the hours, minutes and seconds, to a minute-repeating tourbillon watch with a perpetual calendar. Extending from straightforward to extremely involved mechanisms, the collection proclaims Vacheron Constantin’s spirit of invention and pays tribute to two-and-a-half centuries of history.

Grönefeld GTM-06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater

This chiming wristwatch, the most complicated wristwatch ever created in The Netherland’s history, is a so-called tourbillon with a minute repeater mechanism, able to sound the exact time on tiny gongs held within its case. In the world of horology this type of wristwatch represents the watchmaker’s Mount Everest in terms of the difficulties it contains, requiring more than 6 months of careful construction, assembly and regulation before completion.

Grönefeld GTM-06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater watch

The GTM-06 is the first in a line of wristwatches planned by the Oldenzaal based watchmakers Bart and Tim Grönefeld, who have spent 4 years of hard work before the realization of this new timepiece would become a reality.

Gronefeld GTM-06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater watch

With a contemporary and masculine look, the GTM-06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater wristwatch is available in a strictly limited edition of 10 pieces in 18 carat 4N gold and 10 in 950 platinum, priced at Euro 325,000 and 385,000 accordingly.

Gronefeld GTM-06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater watch in gold

With its musical nature, utilizing miniature hammers and cathedral gongs to chime the hours, quarters and minutes as requested by the user, in combination with a tourbillon regulating device, the Grönefeld tourbillon minute repeater makes mechanical demands on watchmakers that go far beyond the majority of watches on offer today. Only a handful of watchmakers in the world, either inside or outside of Switzerland, are able to deal with horological creations comprising this type of extreme complexity.