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Vacheron Constantin - Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

A highly complicated unique piece highlights some major differences between Vacheron Constantin and one of its main rivals.

Vacheron Constantin could have decided to bill its new unique piece Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 as the world’s most complicated wristwatch. Although what constitutes a “complication” will always be debated by the most pernickety of watch experts, this model boasts 23 complications on two dials, according to Vacheron Constantin, whereas the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime only claims 20. But the game of one-upmanship is pointless in any case, since you cannot buy this watch. The fact that it is a unique piece with astronomical complications that depend on the location of the owner strongly suggest that the five years of development were carried out at the behest of a customer who knew exactly what he wanted.

Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600We can also surmise that this customer is more than a little passionate about astronomy, since this watch has clearly been conceived as an instrument rather than a mere showcase for fine watchmaking skills. In a relatively compact 45mm wristwatch case, the Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 packs in a wealth of useful information on just one dial: day, month, date, leap-year indication, standard hour and minutes, a separate minute hand for solar true time, tide height indicator with a wonderful miniature three-dimensional depiction of the Earth and Moon in relation to the sun (showing quadrature and conjunction), precision moon phase display with day/night indicator and a scale for the age of the moon, sunrise and sunset indicators, day/night length indicator and a sectorial scale showing the signs of the zodiac, the seasons, the solstices and the equinoxes. Amazingly, even with all these indications the watch remains surprisingly easy to read.

Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

Flip the case over and the watch becomes an even more complex astronomical instrument. Beneath the transparent case back are two separate rotating sapphire discs. The first shows the night sky as seen from the northern hemisphere, surrounded by an anthracite rings showing the months of the year and (around the outer edge) a power reserve indicator). Two ellipses, one red and one white, correspond to the projections of the ecliptic and celestial equator respectively. Beneath this is a second sapphire disc with graduations on its outer edge for sidereal time and the four compass points, plus an anthracite sphere that indicates the celestial map.

Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
As you can probably imagine, adjusting this highly complicated timepiece can be a nightmare, even with the supplied corrector stylus and magnifying glass. Vacheron Constantin has therefore gone to great lengths to ensure that this watch’s many displays can be relied on for as long as possible before there is any need to wind up the watch by hand. It’s hard to believe, but the twin dials conceal six winding barrels, each of which is fitted with a Bioflex® barrel spring – all in a movement that is just 8.7mm thick. The result is a very impressive three weeks worth of power reserve to encourage its owner to admire and use this valuable timepiece at least once a month.

Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

8 November 2017
Remy Chevallier
WATCH exceptional, refined and sober with fabulous astronomical complications. Congratulations.

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An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the watchmaker or craftsman, dedicating their knowhow to the birth of outstanding watches. The Manufacture also works within a social and environmental code of ethics, and has had Responsible Jewellery Council certification since 2012.

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