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Watches and Wonders
Vacheron Constantin - Minute repeater tourbillon  sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery

Vacheron Constantin Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery

The les Cabinotiers minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery watch is a single-piece edition adding an artistic dimension to the technical prowess of its Calibre 2755 TMRCC

The Manufacture's craftsmen, gemsetters and guilloché specialists have adorned an extraordinarily complex timepiece with a creative and original evocation of the Leo constellation. This new model, presented at Watches & Wonders 2021, is part of the theme of the Maison for 2021 : entitled Classic with a Twist, it highlights Vacheron Constantin’s creative energy, guided by an identity that celebrates a heritage and dares to deliver the unexpected.

Minute repeater tourbillon  sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery

Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery © Vacheron Constantin

Early astronomers’ observations led them to recognise animal forms in the configuration of the constellations, including that of a lion. Vacheron Constantin's artisan drew inspiration from this to highlight the astronomical complication of this single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers watch. Hand-guilloché and set with diamonds forming the Leo constellation, the noble creature stands majestically on the dial, framed by a case set with baguette cut sapphires. This artistic and artisanal interpretation adds an artistic dimension to the technical prowess of Calibre 2755 TMRCC, which combines a tourbillon regulating device, a minute repeater in the grand tradition of the Maison’s striking watches, as well as a rotating sky chart. The watch flaunts its elegance in an 18K white gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and barely 15.1 mm thick, fitted with a dark blue alligator strap secured by a gemset gold buckle.

Spotlight on artistic crafts

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

Minute repeater tourbillon  sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery

Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery © Vacheron Constantin

The Leo constellation is staged to great effect on the dial. A masterpiece of hand guilloché craftsmanship created in the Vacheron Constantin workshops, the feline's silhouette is composed of a multitude of triangles bearing their own motifs. Since the rose engines operated by skilled artisans with an artist’s touch are designed to engrave decorative elements that are generally circular and geometric, it is easy to grasp the difficulties implied by depicting a lion in the form of a combination of polygons whose linear engravings provide striking depth effects. The stars composing the constellation are represented by brilliant-cut diamonds adorning the great cat’s tawny coat.

An exceptional movement, Calibre 2755 TMRCC

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

This manual-winding movement with a 58-hour power reserve is equipped with a one-minute tourbillon bearing the small seconds hand. Invented at the beginning of the 19th century, this device – which incorporates the escapement as well as the balance-and-spring assembly within a mobile carriage – is designed to compensate for the effects of the Earth's gravity on the regulator's isochronism, thereby enhancing its precision. This tourbillon is distinguished by its carriage shaped like a Maltese cross – Vacheron Constantin’s signature emblem since 1880 – and featuring a bar on which the delicate finishing operations involving manual chamfering and polishing require a full 36 hours of work.

Minute repeater tourbillon  sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery

Calibre 2755 TMRCC © Vacheron Constantin

Displayed through the back of the watch on a concave dial designed to accentuate the depth effect, the sky chart offers a striking view of the Milky Way and the constellations that appear in real time, as if through a telescope. For the sake of accuracy, this sky chart performs a complete rotation in one sidereal day. Taking a fixed star in the sky as a reference point, the time required by the Earth to complete a full 360° rotation, or sidereal day, is exactly 23 h 56 min 4 s. Since the Earth rotates both within itself and around the Sun, it takes about four minutes less than on a calendar day to find its point of origin in relation to the given star. This sidereal time can be read off counter-clockwise on the 24-hour circle, graduated in 10-minute increments, opposite the current date appearing on a rotating disc with a five by five-day scale. This display is essential for correctly adjusting the sky chart moving beneath the sapphire crystal. The sapphire crystal also bears an off-centred ellipse serving to highlight the exact position of the constellations in the Northern hemisphere at the moment the watch is consulted.

The watch is also equipped with a minute repeater enabling the hours, quarters and minutes to be chimed on demand. To create this particularly complex striking mechanism, controlled by a slide-piece housed in the case middle, Vacheron Constantin's engineers and watchmakers were inspired by the work carried out on the 2005 La Tour de l'Île watch, and in particular its centripetal strike governor. This silent system makes it possible to perfectly regulate the duration of musical sequences in order to obtain a distinct and harmonious sound of the notes played for the hours, quarters and minutes by the hammers striking two circular gongs.

Celestial Time

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

Minute repeater tourbillon  sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery

Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart Leo constellation Jewellery © Vacheron Constantin

From the dawn of civilisations, the cycle of days and seasons, the evolution of constellations in the night sky, the phases of the moon and eclipses have exerted an almost mystical fascination. Eager to unravel the mysteries of the universe, the first human beings found in mythological tales a cosmogony blending legends with poetry. At a very early stage, the first scientific minds attempted to decipher the rhythms of Nature and to organise them according to predictable patterns.

It was from these calculations, and with the appearance of writing, that the first calendars were born, before the Babylonian sexagesimal system gave meaning to the physical division of time into units of angle. Traditional watchmaking is a direct heir to this rigorous and scientific approach, expressed today on watches with depictions of the calendar, the sky chart, moon phases, tides and seasons, and even civil, solar and sidereal time with their differentials. Vacheron Constantin has nevertheless sought to endow these genuine observation instruments with all the charm of the founding myths through the subtlety of its craftsmanship, through its work in guilloché engraving and the engraving of symbolic motifs, or in the “stellar” glittering of gemset stones. This new Les Cabinotiers range is the expression of exceptional expertise in astronomical watches, dedicated to the poetry of time.

 

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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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