Today we will look at the Maître Cabinotier Astronomica, a superlative timepiece from Vacheron Constantin. Like the elaborately engraved Traditionnelle “L’empreinte Du Dragon” that I showed you last week, this is also a one-of-a-kind creation. But first let me say that there’s more to the Astronomica (as I will refer to it here) than it being a 1/1 piece with an 15-complications. A fact that seems lost on other watch media out there is that this watch is “the very first representative of a new and highly exclusive range of models” crafted in the spirit of Vacheron’s Atelier Cabinotiers. This is important, because by evoking Atelier Cabinotiers, Vacheron Constantin tells those of us in the know (and now you, Perpetuelle readers), that the Astronomica is by definition a veeeeerrrrry special piece.
As I extensively wrote about a couple years ago, the Atelier Cabinotiers is essentially Vacheron’s “special order” department, where exceptional watches are conceived according to the wishes of a private client and nothing more. In other words, among the most ambitious and exclusive timepieces made by Vacheron, period. Bespoke watchmaking at its finest.
Well, you’ve been treated to many special watches this week, as almost every brand has unveiled at least one or two new pieces at Watches & Wonders show. But to be clear, there are special watches and then there are special watches. This one-of-a-kind piece from Vacheron Constantin certainly stands at or near the top of the list. The “L’empreiente du Dragon”, from the brands “Métiers d’Art” series, is entirely hand engraved with a gorgeous dragon scale pattern, a symbolic tie-in to the Asian market. Of course such an impressively engraved case would not be complete without a complicated watch to show off. Thus this piece has at its core the Vacheron Caliber 2253. One of the manufacture’s most prestigious calibers, the VC Cal. 2253 is a 457-component masterpiece with tourbillon + perpetual calendar, along with with equation of time, sunrise & sunset indications. The Cal 2253 also delivers a robust 14-day power reserve.
Vacheron specifically notes that the exquisite engraving was done one of the most experienced master engravers working today — a man who was even named “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, or “One of the Best Craftsmen of France”, in 2011. See “Did You Know?” below for more on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Also below are several pics of the burin-master at work.
Vacheron Consantin’s Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time watch was first unveiled in 2011, cased in rose gold. It is now available in platinum, as part of Vacheron’s “Collection Excellence Platine“. Whatever the case metal, the Patrimony Traditionelle World Time is an incredible timepiece, among the best of the best when it comes to world time watches. For starters, it is a single-crown world timer — no pushers on this case (!) — and on top of this it displays every single timezone on the planet, including the half and quarter hour timezones. That’s 37 timezones in total, people! And now, as part of the “Collection Excellence Platine” (platine = platinum), the Patrimony Tradionelle World Time is taken to an all new level of superiority.
Read the rest of this entry »
This is a one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Calibre 2253, with tourbillon and perpetual calendar. In platinum and with an atypical black dial. It is one of four new special models that Vacheron has unveiled to commemorate the opening of its boutique in Moscow, Vacheron’s first in the city. Unlike their regular production versions which typically have light colored dials, each of these Moscow Boutique editions have black or dark grey dials. And to top it off, each piece comes with a pair of white gold cufflinks with a finish that matches the watch dial (as you can see below).
Read the rest of this entry »