Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin God of Thunder and Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin God of Wind

Organised in Venice from 10 April to 1 May 2022, Homo Faber was an international exhibition dedicated to the magic of craftsmanship. Vacheron Constantin was present in this event with its master artisans: a watchmaker, an enameller, an engraver and a gemsetter.

Vacheron Constantin created two unique pieces of Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin watches for this occasion in tribute to Japanese mythology, craftsmanship and the watchmaking expertise of the Maison.

These ultra-thin minute repeater watches are masterpieces of enamelling and engraving, paying tribute to the close ties between the Japanese archipelago and Vacheron Constantin for over a century.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God

On this occasion, the Louvre Museum – a repository of artistic crafts that Vacheron Constantin has been partnering since 2019 – presented an engraved quadriptych, gilded with gold leaf and enhanced with colours, created by the artisans of the framing-gilding workshop. The dial motifs of Vacheron Constantin watches were a source of inspiration for the gilders.

In reference to the welcome given to Japan and the close ties binding Vacheron Constantin with this country, the Maison drew inspiration from Japanese mythology in creating the two Les Cabinotiers Thunder God and Wind God timepieces presented at Homo Faber.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God

The relationship between Vacheron Constantin and Japan dates back to the 19th century. In 1862, Charles-César Vacheron, who had been at the head of the company for some 20 years, was part of the delegation sent to Japan by the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, a prelude to the diplomatic and commercial agreement signed between Switzerland and Japan in 1864.

Thereafter and throughout most of the 20th century, Vacheron Constantin’s local partner was the Swiss importer Siber Hegner & Co, which became its exclusive agent in 1919. Preserved in the company’s archives, correspondence between Vacheron Constantin and its agent shows regular exchanges concerning the preferences of Japanese watch lovers.

Some of the timepieces in Vacheron Constantin’s private collection feature Japanese-inspired decorations and ornamentation and certain examples were displayed on the Vacheron Constantin booth at Homo Faber.

Following the opening of trade between Japan and the West in the second half of the 19th century, the Japanese showed a clear desire to discover the cultural curiosities of Japan.

Vacheron Constantin thus became a must-see attraction for enlightened lovers of timepieces from the Archipelago. Among them were aristocrats, diplomats, members of the nobility and even royals such as Prince Akihito who visited the boutique and the workshops of the Manufacture in 1953. In parallel, the Maison has never ceased to create special editions for the Japanese market imbued with finesse and elegance as well as technical features, such as those developed in 2004 for the opening of the first Vacheron Constantin boutique in Japan, located in Ginza, Tokyo.

Vacheron Constantin also honoured Japanese craftsmanship with the Métiers d’Art – La Symbolique des Laques watch series, interpreted across a three-year period starting in 2010 and celebrating “maki-e”, the art of lacquer sprinkled with gold or silver powder.

Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God & Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God

Vacheron Constantin drew inspiration from works by Sotatsu – a 16th century Japanese painter regarded as a national treasure in his home country – to create two single-edition Les Cabinotiers timepieces for Homo Faber.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God

These are depictions in ink and colour on a gold background of Fujin the Wind God and Raijin the Thunder God, appearing on a pair of two-panel screens made around 1626 and kept in the National Museum in Kyoto.

One of the great figures of Japanese mythology and one of the oldest deities of Shintoism, Raijin floats in the sky, dancing with his drumsticks in his hand; while Fujin jumps rope with his windbag.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God

These gods can be found on the dials of the two Les Cabinotiers watches, which are made by the expert hands of the Manufacture’s master enamellers and engravers, plus the gemsetter’s work of on the case.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God

These two ultra-thin minute repeater watches are powered by Calibre 1731, a movement well known to watch lovers and collectors.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God

The Les Cabinotiers ultra-thin Minute repeater – Thunder God timepiece is paired with a burgundy alligator leather strap secured by an engraved white gold folding clasp; while the Les Cabinotiers ultra-thin Minute Repeater – Wind God model is fitted with a green alligator leather strap, also featuring an engraved white gold folding clasp.

Engraving, miniature enamelling and gemsetting

The 18K yellow gold dial is first adorned with intaglio-type fine line engraving to reproduce an irregular chequered pattern featuring matt and shiny surfaces creating the illusion of gold leaf decoration.

A layer of transparent flux fired in the kiln is then applied to protect this base, which is thus ready for miniature enamel painting. Outlining the divinities is an extremely important step to ensure the application of the colours stand out clearly against the gilded background. Between six and seven firings were necessary to stabilise the colours of Fujin and Raijin on their clouds. A layer of overglazing flux, given a final polish using the lapping technique, concludes a process requiring a hundred hours of meticulous craftsmanship.

The case of both models is the object of particular care devoted to the fine line engraving of the bezel, caseband and lugs. The Raijin watch is engraved with volutes representing waves of thunder, while the minute repeater’s lug is adorned with six baguette-cut rubies symbolising the power and energy of lightning.

There are also similar intaglio motifs on the case of the watch portraying Fujin in order to represent the filaments of clouds blowing the wind. The slide piece is set with six baguette-cut tsavorites symbolising the vitality of the air currents.

In-house Minute Repeater Calibre 1731

In-house Calibre 1731 (a reference to the year Jean-Marc Vacheron was born) powers these two musical timepieces. Its main characteristic is its extreme thinness for a minute repeater movement. It is nevertheless equipped with a barrel ensuring an impressive 65-hour power reserve.

Its 265 components come to life in a 32.8 mm diameter with a thickness of 3.9 mm. This movement is certified with the Hallmark of Geneva.

Vacheron Constantin In-house Minute Repeater Calibre 1731

It took four years to solve the conundrum of how to create a minute repeater movement combining slenderness, pure acoustics, aesthetic elegance, reliability and robustness.

Nor is the technical prowess confined to the ultra-thin challenge, since Calibre 1731 is also equipped with a completely silent flying strike governor (unlike conventional pallet lever-type governors), whose role is to regulate the rate at which the hammers strike the gongs.

Vacheron Constantin In-house Minute Repeater Calibre 1731

Great attention was devoted to acoustics, the true reason for being of a minute repeater. To obtain a crystal-clear and perfectly harmonious sound, the gongs are not only linked to the case middle to amplify the sound, but also superimposed rather than aligned side by side.

The white gold case measuring 41 mm in diameter and 8.44 mm thick enables excellent air circulation between the mechanism and the case, thus contributing to optimal propagation of the notes. The case construction is also gasket-free so that the elements can interact metal on metal and thus release enhanced sound amplitude.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God
Reference 6600C/000G-B731

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Thunder God

Movement
Caliber 1731
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical manual-winding
32.80 mm diameter, 3.90 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 65 hours
3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
265 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Functions
Hours, minutes,
Minute repeater (hours, quarters and minutes on demand)

Case
18K white gold
41 mm diameter, 8.44 mm thick
Case fully hand-engraved with an ornamental pattern and minute repeater slide set with 6 baguette-cut rubies for a weight of approximately 0.16 ct.
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
18K gold, hand-engraved and hand-enamelled Grand Feu miniature representing the Thunder God

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

Clasp
18K white gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

Edition
Single-piece edition
“Pièce unique”, “Les Cabinotiers” and “AC” Hallmark engraved on the back of the timepiece

Model: Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God
Reference 6600C/000G-B732

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin – Wind God

Movement
Calibre 1731
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical manual-winding
32.80 mm diameter, 3.90 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 65 hours
3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
265 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes,
Minute repeater (hours, quarters and minutes on demand)

Case
18K white gold
41 mm diameter, 8.44 mm thick
Case fully hand-engraved with an ornamental pattern and minute repeater slide set with 6 baguette-cut tsavorites for a weight of approximately 0.16 ct
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, hand-engraved and hand-enamelled Grand Feu miniature representing the Thunder God

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

Clasp
18K white gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

Edition
Single-piece edition
“Pièce unique”, “Les Cabinotiers” and “AC” Hallmark engraved on the back of the timepiece

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding for Ladies

During Watches and Wonders 2022, Vacheron Constantin unveiled four new Patrimony self-winding watches for women.

The Patrimony self-winding watch symbolises minimalist art expressed through horological refinement. Inspired by a historical 1957 Vacheron Constantin with a classic round, ultra-thin style and timeless elegance, the Patrimony collection has been distinguished since its launch in 2004 by a restrained and refined watchmaking aesthetic.

In keeping with the line’s signature spirit of purity, the proportions of the new Patrimony models have been revisited. The curve of the 36.5 mm-diameter case in 18K white gold or 18K 5N pink gold has been redesigned, while the crown has been subtly rounded.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch with 18K white gold case and deep blue gradient dial
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch with 18K white gold case and deep blue gradient dial

The slightly convex dial swept over by leaf-shaped hands following its curves features subtle shades of deep blue for the white gold version and blush pink for the pink gold version. These colours appear in a gradient-effect composition that is lighter in the centre and progressively darker towards the edge of the dial, thereby bringing light and depth to the display of the hours, minutes and seconds.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch with 18K 5N pink gold case and blush pink gradient dial
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch with 18K 5N pink gold case and blush pink gradient dial

The care lavished on each detail is reflected in the date disc at 6 o’clock, which has the same colour as the dial, and in the subtle play of gemsetting on the models.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch 18K white gold case, diamond-set bezel and deep blue gradient dial
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch 18K white gold case, diamond-set bezel and deep blue gradient dial

Each of the two versions features either a bezel set with 72 round-cut diamonds lighting up the circular-grained minutes track, or a minutes track itself composed of 48 round-cut diamonds positioned between the applied gold hour-markers.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch with 18K 5N pink gold case, diamond-set bezel and blush pink gradient dial
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch with 18K 5N pink gold case, diamond-set bezel and blush pink gradient dial

The gemsetting of the minutes track, a complex operation performed on an underlying domed surface, reflects an approach to watchmaking in which every detail is essential to the anatomy of Vacheron Constantin watches.

These four new references are powered by in-house 2450 Q6/3 movement driving displays of the hours and minutes along with central seconds and an aperture-type date.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch

Beating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour – an excellent compromise between precision and reliability – it is endowed with a 40-hour power reserve. This 196-component self-winding movement is barely 3.6 mm thick.

Its finishing, like that of the case, complies with Hallmark of Geneva criteria such as a circular-grained mainplate, hand-bevelled bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, levelled springs, a going train with polished sinks and burnished pinions.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch

The transparent caseback also reveals a 22K gold open-worked oscillating weight inspired by the Maltese cross.

These new Patrimony watches feature interchangeable straps in night blue or rosy beige alligator leather with an iridescent satin finish. They can be removed and replaced at the touch of a push-button, without any need for tools.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding Ladies watch

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony self-winding

Movement
Calibre 2450 Q6/3
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
26.20 mm diameter (11¼’’’), 3.60 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
196 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes, central seconds
Date

References 4115U/000G-B908 and 4115U/000R-B907

Case
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold
Bezel set with 72 round-cut diamonds
36.5 mm diameter, 8.45 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Deep blue / blush pink, gradient effect
Convex external zone with circular “pearl” minute-track composed by 48 polished 18K gold pearls
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold applied hour-markers and hour/minutes hands

Strap
Night blue/Rosy beige Mississippiensis alligator leather with satin-effect, calf inner shell, stitched tip, square scales
With integrated self-interchangeable system
Buckle: 18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold pin buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Total diamond-setting
72 round-cut diamonds, for a total weight of approx.
0.74 carats (guaranteed minimum carats)

References 4110U/000G-B906 and 4110U/000R-B905

Case
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold
36.5 mm diameter, 8.45 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Deep blue / blush pink, gradient effect
Convex external zone with circular “pearl” minute-track composed by 48 round-cut diamonds
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold applied hour-markers and hour/minutes hands

Strap
Night blue/Rosy beige Mississippiensis alligator leather with satin-effect, calf inner shell, stitched tip, square scales
With integrated self-interchangeable system
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold pin buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies

Vacheron Constantin presents the Traditionnelle perpetual calendar ultra-thin, a new feminine timepiece in its Traditionnelle collection, a line imbued with the grand Geneva watchmaking heritage and whose design was intended to adapt to all types of watches, whether simple or equipped with sophisticated complications.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies

This timepiece equipped with in-house Calibre 1120 QP elegantly plays on the distinctive aspects of the Gregorian calendar. It displays the days, dates, months and years on a four-year cycle, including a leap-year indication, without any need for correction before 2100.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies

This calendar display is complemented by a moon-phase indication at 6 o’clock. Another distinctive feature of this movement is its thinness: measuring only 4.05 mm thick, it is housed in an 8.43 mm-thick case with a 36.5 mm diameter, ensuring perfect visual harmony.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin watch for Ladies
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies

Calibre 1120 QP reflects the Maison’s expertise in ultra-thin movements that has enabled it to set several records in terms of slimness since the 1950s.

With its 276 components perfectly visible through the sapphire caseback, it also reflects noble watchmaking traditions through its extremely meticulous finishing: a circular-grained plate on the dial side, mainplate and bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif on the back, hand-bevelling, circular satin-finished holes and a going train with polished teeth. The oscillating weight featuring a 22K gold segment is also adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif and openworked in the shape of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem.

This watch whose aesthetic refinement echoes its technical sophistication pays tribute to the identity codes of Vacheron Constantin, whereby the quest for excellence is expressed through the smallest, even invisible details.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies, 18K white gold case version with blue grey dial

Available in 18K white gold and 18K 5N pink gold versions, it is inspired by Vacheron Constantin models from the first half of the last century. It features the strong sense of understatement characterising the collection, embellished with a few special features such as the stepped lugs and case, fluted caseback, as well as Dauphine-type hands flying over a railway minutes track punctuated by baton-type hour-markers.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies, 18K white gold case version with blue grey dial

In keeping with the methodical spirit of the time, which held that function should dictate form, this perpetual calendar has been specially designed to make it easy to read the calendar indications thanks to a slimmed-down bezel offering a larger dial opening.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies, 18K white gold case version with blue grey dial

The dial is adorned with blue-grey tinted mother-of-pearl for the white gold model and white mother-of-pearl for the pink gold model.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies, 18K 5N pink gold version with white mother-of-pearl dial

The moon-phase disc bears the same colours as the dial, while the depiction of the moon and the stars adopts the same shade of gold as the case, complete with an opaline finish. In a final touch of elegance, the bezel and top of the lugs are delicately set with 76 round-cut diamonds, while the crown is adorned with a round-cut diamond.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies, 18K 5N pink gold version with white mother-of-pearl dial

For the first time in the collection, this Traditionnelle perpetual calendar ultra-thin watch is equipped with an interchangeable strap that can be fitted at the touch of a push-button and without any need for tools.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin for Ladies, 18K 5N pink gold version with white mother-of-pearl dial

Each model comes with an alligator leather strap – grey blue or rosy beige – secured by a white or pink gold pin buckle set with 17 round-cut diamonds.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle perpetual calendar ultra-thin

References
4305T/000G-B948: 18K white gold case version with blue grey mother-of-pearl dial
4305T/000R-B947: 18K 5N pink gold version with white mother-of-pearl dial

Movement
Calibre 1120 QP
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
29.6 mm (12½’’’) diameter, 4.05 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour)
276 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes
Perpetual calendar (day of the week, date, 48-month display with leap year indication)
Moon phases

Case
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold
36.5 mm diameter, 8.43 mm thick
Bezel and lugs set with 76 round-cut diamonds
Crown set with 1 round-cut diamond
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Blue grey/White mother-of-pearl
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold hour-markers and hands

Strap
Blue grey (4305T/000G-B948) / Rosy beige (4305T/000R-B947)
Mississippiensis alligator leather with calfskin leather inner shell, stitched tip, square scales
With integrated self-interchangeable system
Buckle 18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold pin buckle set with 17 round-cut diamonds

Total diamond-setting
94 round-cut diamonds, for a total weight of approx.
1.20 carats (guaranteed minimum carats)

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

Crafted by Vacheron Constantin’s prestigious Les Cabinotiers Department, this single- edition Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle timepiece depicts a green turtle in a maritime décor adorned with coral and created using two rare techniques: miniature painting and grisaille enamel. This one of a kind creation pays tribute to the world of the sea and its accompanying mythology.

It comes in a 40 mm-diameter 18K white gold case with an officer-type back. Beating inside this horological masterpiece is the self- winding Calibre 2460 SC, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

The turtle, which is thought to have appeared 200 million years ago, is both a marine emblem and a reminder of the slow evolution of species on Earth. “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”, the topic chosen in 2022 by Vacheron Constantin for its unique Les Cabinotiers timepieces, could not ignore this very special animal as a source of inspiration.

A symbol of luck and longevity, the turtle is also present in a number of aquatic fables and legends, notably those surrounding Turtle Island – a 17th century buccaneer’s hideout – as well as the founding myths of the Amerindians.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

The green turtle – an endangered herbivore weighing around one hundred kilos with its over one-metre shell – was chosen to enliven the watch dial. The animal glides gracefully amid a maritime setting adorned with plants and coral.

To create this naturalistic tableau, Vacheron Constantin’s master enameller first used the miniature enamel painting technique and then gave full depth to this scene in grisaille enamel. Housed in an 18K white gold case, the dial is swept over by hours, minutes and seconds hands driven by self-winding Calibre 2460 SC.

The dial of the Les Cabinotier Grisaille – Turtle watch plunges into the deep blue sea in a strikingly realistic manner. The challenge of this remarkable creation reflecting a rare degree of enamelling expertise lies in depicting the richness of the ocean depths.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

Within this environment where the sun’s rays penetrate only partially, the field of vision appears to be cloaked in an opaque veil: colours disappear, replaced by a play on light and shade that creates the impression of a lunar landscape at the bottom of the ocean. The genius of craftsmanship displayed here consists in giving the illusion of a chiaroscuro immersion.

To achieve this, the master artisan first worked on the dial using miniature enamel painting, a technique that forged the reputation of “Geneva enamels” in the 17th century and which requires perfect mastery of pigments and firing. The colours – composed of metal oxide powders mixed with a binding agent – are fired multiple times in a kiln heated to more than 800 °C in order to ensure their adhesion to the surface. Each such operation implies a risk of altering their radiance or their exact hue, as well as the potential formation of microbubbles.

The first step is to create the painting in the form of shadows, while anticipating those that will not remain as such. On a translucent enamel background, the master artisan superimposed three basic layers of dark pigments mingling black and blue, before tracing the outlines of the turtle, sea grass and coral in shades of purple tones.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

Here again, four firings in the kiln were required necessary to achieve a perfect rendering while still maintaining a relative impression of obscurity. After working the dial using the lapping technique, the artisan then opted for a change of method in order to light up the miniature painting: grisaille enamel.

Representing a skill that appeared in the 16th century, grisaille enamel consists of applying a layer of dark enamel overlaid with touches of a rare white enamel called Limoges white. Each layer is then fired in a kiln for specific times defined to the nearest second.

Over the course of another ten or so firings, the details of the turtle and its natural habitat took shape before finally, after 120 hours of enamelling, endowing the dial with an air of stunning realism. Such a level of mastery, which is visible on every part of the dial, sublimates this miniaturist approach to aesthetic sophistication expressed through even the smallest details.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

The Manufacture 2460 SC movement features a level of finishing that makes each constituent part an indispensable element of the final aesthetic composition. Oscillating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and equipped with a 916/1000 gold oscillating weight finely adorned with a guilloché motif pattern, it is endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve.

In the grand tradition of manufacture calibres, the bridges are finished with hand-polishing angles. The straight-graining, which consists in perfectly smoothing the component flanks, is also done by hand, while the screws are scrupulously polished. The plate is circular-grained on both sides with bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève on the caseback side.

Calibre 2460 SC is housed in an 18K white gold case measuring 40 mm in diameter. To admire the meticulous finishing work performed on all components, one must open the officer-type back, a hinged cover first introduced during World War I when small pocket watches with hinged backs were transformed into more practical wristwatches for officers.

The Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle watch is fitted with dark blue alligator leather strap secured by a white gold pin buckle.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” (aquatic kingdoms) evoke the wonderful world of the sea and its accompanying mythology. A source of inspiration for poets, an obsession among explorers, a pipe dream for fabulists or a treasure trove for naturalists… the sea has also nurtured the creations of Vacheron Constantin, which this year has chosen “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” as the theme for its single-edition Les Cabinotiers timepieces.

Vacheron Constantin and the sea

Marine life has been a rich source of inspiration throughout the history of Vacheron Constantin. A world that is inseparable from sailing, whether on lakes or the high seas.

From the mid-19th century onwards, specially commissioned pieces adorned with miniature enamel paintings or engravings began to be crafted, demonstrating a strong attachment to the world of the sea and its natural or legendary creatures. Lake landscapes and boats with lateen sails, brigantines at anchor, dolphins, sea dragons and mermaids are among the themes chosen for these pocket watches. Great attention has also been devoted to technical aspects.

Renowned for its precision “instruments”, Vacheron Constantin delivered marine chronometers to several army corps in the early 20th century, knowing that this equipment was indispensable for calculating longitude at sea. More fanciful yet still radiating a maritime aura, some of the desk chronometers made by the Maison in the 1940s were shaped like rudders, while one of the models of the famous 1937 “Bras en l’air” (arms in the air) pocket watch, displaying the hours and minutes on demand, is named “La Caravelle” with its engraved and gem-set motif. For the 1996 launch of the Overseas line, Vacheron Constantin also drew inspiration from the name of this new collection evoking the spirit of travel across oceans. The caseback is thus meticulously engraved with a caravel skippered by the famous explorer Amerigo Vespucci in his quest to discover the New World.

With its Métiers d’art collection, which appeared in the early 2000s, Vacheron Constantin has revived naturalist themes related to water and its fauna and flora in an approach celebrating decorative techniques.

In 2011, the Manufacture presented the second series of three Métiers d’art – La Symbolique des Laques watches featuring the aquatic world thanks to Maki-e: an ancient traditional Japanese technique that consists of sprinkling gold or silver dust on still wet lacquer, usually black, to create the motif. These watches feature the turtle, the frog and the carp, embodiments of longevity, luck and strength in Far Eastern animal symbolism.

A year later, it was the turn of the Métiers d’art – Les Univers Infinis series to pick up the theme of water, this time interpreted according to the graphic expression of Dutch artist Cornelis Escher. The Fish watch featuring guilloché and cloisonné enamel and the Shell watch with engraving and champlevé enamel reflect the same sensitivity to naturalist decorations, based on a resolutely contemporary approach.

Les Cabinotiers: single-piece creations

In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of models and to unique creations. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, a time when master watchmakers were called cabinotiers and worked in ateliers bathed in natural light, known as cabinets and located on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings.

In the hands of these learned artisans, open to the new ideas of the Enlightenment, exceptional timepieces were born, inspired by astronomy, mechanical engineering and the arts. This expertise, which constitutes the great Geneva watchmaking tradition, has been flowing through Vacheron Constantin’s veins since 1755.

The rendering of this turtle in a maritime décor adorned with coral reflects Vacheron Constantin’s particular attentiveness to detail, a real second nature. This extraordinarily painstaking care is expressed through the designers’ aesthetic choices and preferences as well as in the meticulous finishing work performed by the artisans. All the components of a Vacheron Constantin watch benefit from this scrupulous attention, even those that remain invisible once the movement has been assembled.

A keen eye will note the fine guilloché work on a dial or the gem-set minutes track; it will make out the contours of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem on the links of a bracelet; it will notice the small flame-blued screw serving as a seconds indicator on a tourbillon carriage and the mirror polish of a minute-repeater hammer; it will appreciate the artisans’ delicate touch when chamfering a plate or rounding off a bridge; and finally, it will admire the miniature enamel painting depicting a ship tossed around by a stormy sea streaked with lightning.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
Reference 2400C/000G-071C

Movement
Calibre 2460 SC
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
26.2 mm diameter, 3.6 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
182 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes, central seconds

Case
18K white gold
40 mm diameter, 9.42 mm thick

Dial
18K gold covered with “Grand Feu” miniature enamelling and grisaille enamelling representing a “Turtle”
18K white gold hands

Strap
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Buckle 18K white gold buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Les Cabinotiers model

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

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton

Vacheron Constantin expands the Overseas collection with the new tourbillon skeleton model, a first in this collection launched in 1996. Beautifully streamlined with its entirely open-worked movement; sophisticated with its robust case; rigorously disciplined with its tourbillon-driven movement ensuring a comfortable over three-day power reserve, the Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton is designed for the finest journeys.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton 18K 5N Pink Gold Version

The watch comes in two versions, one in 18K 5N pink gold and the other in Grade 5 titanium. The titanium model is the first by the Maison to be entirely made of this same metal – from crown to bezel and from bracelet to case.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton 18K 5N Pink Gold Version

The self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2160 powering these timepieces has been entirely skeletonised in a contemporary spirit with a degree of attention to detail stemming from an authentic aesthetic quest celebrated through Vacheron Constantin’s “Anatomy of Beauty ®” 2022 theme.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Titanium Version

The skeletonisation work carried out on self-winding Calibre 2160 has enabled not only a 20% reduction in the movement’s weight but also a complete rethink of its architecture. Its curvature is thus very slender, at barely 5.65 mm thick – a real technical feat considering the requirements linked to the integration of a tourbillon carriage. This thinness is notably due to the choice of a peripheral gold oscillating weight, which also enables a completely clear view of the rear of the movement.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Calibre 2160 SQ

The work done on the baseplate and the four bridges can be clearly admired, with the NAC (N-acetylcysteine) surface treatment applied by electrolysis conferring an anthracite grey tint. This contemporary touch given to the movement blends perfectly with the classic haute horlogerie finishes in the form of hand-drawn flanks and hand-chamfering with polished bevels to accentuate the light playing across the components.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Calibre 2160 SQ

The mainplate and bridges are also delicately decorated to create a finish of very fine, perfectly horizontal grooves. Such concern for details is a credo which holds that even the smallest part deserves the same meticulous attention as those that are perfectly visible.

The same NAC surface treatment can be found on the barrel, of which the drum and cover have been entirely openworked, creating a compass rose shape on the dial side – another original feature of Calibre 2160 SQ. To complete the openworking of this 186-component movement, the wheels have also been made lighter, while the tourbillon is held by a rounded-off upper bridge.

The tourbillon regulator rotating once per minute operates at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and serves as a small seconds indicator by means of one of the four screws used to secure the carriage and which is grey on the pink gold version and flame-blued on the titanium version.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Titanium Version

For this new calibre, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers have also redesigned the regulating organ housed in the tourbillon carriage coupled with the escapement. A new balance-spring was designed in-house, equipped with a Breguet overcoil (terminal curve). By folding the outer spring coil towards the centre, outside its horizontal plane, this arrangement forces a flat development of the spring, thus ensuring enhanced isochronism.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton

The sapphire crystal serving as the dial reveals all the details of the calibre, like a horological anatomy taking shape with each component. The hour-markers secured to this crystal are in rhodium-plated 18K 5N pink gold or 18K white gold, depending on the model.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton 18K 5N Pink Gold Version

The same noble metals are used for the hands which, like the hour-markers, are coated with Super-LumiNova® ensuring perfect night-time visibility. The dial ring is available in black lacquered 18K 5N pink gold or in blue PVD-treated 18K white gold.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Titanium Version

Particular care has been devoted to the finishing of the case and bracelet. The bezel ring is circular satin-brushed on the 18K 5N pink gold version and sandblasted on the Grade 5 titanium iteration. The case and bracelet of both models are vertically satin-brushed with polished angles on the bracelet links, whose shape is inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese Cross emblem.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Titanium Version

Both watches feature the Overseas collection specific interchangeable strap system. They come with two straps in calfskin and rubber: black with two 18K 5N pink gold pin buckles for the gold model; and blue with an interchangeable titanium folding clasp for the titanium model.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton 18K 5N Pink Gold Version

The Overseas tourbillon skeleton watch features architecture and finishes that are meticulous in every detail, reflecting the quest for excellence cherished by the Maison, whose 2022 “Anatomy of Beauty®” theme pays tribute to the extraordinary work of its artisans.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton

References
Ref. 6000V/110R-B934: 18K 5N Pink Gold Version
Ref. 6000V/110T-B935: Titanium version only available through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques.

Movement
Calibre 2160 SQ
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding, peripheral rotor
31 mm (13½’’’) diameter, 5.65 mm thick
Approximately 80 hours of power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations per hour)
186 components
30 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes, small seconds on tourbillon carriage (coloured screw)
Tourbillon

Case
18K 5N pink gold / Grade 5 Titanium
42.5 mm diameter, 10.39 mm thick
Soft iron casing ring ensuring anti-magnetic protection
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistant tested at a pressure of 5 bar (approx. 50 metres)

Dial
Sapphire dial
18K 5N pink gold / 18K white gold hour-markers and hours & minutes hands highlighted with Super-LumiNova®

Bracelet
18K 5N pink gold bracelet / Grade 5 Titanium (half Maltese cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links), secured by a 18K 5N pink gold / Grade 5 Titanium triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and comfort- adjustment system

Additional straps
Black / blue calfskin leather with white stitches
Black / blue rubber

Buckles
6000V/110R-B934: Each additional strap comes with 18K 5N pink gold
6000V/110T-B935: Titanium Grade 5 interchangeable folding-clasp

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art – Tribute to Great Civilisations

In collaboration with the Louvre Museum, Vacheron Constantin has released “Métiers d’Art – Tribute to great civilisations”, a limited collection of watches that pay tribute to the great civilisations of Antiquity. These limited editions of five timepieces per theme highlight the rare talents exercised by craft makers.

The Persian Empire of Darius the Great, the golden age of Ancient Egypt, the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece and the rise to power of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, are the historical anchor points of Vacheron Constantin’s new
Métiers d’Art watch series.

As part of the partnership with the Louvre initiated in 2019 and following intense collaboration with its curators and historians, the Maison has developed a series of four timepieces based on the museum’s ancient collections. True symbols of each era, these artistic masterpieces are at the centre of an exceptional watchmaking show staged by skilled craft makers.

Expressed across four eras, the main theme has been originated in the museum’s incredible collection of antiquities: the Persian Empire under Darius the Great; the Egypt of the pharaohs from the time of the Middle Kingdom; the Hellenistic period in Greece; and the birth of the Roman Empire with the advent of Augustus.

Each of these great civilisations is thus represented by a major artistic work drawn from some of the Louvre’s masterpieces.

Métiers d’Art Tribute to Great Civilisations Watches

(1) Grand sphinx de Tanis

Sphinx is the Greek word used to refer to Egyptian statues of lions with human heads. A correlation has been made in the past with the Egyptian term shesep-ânkh. This term is in fact used to designate a statue in general, in other words a «living image», to use the Egyptian concept. Royal symbols, sphinxes are often aligned on either side of the processional routes leading to the temples.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Grand sphinx de Tanis watch

On this monumental Grand sphinx de Tanis model, the work of cutting the stone with polished surfaces is admirable in its precision. For the engraver of the carved gold applique representing the head of the sphinx, one of the difficulties – in addition to that of modelling the faces – lay in rendering the large false beard within such a small space.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Grand sphinx de Tanis watch

The master artisan had to work in relief using the pounced ornament technique, despite the thinness of the plate, before accentuating the depth effect by patinating the material with a blowtorch and then by hand.

The main dial is made of enamel whose deep colour, a mixture of blue and black enamels, is obtained after six firings in the kiln.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Grand sphinx de Tanis watch

The decorative dial elements are inspired by the necklace depicted on the cartonnage coffin of Nakht-khonsou-irou. During the 22nd dynasty, the mummy of the deceased was placed in wrappings or a coffin in cartonnage, a material composed of several layers of glued, stuccoed and painted cloth.

These wrappings and coffins show the image of the deceased in his shroud adorned with numerous protective, brightly coloured motifs. He is protected for eternity by the great funerary god Osiris and various other deities.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Grand sphinx de Tanis watch

The chest is always covered by a large necklace composed of geometric and floral motifs. The necklace is trimmed with petals that are reproduced in champlevé enamel sprinkled with inclusions to give the outer frieze an aged appearance.

Under this necklace, a winged hawk with a ram’s head appears and the plumage of its wings is picked up on the dial – again in champlevé enamel. The last cultural component is the sapphire crystal bearing the gold applique and engraved by metallisation with hieroglyphic inscriptions from a cartouche of the sphynx of Tanis.

This one indicates the name of the pharaoh Merenptah (1213 – 1203 B.C.), son and successor of Ramses II under the heading: «The king of Upper and Lower Egypt Ba-en-Ra-mery-Amon. The son of Ra Merenptah who is satisfied with the Ma’at, endowed with eternal life».

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Grand sphinx de Tanis watch

This Métiers d’Art Tribute to great civilisations – Grand sphinx de Tanis watch expresses all the majesty of the Egypt of the pharaohs.

(2) Lion de Darius

The frieze of lions is one of the few decorative elements of the Palace of Darius in Susa that was found on-site, in the first courtyard that welcomed visitors. This animal decoration was an important part of the iconography of Persian palaces, but also, before them, of Assyrian and Babylonian palaces.

The lion symbol – representing both a royal animal and a divine attribute – were frequently found in these pleasure gardens and hunting reserves intended for the Persian monarchs and for the Assyrian sovereigns before them.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Lion de Darius watch

The prominent frieze of lions was thus a declaration of royal power, embodied by the king of animals. Made of siliceous glazed bricks that are bound with lime mortar, this decoration mingling realism and powerful stylisation is exemplary of masterpieces of Achaemenid Persian art.

For the engraver of the applique depicting one of the lions, the challenge was to achieve an accurate rendering that matched the advanced stylisation of the muscles and fur of the noble creature’s mane that can be seen on the original.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Lion de Darius watch

As the lions are part of a frieze, the watch face in the background had to represent this decoration of glazed bricks affixed to a wall.

To achieve this, the artisans opted for stone marquetry; and to accentuate the realistic look, they chose stone fragments with veins, which are by definition more fragile than those without. Given the large amount of waste in the cutting of the stones, three successive orders had to be made to finally obtain the 69 components of this marquetry, different in appearance and size.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Lion de Darius watch

Compared to the model, the much brighter colour of the stones reproduces the appearance of the frieze as it was originally intended to be, before the shades faded. Given these colour constraints, combined with the technical difficulties of the mosaic, the relatively limited choice of stones was turquoise and yellow mochaite jasper.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Lion de Darius watch

The frieze surrounding the dial was inspired by the decoration of another well-known work from the Palace of Darius: the Frieze of Archers. This ornamentation, consisting of a juxtaposition of triangles, is made of engraved metal and champlevé enamel with «ageing» inclusions.

The writing elements engraved by metallisation on the sapphire crystal are taken from a tablet inscribed in Old Persian. This text in cuneiform script is one of the first written by Darius upon his arrival in power. It is a foundation charter for his palace.

(3) Victoire de Samothrace

This Victoire de Samothrace, Niké in Greek, is a peerless masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture, due to the virtuosity of its white Parian marble carving and the ingenuity of its construction, which depicts a goddess standing on the bow of a ship.

The name of the sculptor is not known, but the technique is reminiscent of the figures in the Gigantomachy frieze adorning the Great Altar of Zeus in Pergamon (180-160 BC). These two works are the best illustrations of a movement of sculptures typical of the second century BC.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Victoire de Samothrace watch

The work must be seen in the context of the offerings made at the sanctuary on Samothrace. Whether humble or splendid, these offerings were made in considerable numbers during this period of struggles for the eastern Mediterranean in order to thank the benevolent gods in honour of a naval victory or a rescue at sea.

This victory is most often associated with the battles of Side and Myonnesus on the coasts of Asia Minor in 190 and 189 BC. These two battles saw the kingdom of Pergamon, allied with the Rhodians and the Romans, triumph over its traditional enemies, the kingdoms of Antioch and Macedonia.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Victoire de Samothrace watch

The drapery of the statue, ruffled by the wind with a large flow of fabric falling in deep folds between the legs, represented a major difficulty for the engraver in charge of reproducing all its subtleties.

The centre of the main dial is enamelled in brown, a colour that is very difficult to achieve and required a mixture of rare enamels that are indeed no longer produced as well as six firings in the kiln.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Victoire de Samothrace watch

The periphery features grisaille enamelling depicting the decorative friezes taken from two Greek vases. These ceramic objects bearing red-painted geometrical figures feature various ornaments with foliage or geometric motifs, which are picked up on the dial.

The latter is also surrounded by a gold frieze adorned using the line engraving technique, inspired by that of the Vase of Pergamon, a first century BC masterpiece of marble sculpted in bas-relief. The ancient Greek script engraved by metallisation on the sapphire crystal bearing the applied Victory is taken from a second AD votive stele discovered in Samothrace.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Victoire de Samothrace watch

This work is a list of Athenian initiates to the mysteries of the Great Gods of the island under the guidance of a certain Socrates – a name evoking the ageless glory of Greece masterfully celebrated by this Métiers d’Art Tribute to great civilisations – Victoire de Samothrace watch.

(4) Buste d’Auguste

Shown wearing the oak headdress, Augustus appears older in this marble bust than in other crowned effigies, often linked to the date when he was honoured by the Senate with the civic crown in 27 BC.

Whereas Augustus was 36 in this year marking the start of the Roman Empire, the portrait is that of a man in his fifties. As is often the case with this type of depiction, the principate’s hair falls in heavy locks over his forehead. We see an emaciated sovereign, as he was at the dawn of his old age. His features are nonetheless the subject of an idealisation conveyed on the coins made in the workshops of Rome and distributed throughout the Empire.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Buste d’Auguste watch

The breast-plated bust indicates that the emperor is represented as a warlord, in order to emphasise that his authority originated exclusively from the will – albeit fictitious – of the citizens. The carved gold applique reproducing this Buste d’Auguste offers a striking sight in which the drape of the cape accompanying the breast plate, secured by a fibula, echoes the curling locks held by the oak crown.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Buste d’Auguste watch

The centre of the dial is enamelled in blue-green, while its periphery is adorned with stone micro-mosaic. This is the famous fourth-century mosaic discovered in Lod, Israel, that served as the inspiration for the ornamentation motifs found on the dial periphery.

The difficulty for the master lay in the fact that any error in the positioning and gluing of the tiny hard stone fragments would have required re-enamelling the Grand Feu dial used as a base. Meticulous care was required when adjusting the stones so as to follow the contours of the motifs and their colours.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Buste d’Auguste watch

No less than seven different types of stones – 660 in all – were used to compose this micro-mosaic: quartzite, cacholong, dumortierite, mochaite, red jasper, grossular, red aventurine. For the outer frieze in white gold, featuring line engraving and patinated by firing in the kiln, another mosaic served as inspiration: the one depicting animals playing musical instruments, also from the fourth century and discovered in Sousse, a port city in eastern Tunisia.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Buste d’Auguste watch

The Latin scripts engraved on the sapphire crystal bearing the bust of Augustus are drawn from a dedication addressed to the Genius (divine protector) of the city of Rusicada (Skikda in Algeria). The text commemorates its installation by a local dignitary who opens his invocation with a tribute to the emperor.

Movement

To power these Métiers d’Art Tribute to great civilisations watches, Vacheron Constantin has chosen its self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2460 G4/2, which features four discs indicating the hours, minutes, days and dates.

Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460 G4-2

The apertures for reading the time and calendar indications, symmetrically positioned around the dial periphery, thus leave a vast field of expression for the artisans. No hands disturb the view of these miniature masterpieces.

On the back of the movement, beating at a rate of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour) and comprising 237 components, the oscillating weight has also received special attention.

Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460 G4-2

It features a depiction – based on an 18th century lithograph – of the east facade of the Louvre and its magnificent colonnade inspired by the work of Louis Le Vau and Claude Perrault, based on an 18th century etching. The matrix of the design was hand-sculpted and then used to stamp the twenty oscillating weights composing the series.

Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460 G4-2

The automatic caliber 2460 G4 has a 40-hour power reserve. Its 237 components come to life in a 31 mm diameter with a thickness of 6.05 mm. This movement is certified with the Hallmark of Geneva.

Artistic crafts

As the artistic composition of these watches includes the representation of symbolic works in the form of sculpted appliques, as well as various written and ornamental elements, Vacheron Constantin has devised a system of nesting several constituent parts.

The movement is topped by the dial surrounded by a frieze. These two distinct and concentric components provide scope to express the talents of the master artisans.

The dial ornamentation is inspired by works in the Louvre collections representing the decorative arts of different periods: Roman mosaics; a painted Egyptian coffin; painted or bas-relief sculpted Greek ceramics and vases; and a frieze of Babylonian-inspired bricks with coloured glazes.

Artistic crafts

A sapphire crystal bearing a sculpted gold applique depicting one of the four major works of ancient period art is then placed on the dial. This same slightly smoked crystal is also engraved using metallisation with texts in cuneiform, hieroglyphic, ancient Greek and Latin script, depending on the model.

They respectively feature an extract of the founding charter of the Palace of Darius; a transcription of the cartouche of the pharaoh Menenptah engraved on the sphinx of Tanis; a dedication to the Great Gods of Samothrace discovered in the Temple of Samothrace; as well as an invocation to the emperor Augustus engraved on a Roman stele found in Algeria. Once these various elements have been placed on top of the movement, the case can then be sealed with the outer crystal.

The dial and its frieze are thus composed of several «decorative» elements taken from various works of the same period as the one depicted in the applique. To create these splendid backgrounds, Vacheron Constantin has opted for different techniques implemented by various craft makers.

(1) Champlevé enamel and grisaille enamel

Enamelling is a decorative technique in which coloured glass or enamel pigments are finely ground and mixed with water or oil and applied to a metal surface. This paste is then fired at a high temperature to form a resistant surface that becomes one with its base.

Champlevé enamel and grisaille enamel

Champlevé enamel consists of creating cavities in which the enamels are applied. The successive layers are fired in a kiln. Grisaille enamel is a technique that appeared in the 16th century and consists of applying white enamel touches to an underlying dark enamel dial coating. Each layer of enamel is also fired at over 800° C.

(2) Stone marquetry

Rarely used in watchmaking, stone marquetry consists of forming patterns using fragments of coloured stones calibrated according to requirements. This operation is all the more delicate as each stone is different, with some being veined and therefore more fragile.

Stone marquetry

These fragments are assembled and glued one by one without any binder between the stones. This construction leaves tiny spaces between the components, giving relief and depth to the composition.

(3) Stone micro-mosaic

This extremely rare technique in watchmaking refers to mosaic work in which the tiny elements of hard stones forming the decoration are very finely assembled and glued in such a way as to render the joints that seal them practically invisible.

Stone micro-mosaic

The size of the stones – tiny squares measuring just 0.55 millimetres each – makes this type of ornamentation particularly delicate, not only in the composition of the motifs but also in the way it is set with a binder.

(4) Engraving

The art of hand engraving consists of creating decorations in hollow, in relief or in the form of a model out of the metal. The pounced ornament technique used here for the carved gold sconces is called ramolayage.

Engraving

It consists of removing the material to model the relief. Irreversible, this operation requires a perfectly assured gesture. The master engraver first draws the main volumes with a dry point. Then he sculpts the mass and makes a particularly delicate rounding whose contours are accentuated by patina. This trompe l’oeil technique is particularly suitable for creating the illusion of depth of field. Some friezes are made in intaglio or engraving by digging the material.

Historical Inspirations

(1) Grand sphinx de Tanis – the Ancient Egyptian Empire (2035-1680 BC)

The Great Sphinx of Tanis, capital of the kings of the 21st and 22nd dynasties, is 1.83 metres high and 4.80 metres long. It is one of the largest sphinxes preserved outside Egypt. It arrived in the Louvre in 1826, as part of the collection of the British consul Henry Salt.

A royal symbol, the sphinx is a hybrid comprising the body of a recumbent lion and a human head wearing the Nemes – the royal headdress par excellence – as well as the beard worn only by sovereigns.

Long attributed to the Old Kingdom (2700-2195 BC approx.), it is now more generally linked to the Middle Kingdom (approx. 2035-1680 BC), considered by the Egyptians themselves as the golden age of Egypt. It was probably carved for King Amenemhet II, whose cartouche it bears. Other kings appropriated it by affixing their cartouches: Apophis, Merenptah and Chechonq I.

(2) Lion de Darius – the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids (559 – 330 BC)

The Frieze of Lions, a glazed brick decoration, was located in the first courtyard of the palace of Darius the Great in Susa, the capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire in south-western Iran.

After freeing themselves from the control of the Medes and conquering Lydia, Babylon and Egypt, the Achaemenids formed one of the greatest empires to have ever existed in antiquity. With a territory stretching from present-day Pakistan to the shores of the Black Sea, and from the steppes of central Asia to Egypt and Libya, it united the oldest civilisations in the Middle East.

Darius the Great is remembered for his confrontation with the Greek cities that succeeded in stopping his armies on the Plain of Marathon.

(3) Victoire de Samothrace – Hellenistic Greece of the Antigonid dynasty (277 – 168 BC)

This statue of Victory, a winged goddess resting on the prow of a warship, was discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace in the northern Aegean Sea.

Excavated from a sanctuary dedicated to the Great Gods, who were widely worshiped throughout the Greek world, it depicts an offering linked to a naval victory. Following the death of Alexander in 323 BC, his generals shared his legacy, giving rise to three great empires, including that of the Antigonid dynasty in Macedonia.

During this Hellenistic period, which ended with the Roman conquest of Egypt in 31 BC, naval battles followed one another for the domination of the eastern part of the Mediterranean. One of them was majestically commemorated in the sanctuary of this small Greek island.

(4) Buste d’ Auguste – The Roman Empire of the Julio-Claudians (27 BC – 68 AD)

This bust of Octavian Augustus, the adopted son of Caesar, represents him crowned with an oak wreath; a distinction awarded him by a Senate decision in 27 BC, when he became the principate or first citizen of Rome.

In actual fact, following his conquest of Egypt, where he defeated Mark Antony, an ally of Cleopatra, he ended a long period of civil wars marking the end of the Republic and becomes master of Rome. He is now considered the first Roman emperor and lays the foundations of a political organization that would last another four centuries. The Julio-Claudian dynasty, of which he was the first «prince», ended with the suicide of Nero in 68 AD.

Technical details

Collection: Métiers d’Art Tribute to great civilisations

Movement
Calibre 2460 G4/2
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
22K pink gold oscillating weight with the Louvre eastern façade engraving
31 mm (11¼’’’) diameter, 6.05 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour)
237 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces

Indications
Hours, minutes, day of the week and date in apertures

Case, dial and strap

Model: Grand sphinx de Tanis Watch, Reference 7620A/000R-B927

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Grand sphinx de Tanis watch

Case
18K 5N pink gold
42 mm diameter, 12.9 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3bar (approx.30 meters)

Dial
Champlevé enamel frieze, champlevé enamel & enamel background
Writings engraved by metallisation on sapphire crystal
Hand-engraved 3N gold applique with patina

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

Edition
Limited and numbered series of 5 pieces
Available exclusively through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques

Model: Lion de Darius Watch, Reference: 7620A/000R-B926

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Lion de Darius watch

Case
18K 5N pink gold
42 mm diameter, 12.9 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3bar (approx.30 meters)

Dial
Engraved metal & champlevé enamel frieze, stone marquetry background
Writings engraved by metallisation on sapphire crystal
Hand-engraved white gold applique with patina

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

Edition
Limited and numbered series of 5 pieces
Available exclusively through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques

Model: Buste d’Auguste Watch, Reference 7620A/000G-B929

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Buste d’Auguste watch

Case
18K white gold
42 mm diameter, 12.9 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Hand-engraved gold frieze, enamel & stone micro-mosaic background
Writings engraved by metallisation on sapphire crystal
Hand-engraved white gold applique with patina

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

Edition
Limited and numbered series of 5 pieces
Available exclusively through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques

Model: Victoire de Samothrace Watch, Reference 7620A/000G-B928

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Victoire de Samothrace watch

Case
18K white gold
42 mm diameter, 12.9 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Hand-engraved gold frieze, grisaille enamel & enamel background
Writings engraved by metallisation on sapphire crystal
Hand-engraved white gold applique with patina

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

Edition
Limited and numbered series of 5 pieces
Available exclusively through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

Vacheron Constantin has created a single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers timepiece evoking the legend of the Flying Dutchman. This unique piece belongs to the newly inducted “Les Royaumes Aquatiques® series inspired by the world of the sea and its accompanying mythology.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

This single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers minute repeater and tourbillon watch was inspired by the Flying Dutchman and his ghost ship. Interpreted on a dial in miniature enamel painting and grisaille enamel, the ship sails into the heart of the storm on raging waves streaked with lightning. In-house developed and produced Manufacture Calibre 2755 TMR is regulated by a one-minute tourbillon and equipped with a minute repeater mechanism.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman is a watch inspired by this legend of the seas dating back to the 17th century.

The strikingly realistic dial of this unique timepiece offers a spectral vision of the ghost ship, plunging through the waves in the middle of a storm. With the sea raging and the waves threatening, lightning streaking across a full moon sky, the stage is set for a dramatic vision of this vessel. It is as if the minute repeater of the watch has been designed to sound the death knell of any sailor crossing its path, in order to drag him into the swirling depths of a mechanical sea.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

The dial is a masterpiece of artistic craftsmanship staging a spectacular show in its own right. To create it, Vacheron Constantin’s master artisan drew on a rarely used technique combining miniature enamel painting and grisaille enamel.

This single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers watch is powered by the 471-component minute repeater and tourbillon Calibre 2755 TMR. Derived from Calibre 2755, Vacheron Constantin’s signature movement for Grand Complication models, this manual-winding version is equipped with a one-minute tourbillon, beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and endowed with a 58-hour power reserve displayed on the back.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

The mechanism is complemented by a minute repeater serving to sound the time on demand. To create this particularly complex chiming mechanism, which is controlled by a sliding bolt on the bezel, Vacheron Constantin’s engineers and master watchmakers drew inspiration from the work done on the 2005 La Tour de l’Île anniversary watch, and its strike governor in particular.

This system enables the duration of the musical sequences to be perfectly timed so as to achieve a distinct and harmonious sound of the notes playing the hours, quarters and minutes by hammers striking two circular gongs. The model is thus equipped with a perfectly silent centripetal flywheel strike governor that avoids any undue wear on the mechanism.

Calibre 2755 TMR features Fine Watchmaking finishes including meticulous hand-bevelling of the bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, circular-graining of the baseplate and rounding off applied to the tourbillon carriage bars.

The fact that each part composing the movement is hand-finished and decorated – whatever its place within the mechanism and even when hidden from sight –demonstrates the same meticulous care displayed on the dial and representing an integral part of Vacheron Constantin’s signature aesthetic quest in which overall beauty and harmony stems from the attention lavished on even the smallest details.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

Calibre 2755 TMR is housed in a 18K white gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and 13.52 mm thick and fitted with a dark blue alligator leather strap secured by a white gold folding clasp.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” (aquatic kingdoms) evoke the wonderful world of the sea and its accompanying mythology. The Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of models and to unique creations. For this year, Vacheron Constantin has chosen “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” as the theme for its single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers timepieces.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman watch perfectly fits Vacheron Constantin’s annual theme “The Anatomy of Beauty®” which celebrates the Maison’s attentiveness to detail. This extraordinarily painstaking care is expressed through the designers’ aesthetic choices and preferences as well as in the meticulous finishing work performed by the artisans.

All the components of the Vacheron Constantin Flying Dutchman watch benefit from this scrupulous attention, even those that remain invisible once the movement has been assembled.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
Reference: 6540C/000G- 034C

Movement
Caliber 2755 TMR
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm diameter, 7.1 mm thick
Approximately 48 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
471 components
40 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva

Indications
Hours, minutes
Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
Minute repeater, tourbillon and power-reserve indication on the case-back side

Setting
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)

Case
18K white gold with case
45 mm diameter, 13.52 mm thick

Dial
18K gold covered with “Grand Feu” miniature enamelling and grisaille enamelling representing a “Flying Dutchman”
18K white gold hands

Strap
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Buckle
18K white gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Les Cabinotiers model

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

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse

Vacheron Constantin has launched Les Royaumes Aquatiques®, a new themed range from the Les Cabinotiers department, a tribute to the world of the sea and its accompanying mythology. This single piece edition combines four artistic crafts: guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting

Concealed in the ocean fauna, the sea horse is made of cloisonné enamel with gem-set fins against a partially guilloché dial background. The case and lugs have been trimmed to accommodate the bezel set in a sapphire colour gradient. This single-piece edition is powered by Calibre 2160, an ultra-thin self-winding tourbillon movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin.

At the heart of the “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” range, the figurative theme chosen by Vacheron Constantin in 2022 for its Les Cabinotiers single-piece editions, the sea horse finds its natural place in this maritime hall of fame.

Its natural habitat is on the seabed, amid fields of algae and seagrass meadows, which is precisely where Vacheron Constantin has decided to depict it on the dial of its Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse watch.

Vacheron Constantin “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse

The Manufacture’s master artisans have combined the techniques of guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting to make this piece an anthem to the splendours of the ocean and a tribute to the year’s “The Anatomy of Beauty” theme.

Measuring 39 mm in diameter and graced with a bezel set with a subtle sapphire gradient, the 18K 5N pink gold case houses in-house Calibre 2160, a tourbillon movement distinguished by its slimness despite its self-winding system.

In order to give depth to the dial in a way other than through vanishing lines or a multi-level construction, the master artisans combined guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting techniques.

Presented in a 39 mm diameter perfectly suited to all wrists, the case of the Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse watch has been trimmed, as have the lugs, so as to achieve ideal formal harmony.

In-house Calibre 2160 matches this concern for elegance while also featuring a self-winding tourbillon regulator. The tourbillon appears here in an ultra-thin version, with its carriage housed in a movement barely 5.65 mm thick representing a true technical feat.

The slimness of the 188-component Calibre 2160 is notably made possible by the peripheral rotor ensuring a comfortable 80-hour power reserve. The 18K 5N pink gold case enabling the subtle intricacies of the movement to be admired through its sapphire crystal back is only 11.15 mm thick.

The finishing of Calibre 2160 displays the same high level of quality, with each component finished and decorated by hand, testifying to the fascination of Vacheron Constantin movements, whose beauty lies in the meticulous attention to details. The bar of the tourbillon carriage, itself open-worked in the shape of the Manufacture’s Maltese cross emblem, is entirely hand-chamfered, as are the mainplate and bridges. On the dial side, the mainplate is circular-grained, while the bridges are adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif on the caseback side.

This unique timepiece is paired with a dark blue leather strap secured by a folding clasp set with 14 baguette-cut sapphires. The watch is water-resistant to 30 metres.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” (aquatic kingdoms) evoke the wonderful world of the sea and its accompanying mythology. Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse is a single-piece edition embodying an aesthetic quest in which the smallest details contribute to “The Anatomy of Beauty®” that is Vacheron Constantin’s theme for 2022.

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse
Reference 6007C/000R-056C

Movement
Caliber 2160
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
31 mm diameter, 5.65 mm thick
Approximately 80 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
188 components
30 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

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

Setting
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)

Case
18K 5N pink gold hand gem-setting with gradation of 74 baguette-cut sapphires
39 mm diameter, 11.15 mm thick

Dial
18K gold with four artistic crafts: hand-guilloché, engraving, hand-cloisonné enamel and hand gem-setting with 1 sapphire cabochon representing a “Sea horse”
18K 5N pink gold hands

Strap
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Buckle
18K 5N pink gold buckle hand gem-setting with 14 baguette-cut sapphires
Half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Les Cabinotiers model

Gem-setting
88 baguette-cut sapphires and 1 sapphire cabochon for a total of approx. 3.48 carats (guaranteed minimum carat weight)

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

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

Vacheron Constantin has released a re-edition of its legendary 222, launched in 1977 for the 222nd anniversary of the Maison.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

Unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2022 exhibitions, this 18K 3N yellow gold wristwatch from the Historiques collection is driven by an In-house Calibre 2455/2. This self-winding movement is equipped with a dedicated oscillating weight engraved with the original 222 logo.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

This re-edition in the Historiques collection is faithful to the original model, albeit with a few adjustments in the interests of comfort and enhanced reliability. The case adorned with a Maltese cross emblem at 5 o’clock has an exhibition back.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

The aesthetic codes of the initial 222 model have been respected: a gold-toned dial with straight hour-markers and baton-type hands whose luminescence takes on a green tinted hue at night, in reference to the tritium used on the original 222. The articulation of the bracelet has been redesigned to ensure a more ergonomic feel.

It was in the 1970s, the timepieces combining the watchmaking worlds of sport and luxury appeared. With the 222, Vacheron Constantin contributed to this new approach to the mechanical watch, which was very much in keeping with an era open to new ideas. This model clearly marked a break in the stylistic evolution of the Maison: the sporting codes of watchmaking are integrated within a timepiece featuring taut lines and sharp angle, yet consistently elegant.

In 1963, Vacheron Constantin presented its first model adapted to the contingencies of working life: the Turnograph reference 6782, a name derived from its bidirectional rotating bezel with a 15-minute graduated scale. The shape of the baton-type hands and the geometry of its straight hour-markers did not go unnoticed, even though the model had a relatively short lifespan.

In 1975, the Maison made a new foray into the field of urban watches with the Chronomètre Royal reference 42001. With its special-shaped case, combined with a rounded octagonal bezel, this first Vacheron Constantin timepiece in steel with an integrated bracelet opened up new style perspectives. These were confirmed two years with the 222 designed by Jorg Hysek, whose modern style retains Vacheron Constantin’s inherent elegance and attention to detail.

In addition to being a new model with an integrated bracelet, the 222 watch launched in 1977 introduced a functional architecture with its flat base topped by a prominent fluted bezel. Its monobloc case, which required the movement to be cased-up from above, was water-resistant to 120 metres thanks to its screw-down bezel.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

The 222 boasted exemplary thinness at 7 mm, thanks to its ultra-thin movement measuring barely 3.05 mm and driving indications of the hours, minutes and date. The baton-type hands and straight hour-markers similar to the 1963 reference 6782 Turnograph watch confirmed an understated and refined aesthetic, while exuding an impression of robustness thanks to its bracelet screwed to the case middle and featuring large hexagonal central links.

Initially presented in a 37 mm version nicknamed “Jumbo”, the 222 was subsequently interpreted in 34 mm and 24 mm steel, yellow gold or two-tone iterations, polished or gemset but always adorned with the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem nestling in the right-hand corner of the case at 5 o’clock. Remaining in limited production until 1985, the 222 belongs to the legend of the first “sporty-chic” watches in watchmaking history.

Vacheron Constantin is now offering an updated interpretation of this legendary model in its Jumbo version with the Historiques 222 watch in 18K 3N yellow gold.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

In keeping with the spirit of the Historiques collection, the watches composing the collection are not identical replicas of the original watch, but instead contemporary reinterpretations, endowed with the latest technical advances to optimise their reliability and comfort on the wrist.

A few subtle changes have been made to the Historiques 222 watch:

  • Operating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour) and endowed with a 40-hour power reserve (compared with 2.75 Hz for the original model), Calibre 2455/2 delivers enhanced precision.
  • The oscillating weight of Calibre 2455/2 was specifically developed for this model and is engraved with the original 222 logo, surrounded by a fluted motif echoing the bezel.
  • The caseback is open-worked to reveal the calibre.
  • The finishes – vertical-satin-brushed crown and bracelet; circular satin-finished bezel and polished hour-markers, hand- chamfered gear trains and bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, as well as a circular-grained mainplate – reveal the concern for each and every detail characterising the world of Haute Horlogerie.
  • The dial features the vintage font of the “AUTOMATIC” inscription.
  • The date window has been significantly offset from the outer rim of the dial to enhance legibility, thanks to the slightly smaller diameter of the calibre compared with its predecessor.
  • The Super-LumiNova® coating of the hands and hour-markers (off-white by day and lime green by night) also results in improved readability.
  • The bracelet is fitted with a triple-blade (rather than double-blade) clasp.
  • The bracelet articulations have been revisited to hide the visible pins and improve comfort on the wrist.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222
Reference 4200H/222J-B935

Movement
Calibre 2455/2
Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding, 18K 3N yellow gold dedicated oscillating weight
26.2 mm (12½‘’’) diameter, 3.6 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour)
194 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes
Date

Case
18K 3N yellow gold
37 mm diameter, 7.95 mm thick
Pd150 white gold Maltese cross placed at 5 o’clock
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 5 bar (approx. 50 metres)

Dial
Gold-toned
Yellow gold polished Maltese cross placed on the dial
Yellow gold hour-markers and hands highlighted with Super-LumiNova® (off-white during the day and lime green at night)

Bracelet
18K 3N yellow gold vertical satin finished

Buckle
18K 3N yellow gold triple-blade folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Availability
Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

Vacheron Constantin presents a new Traditionnelle perpetual calendar chronograph timepiece with a platinum case with a salmon-coloured dial. This classically inspired combination is available in limited annual production exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques. This new high complication watch is powered by the in-house Calibre 1142 QP.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

As its name suggests, this watch embodies traditional watchmaking codes, notably including Dauphine-type hands, a railway-type minutes track and a stepped case with distinctive fluting on the back. The legibility of the functions – an essential characteristic of Vacheron Constantin watches – is carefully orchestrated between the chronograph and the perpetual calendar.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

Time indications are provided by white gold hands and hour-markers, while the chronograph and date functions are displayed by blued steel hands. The 30-minute chronograph counter and the small seconds counter appear in a perfectly balanced symmetrical arrangement.

The moon phases appear on a platinum disc at 6 o’clock, integrated within the pointer-type date display. The day, month and leap-year cycle are read off through apertures in the upper part of the dial.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

The technical nature of the model is further accentuated by the tachymeter scale around the periphery and serving to calculate the average speed over a distance of 1000 metres thanks to the positioning of the chronograph seconds hand.

In keeping with the Maison’s philosophy of sophisticated aesthetics ensuring that each component benefits from meticulous care enhancing the overall beauty of each model, meticulous attention has been lavished on the dial.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

Its opaline salmon-coloured small seconds and chronograph minute counters are distinguished by a circular satin- brushed ring with a finely snailed centre. The same snailed finish is featured on the circumference displaying the date numerals.

The platinum disc, bearing a moon that is alternately smiling and melancholy depending on the phase, has also been revisited in the spirit of 19th century table watches. The raised moons are polished and surrounded by stars against a frosted background.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

One final detail plays a particularly important role in accentuating the exclusive nature of this new interpretation: a relief and facetted version of Maison’s emblematic Maltese cross beneath the 12 o’clock hour-marker. Crafted in 18K 5N pink gold, it features facets on each arm that are sandblasted on one side and polished on the other, thus providing a new expression of the Vacheron Constantin symbol.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

This watch is equipped with manual-winding Calibre 1142 QP. This chronograph movement, complemented by a perpetual calendar, is one of the most highly prized historical calibres among collectors. It dates back to the 1940s and is notably distinguished by the sophisticated aesthetics of its architecture as well as by its reliability and precision enhanced by its column-wheel system.

This 324-component movement in its perpetual calendar version has been adapted over the decades, particularly to meet Hallmark of Geneva criteria, while its rate frequency has been modified to 3 Hz (21,600 vph) and its power reserve amounts to 48 hours.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in Platinum with a Salmon-Coloured Dial

The movement finishing which can be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback is the object of particular attention perfectly illustrating this year’s theme, with a circular-grained mainplate, Côtes de Genève motif on the bridges, hand-bevelled components and straight-grained flanks.

The watch comes with an alligator leather strap secured by a folding clasp in platinum.

The elegant design of this new Traditionnelle perpetual calendar chronograph is entirely in keeping with Vacheron Constantin’s 2022 “The Anatomy of Beauty®” theme. This extraordinarily painstaking care is expressed through the designers’ aesthetic choices and preferences as well as in the meticulous finishing work performed by the artisans.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
Reference: 5000T/000P-B975

Movement
Caliber 1142 QP
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
27.5 mm (12’’’) diameter, 7.37 mm thick
Approximately 48 hours of power reserve
3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
324 components
21 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Perpetual calendar (day of the week, date, month, leap year indication)
Moon phase
Column-wheel chronograph (30-minute counter at 3 o’clock)

Case
950 platinum
43 mm diameter, 12.94 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)

Dial
Salmon-coloured opaline
950 Platinum moon disc
18K white gold applied hour-markers and hour and minute hands
Blued steel chronograph and date hands
Black painted tachymeter scale

Strap
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp: 950 platinum folding clasp; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Accessory
Delivered with a corrector pen

Availability
Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

Vacheron Constantin has created a unique Les Cabinotiers timepiece endowed with a minute repeater equipped with a centripetal flying strike regulator and a split-seconds monopusher chronograph.

Equipped with the new manual-winding in-house Calibre 2757, this unique Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph is in keeping with the grand tradition of Vacheron Constantin’s complicated watches.

The construction of this calibre, which consists of integrating an additional split-seconds chronograph mechanism into a basic minute repeater movement, represents a technical feat. The combination of these functions with a tourbillon has rarely been seen in the world of pocket watches, is almost non-existent in the world of wristwatches, and represents a first for Vacheron Constantin in a wristwatch.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

This timepiece is also distinguished by a concern for the purity of the dial and the legibility of its chronograph functions. The tourbillon is visible only through the case back, while the off-centre display of the time and chronograph indications highlights the two central chronograph hands. The presence of a minute repeater is revealed by the slide-piece positioned on the left-hand side of the watch.

As early as 1819, Vacheron Constantin produced a pocket watch with independent deadbeat seconds and quarter repeater, at the time one of the first of its kind, which is now kept in the private collection of the Maison.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

The deadbeat seconds mechanism, which allows the central second hand to advance in one-second jumps, played an important role in the measurement of short times. By making this mechanism independent by means of an additional gear train, watchmakers developed what is considered the ancestor of the chronograph towards the end of the 18th century. With such a device, it is now possible to stop the seconds hand without affecting the time indications.

The split-seconds chronograph was first introduced with a single-hand system in 1831, followed by the two-hand configuration in 1838. Vacheron Constantin quickly integrated these developments into the pocket chronographs of the time, as confirmed by an 1889 split-seconds timepiece dispatched to Buenos Aires for a horse racing enthusiast.

Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers have developed the 698-component manual-winding Calibre 2757. Such a large number of parts denote a rare degree of horological complexity. Even in the world of grand complications, calibres are often of simpler design and made with far fewer components.

Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2757 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

Given this intensely technical nature, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers have nonetheless risen to the challenge of elegance by successfully arranging the complications of this timepiece within a remarkably slender movement measuring barely 10.4 mm thick and 33.3 mm in diameter.

Calibre 2757, operating at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and endowed with an approximately 60-hour power reserve, enables short time measurement with 1/5th of a second precision appearing on the graduated minute-track. The unusual configuration of the dark grey dial has been designed to ensure optimum visibility of the split-seconds chronograph.

The hours and minutes are displayed on an offset subdial, leaving room for the 30-minute chronograph counter prominently placed at 2 o’clock. The layout is complemented by small seconds at 6 o’clock, indicating that the watch is in operation, thereby leaving plenty of space for the two central chronograph hands.

The very construction of the movement, particularly in terms of its chronographic functions, is based on the imperative of performance. In the watchmaking world, where many great inventions belong to the past, innovation often consists in optimising the operation of a calibre.

Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2757 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

This approach begins with the development of the movement and continues with the use of new materials. This same approach is reflected in Calibre 2757, whose additional split-seconds chronograph plate has been specially designed to ensure efficiency thanks to the in-depth arrangement of its components.

This optimisation of volumes, despite the thinness of the calibre, is also accompanied by new materials. Some of the wheels in the going train have been made of titanium or electroformed in nickel- phosphorus with a toothing profile specific to Vacheron Constantin, the goal being to ensure better gear penetration so as to avoid any jerking of the seconds hand. Silicon, an ultra-light material that requires no lubrication, is also used for one of the split-seconds levers and its insulator.

These savings in component weight and friction thus reduce the loss of energy amplitude from the barrel, thereby maintaining a comfortable power reserve of up to 50 hours with the chronograph activated.

For short-time measurements, a function demanding extreme regularity in terms of precision, Vacheron Constantin watchmakers have opted for a construction with two column wheels: the first devoted to the chronograph and the other to the split-seconds mechanism. This chronograph is thus controlled by a single pusher at 2 o’clock for the basic functions (start/stop/reset) and by the one at 4 o’clock for the split-seconds (stop/reset).

Pressing the latter stops the seconds hand on an intermediate time while the first hand continues running. Pressing it again enables the split-seconds hand to join the first seconds hand in counting off time. Two scales further enhance the technical nature of this timepiece.

The tachymeter scale, screen-printed in white on a 1,000-metre base, enables the average speed in km/h to be calculated over the first minute of timekeeping; the telemeter scale in red is used to calculate distances of up to 20 km according to the speed of sound (340 metres/second).

The chronograph functions are complemented by a minute repeater, activated by the lever on the left-hand side of the case. An essential complication for musical watches, the minute repeater has been part of Vacheron Constantin’s watchmaking vocabulary for more than two centuries, sounding the hours, quarters and minutes on demand.

The first known mention of a Vacheron Constantin chiming watch in the production records dates back to 1806, with a gold quarter-repeater pocket watch. Since that date, chiming and repeater watches have been part of the Maison’s heritage that has continued to grow over the decades.

Calibre 2757 is the direct heir to this tradition, benefiting from the technical developments perfected within the Manufacture. These include an ingenious centripetal flying strike regulator.

In a minute repeater watch, this mechanism regulates the duration of the musical sequence so that the notes can be heard distinctly and harmoniously. This system is distinguished by its two weights whose very special shape has been optimised to act as a brake by means of centripetal force acting on the governor’s rotating shaft, thereby evening out the energy released by the barrel and regulated by the tourbillon. This original device is also perfectly silent. Visible exclusively through the caseback, the tourbillon is distinguished by a carriage whose shape is inspired by the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem. Held by a delicately hand-chamfered bridge, this regulator carriage performs one complete rotation per minute.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

Presented in a 45 mm-diameter 750/1000 5N pink gold case with an exhibition back and on an alligator leather strap with gold folding clasp, this watch represents a technical feat as well as epitomising extraordinary mastery in the field of watchmaking finishing.

A signature feature of Vacheron Constantin watches is that each component is finely decorated with hand-made finishes before being assembled, even when destined to remain hidden. These surfaces that is alternately bevelled, polished, satin-finished, frosted, circular-grained or engraved and beadblasted create a play of light that brings out all the magic of Vacheron Constantin’s calibres and contributes to the brand’s intrinsic anatomy of beauty.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph

The assembly, setting into operation and casing-up of this Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater split-seconds monopusher chronograph movement thus represents only one third of the time devoted to the watch, as opposed to two thirds devoted to the calibre finishing.

The contrast between the bridges and maintaining plate with Vacheron Constantin’s signature black coating and the “metallic” moving parts already acts as a revelation of this kinetic art, which takes shape thanks to the meticulous attention lavished on details.

On the dial side, the skeletonised bridges, with their hand-chamfered and straight-grained flanks feature a circular satin finish. The wheels, with their chamfered arms, are burnished and polished, a complex operation that requires special tools for the titanium wheels.

On the caseback side of the movement, the watchmaker in charge of the timepiece – who carries out all the assembly and finishing operations right the way through to timing and casing-up in the manner of 18th century cabinotiers – has created an original decoration, in keeping with this remarkable timepiece.

The blackened bridges featured a hollowed-out surface that has been sandblasted to a very fine grain by hand, topped by a mirror-polished sink. This magnificent execution, which plays on the reflections of light between the matt and the shiny, brings out the “musical” components of the movement. The strike governor is notably engraved with the initials J.M.C. in tribute to Jean-Marc Vacheron and features a bar whose delicate rounding off involves 12 hours of meticulous hand craftsmanship. The Tourbillon Bridge is engraved with Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross emblem.

The single-piece watch Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph features a concern for impeccable finishing and meticulous decoration of all watch components, even those that remain invisible, vividly illustrating Vacheron Constantin’s theme for 2022:”The Anatomy of Beauty®”.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph
Reference: 9750C/000R-002C

Movement
Calibre 2757
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.30 mm diameter, 10.40 mm thick
Approximately 60 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
698 components
59 jewels
Poinçon de Genève

Functions
Off-centred/Offset hours and minutes
Chronograph
Split-seconds chronograph
Small seconds
30-minute counter
Minute repeater
Tourbillon

Case
18K 5N pink gold
45 mm diameter, 16.4 mm thick

Dial
Dark grey dial
Hours, minutes and seconds hands: 18K 5N pink gold, polished
Chronograph and split-seconds chronograph hands: gold-toned aluminium, matt

Strap
Black Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Buckle 18K 5N pink gold folding clasp, Half Maltese cross-shaped

Box
Les Cabinotiers box

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

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

Vacheron Constantin has released a new interpretation of the Overseas ultra-thin perpetual calendar model. This new skeletonised interpretation in 18K 5N pink gold comes with a blue dial.

The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin was the winner of the Calendar and Astronomy Watch prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2020.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

In order to keep track of the Gregorian calendar’s distinctive features, a perpetual calendar must be equipped with a mechanical memory of 1,461 days, taking the form of a cam on which, the different monthly durations are duly programmed. The mechanism can thus indicate without any need for correction months of 28, 30 and 31 days, as well as leap years.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

On the Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin model, the day and date display along the horizontal axis is complemented on the vertical axis by the month indication across four years, while the moon-phase indication is symmetrically positioned at 6 o’clock beneath an opaque glass. The next adjustment of the date will only take place in 2100, a secular year divisible by four but not by 400 and therefore not a leap year – another singularity of the Gregorian calendar.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

The Manufacture self-winding Calibre 1120 measuring just 2.45 mm thick is already considered a classic in the world of mechanical watches.

Complemented by a perpetual calendar module to form a total thickness of 4.05 mm, it nestles at the heart of the 18K 5N pink gold case with a total 8.1 mm thickness. Greatly appreciated by collectors for its reliability and performance, Calibre 1120 QPSQ/1 has been entirely skeletonised.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

All parts of Calibre 1120 QPSQ/1 have been hollowed out, finished and decorated. The technical and aesthetic attention paid to the architecture of the calibre and to the surface finishes – including those that remain hidden from sight – stems from expertise in which the smallest details compose the anatomy of beauty characterising the timepieces from the Maison.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

The movement has benefited from haute horlogerie finishing work entirely done by hand on all its components, which have been hand-drawn to create a satin-brushed appearance, chamfered to enhance the play of light and given a circular-brushed, sunburst or circular-grained decoration according to their place in the heart of the calibre.

The care devoted to these finishes is accentuated by the anthracite grey tone given by NAC (N-acetylcysteine) electrolytic treatment of the mainplate, bridges and open-worked oscillating weight shaped like a Maltese cross with a segment in 22K gold.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

Operating at a rate of 19,800 vibrations per hour (2.75 Hz) and endowed with a 40-hour power reserve, the movement can be admired through the sapphire back of the 41.5 mm diameter case.

On the dial side, the thin blue calendar display rings and the same colour flange also provide a clear view of the calibre, while ensuring perfect legibility.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

Thanks to its simple and practical interchangeable bracelet/strap system, the Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin skeleton watch can be adapted to any situation. It comes on an 18K 5N pink gold bracelet and is accompanied by two additional calfskin leather and rubber straps, each with an 18K 5N pink gold pin buckle.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, Pink Gold Version with a Blue Dial

The Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin skeleton watch is entirely in tune with Vacheron Constantin’s 2022 ‘Anatomy of Beauty®’ theme, which highlights the extraordinary attention involved to details all the way to the smallest component.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
Reference 4300V/120R-B642

Movement
Calibre 1120 QPSQ/1
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
Open-worked oscillating weight inspired by the shape of a Maltese cross with a segment in 22K gold
NAC treatment
29.6 mm (12½’’’) diameter, 4.05 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour)
276 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours and minutes
Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year)
Moon phases

Case
18K 5N pink gold
41.5 mm diameter, 8.1 mm thick
Soft iron casing ring ensuring anti-magnetic protection
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 5 bar (approx. 50 metres)

Dial
Sapphire
18K 5N pink gold hour-markers and hours & minutes hands highlighted with Super-LumiNova®

Bracelet
18K 5N pink gold bracelet (half Maltese cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links), secured by a 18K 5N pink gold triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and comfort-adjustment system

Additional straps
Blue calf leather strap with white stitches
Blue rubber
Buckles: Each additional strap comes with an 18K 5N pink gold buckle

Availability
Model exclusively available from Vacheron Constantin boutiques

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

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

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

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

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

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

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

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

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

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

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

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

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

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

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus

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

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

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

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

Technical details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Box
Les Cabinotiers Prestige box

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

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