Vacheron Constantin is delighted to unveil its latest talent to join the “One of not many” communication campaign. Yiqing Yin, a youthful prodigy in the world of Haute Couture, is joining the roster of talents who have chosen to collaborate with the Maison. She will epitomise the Égérie collection, dedicated to women and launched by the Manufacture in February 2020.
Born in Beijing in 1985, Yiqing Yin has been traveling the world since her childhood. At the age of four, she left China for Australia and France. A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and armed with her innovative vision of Couture, Yiqing Yin sees garments as both a second skin and a supple, floaty envelope. Exploring the dynamic potential of pleats, she imagines vibrant structures that are never static but instead all about volumes in motion, and experiments with the way garments fall in a quest for smoothly flowing lines. She thus designs loose shapes with staggering structures. She admits her attraction to “an intuitive method of creation, a sensory wandering and a search for voluntary accidents”.
Acknowledged and respected within the select circle of Haute Couture connoisseurs, her universe naturally chimed with that of Vacheron Constantin. Yiqing Yin shares with the watchmakers and artisans of the Maison a concern for detail and a desire for discovery. Ties were thus woven between Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie, two worlds where craftsmanship, expertise and rarity would be nothing without passion and creativity, a vocation that is constantly being challenged and reinvented in step with successive creations. The Égérie collection symbolises this encounter through the pleated dial and the off-centre aesthetic of its design.
The “One of not many” campaign presented in 2018 showcases talents whose personality and work express the constant quest for excellence, openness to the world and the spirit of innovation and creation characterising Vacheron Constantin. Singular, visionary and passionate, they are recognised experts in their own field, thereby also reflecting the concept of connoisseurs.
About Yiqing Yin
A graduate of ENSAD (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris), Yiqing Yin was awarded the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris in 2009. Following the Hyères International Fashion Festival in 2010, her dreamy creations were staged in the windows of the Ministry of Culture, at the Chaillot National Theatre and then at the prestigious Joyce Gallery. In June 2011, she won the ANDAM (Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode/ANDAM Fashion Award Paris) and held her first runway showing during the Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week. That same year, Yiqing Yin was one of eight young “designers to watch” selected by the French edition of Vogue. In 2013, Maison Léonard appointed the young designer to head its ready-to-wear collections. Yiqing Yin also works with prestigious brands such as Cartier, Guerlain, Hermès, Swarovski and Lancôme.
Since 2012, Maison Yiqing Yin has been officially included in the Fédération Française de la Couture official calendar as a guest member. In December 2015, the Fédération Française de la Mode rewarded her work through the attribution of the Haute Couture appellation.
As a complete artist, Yiqing Yin also explores other artistic worlds. In 2013, at the invitation of the Venice Biennale, she created the artwork In-Between. For her Blooming Ashes collection, she combined fabric with light in the Stellar dress, in collaboration with sculptor Bastien Carré. She has also worked in the world of dance by designing the stage costumes of the étoile ballet dancers Dorothée Gilbert and Mathieu Ganio for Tristan and Iseult, directed by Giorgio Mancini.
Yiqing Yin has been regularly invited to participate in art exhibitions around the world for several years. The exhibition titled “A world of Feathers” staged at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm; the “Haute Dentelle” exhibition at the Cité de la Dentelle in Calais; as well as the “Animalia Fashion” exhibition at Palazzo Pitti in Florence, are just some of the many events where she presents the major pieces of her Haute Couture collections. She was also a guest of honour, exhibitor, lecturer and member of the jury at the Arts of Fashion Foundation Symposium held in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in December 2019. Finally, she is delighted to be working on a film project that will be released in the course of 2020.
The elegantly understated Patrimony moon phase retrograde date model is joining the Collection Excellence Platine concept. Launched in 2006, it offers collectors exceptional watches in 950 platinum limited editions. Case, crown, dial, buckle are crafted from this noble metal, while even the alligator leather strap is hand-stitched with platinum and silk threads.
The Patrimony moon phase retrograde date model, presented in 2017 in white and pink gold versions, is one of Vacheron Constantin’s signature watches. Its understated elegance and the originality of its display embody the Maison’s identity at first glance. Three years after its launch, this timepiece with its pleasing proportions is enriching the Collection Excellence Platine concept with a 50-piece limited boutique edition.
Entirely faithful to the spirit of the Patrimony collection, drawing inspiration from the watches created by the Maison in the 1950s, this timepiece bears witness to the minimalist aesthetic approach with a concern for detail aimed at achieving perfectly balanced lines. The timelessly elegant 42.5 mm round case houses the self-winding Manufacture 2460 R31L calibre with its precision moon phase and retrograde pointer-type date display. For optimal user-friendliness, all function settings are performed via the crown.
With its “Collection Excellence Platine” concept launched in 2006, Vacheron Constantin produces exceptional watches for collectors. Ranging from the simplest to the most complicated, all are offered in limited editions at a rate of one or two models per year. As its name suggests, their distinctive feature is 950 platinum, the watches being crafted in this noble metal from case to dial including the buckle while even the midnight blue alligator leather strap is hand-stitched with platinum and silk threads.
The secret signature on sand-blasted dial of the Patrimony moon phase retrograde date watch is the inscription «Pt 950» between 4 and 5 o’clock. The moon-phase disc, which can be admired through an aperture at 6 o’clock, is also in platinum with a polished surface on the stars and a grained texture for the moon circles imitating the visible irregularities of the lunar surface. The dial is slightly convex around its circumference and punctuated by applied 18-carat white gold hour-markers, appearing at intervals around a likewise white gold “pearl” minute-track. The batontype hands are made of the same metal, blued for the date pointer for enhanced readability.
Precision moon phase and retrograde date
This timepiece is powered by the Manufacture self-winding 2460 R31L calibre with a 40-hour power reserve. The transparent sapphire caseback provides a chance to admire this 275-part movement, notably the circular-grained surface of its mainplate and its openworked 22-carat gold oscillating weight inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross emblem.
The moon phases are displayed through an aperture at 6 o’clock, graduated from 0 to 29½, serving to count off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon. This horological complication, known as the age of the moon, corresponds to the actual cycle of this heavenly body, which rotates around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The precision moon phases mechanism requires a one-day correction only once every 122 years.
The second complication – a retrograde date indication by means of the central hand – occupies the upper part of the dial. To ensure user friendliness, all operations are performed via the crown: winding, date correction, moon-phase adjustment and time-setting.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon – Gravity Defied in a Subtle and Sophisticated Way
The Traditionnelle collection combines aesthetic refinement and technical sophistication in the feminine mode by welcoming the very first Vacheron Constantin self-winding tourbillon in a lady’s watch. A gem of horological complexity interpreted as two precious models celebrating mechanical art with great panache.
A round stepped case, a discreet bezel, a fluted case-back, a rail-track minute-circle, slender dauphine-shaped hands and baton-type hour-markers: the pure and elegant Traditionnelle collection showcases technical refinement conveyed through eminently horological characteristics. This timeless elegance embodied by timepieces whose form follows function is now expressed through two new feminine models featuring a tourbillon for the first time. Housed within a new 39 mm diamond-set pink gold case, or in a diamond-paved white gold jewellery version, this prestigious horological complication appears in unprecedented feminine finery. For demanding women looking for a timepiece that combines precision and style.
Calibre 2160, a Model of Elegance and Precision
The in-house 2160 calibre unveiled in 2018 finds its place for the first time at the heart of a watch dedicated to women. Thanks to the tourbillon that cancels out the effects of the Earth’s gravity, this self-winding movement is distinguished by its extreme precision, operating at a low 2.5 Hertz frequency enabling one to admire the steady beating of the mechanism. The 2160 calibre is also impressively slender. Equipped with a peripheral rotor, this 188-part movement is only 5.65 mm thick. A silhouette pared down to essentials results in a case measuring 39 mm in diameter and 11.22 mm thick, whose harmonious proportions are perfectly suited to the feminine wrist.
In addition to its reliability and precision, the 2160 calibre is characterised by a comfortable 80-hour power reserve and the presence of a small seconds display on the tourbillon by means of a blackened screw – a function highlighted by meticulous attention to each and every aesthetic detail. On the front, the bar of the openworked tourbillon carriage inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross, is entirely hand-bevelled, an operation lasting almost 11 hours for this component alone. Visible through the transparent caseback, the movement is adorned with Côtes de Genève finishing. These traditional decorations contrast with the refined aesthetics of the peripheral rotor in sandblasted 22 carats gold.
Technical refinement meets aesthetic elegance in this model imbued with exquisite femininity. It is the epitome of glowing radiance, balanced proportions and subtle details. Its classic 39 mm case crafted from 18 carats 5N pink gold sparkles with 208 brilliant-cut diamonds set on the bezel, caseband and lugs. Its captivating mother-of-pearl dial provides an iridescent backdrop for the majestic spectacle of the tourbillon, surrounded by a diadem of 46 brilliant-cut diamonds. Precious finery indeed for this Traditionnelle tourbillon that is an integral part of the collection’s aesthetic heritage. The extremely slim case features stepped flanks and a fluted caseback. The dial is punctuated by a rail-track minute-circle with dauphine-shaped hands and pink gold baton-type hourmarkers. A pleasing composition that seductively wraps itself around the wrist on a grey satin strap secured by a diamond-set folding clasp. A second grey strap in alligator leather is delivered with the timepiece.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon Jewellery
The sophisticated mechanical tourbillon complication is viewed through the prism of jewellery-making virtuosity. Sculpted in 18 carats white gold, this prestigious timepiece reinterprets the heritage of the Traditionnelle collection through an elegant 39 mm stepped round case, a slender bezel, a fluted caseback and a dial swept over by dauphine-shaped hands. The collection’s characteristic design nonetheless gives way to the flamboyance of diamonds. Bedecked in 559 brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds totalling more than 6.5 carats, the Traditionnelle tourbillon jewellery watch highlights the technical sophistication of the tourbillon, whose low frequency makes it possible to admire each rotation. This majestic interpretation embraces the wrist with a dazzling halo of light on a blue satin strap secured by a diamond-set gold folding clasp. Available exclusively in Vacheron Constantin boutiques, the Traditionnelle tourbillon jewellery comes with a second blue strap in alligator leather.
Fiftysix® – Sepia Brown-Toned Dial and Matching Calfskin Strap
Unveiled in 2018, the Fiftysix® collection audaciously mixes eras. Its part-retro, part- contemporary silhouette inspired by an iconic 1956 watch reveals its playfulness through a new sepia brown-toned dial colour. A look imbued with a vintage touch, interpreted through two pink gold models with a calfskin strap designed for everyday wear.
Heir to an iconic watch from the 1950s, the Fiftysix® collection celebrates the skillful marriage of styles and eras. Fiftysix® borrows powerful characteristics from reference 6073, introduced in 1956 and the very first water-resistant automatic watch ever created by Vacheron Constantin. Notably the lugs shape forming a section of the Manufacture’s Maltese cross emblem; the box-type crystal topping the bezel in the manner of post-war watches; along with a retro look that perfectly complements the timeless elegance of its 18 carats 5N pink gold case measuring 40 mm in diameter.
A new sepia brown-toned dial colour now reinforces the vintage character of this watch, available in two versions, automatic and complete calendar, fitted for the first time by a brown calfskin leather strap. A chic and authentic spirit to be worn every day and on all occasions!
Fiftysix® Complete Calendar
The retro-contemporary character of the Fiftysix® complete calendar watch is imbued with a new vintage aura. Framed by a 40 mm-diameter 18 carats 5N pink gold case, the sepia brown-toned dial is visually extended by a calfskin leather strap. Punctuated by day, date, month indications – as well as a precision moon phase requiring no adjustment for 122 years –, the watch face conceals a wealth of details. The subtle sector-type dial features opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes creating fascinating light effects, setting the stage for 18 carats 5N pink gold moon discs standing out against a blue sky.
Around the circumference, the chapter ring bears specially designed Arabic numerals, alternating with gold hourmarkers coated in luminescent material, as are the hours and minutes hands also visible in the dark. This results in exemplary legibility of the complete calendar indications, accurately driven by the 2460 QCL/1 self-winding movement, also equipped with a stop-seconds device. The sapphire caseback reveals traditional Côtes de Genève finishes, swept over by a 22 carats pink gold oscillating weight delicately openworked in a shape inspired by the Maltese cross. A strong symbol also evoked in the shape of the lugs and on the notched crown of this watch that stylishly mingles historical influences with the aesthetic codes of contemporary elegance.
With its new sepia brown-toned dial colour matching the colour of its calfskin strap, the personality of the Fiftysix® self-winding watch is further reinforced by an even more resolutely retro touch. Topped by a box-type crystal typical of the 1950s, the sector-type dial is distinguished by the refinement of its opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes. The resulting beautiful interplay of light and shade enhances its legibility. This pleasing composition is punctuated by hands and hour-markers enhanced with luminescent material and matching the 40 mm-diameter 18 carats 5N pink gold case. On the reverse side, the self-winding movement visible through the sapphire crystal caseback provides an admirable view of the meticulous Côtes de Genève decoration swept over by an openworked 22 carats pink gold oscillating weight whose design is inspired by the Maltese cross. A shape that echoes the Vacheron Constantin emblem and is also evoked in the case lugs and on the crown.
Vacheron Constantin’s retro-contemporary collection adopts a new sepia brown-toned dial colour. Available on the Fiftysix® complete calendar and Fiftysix® self-winding models, this elegant shade perfectly complements the warm hues of the 40 mm-diameter 18 carats 5N pink gold case paired with a brown calfskin strap. A skillful blend of styles and eras for these two models, which are equipped with an openworked 22 carats gold oscillating weight, whose design is inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross.
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin – When Pink Gold Illuminates the Distinctive Overseas Blue
Pink gold and blue-lacquered offer a perfect combination of casual chic. For the first time, Vacheron Constantin is offering this pleasing association of colours by presenting a new Overseas perpetual calendar with a gold case and bracelet along with a blue dial. A spirited combination that endows this model with a distinctive new personality.
The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin watch is now treating itself to an all-gold version. Its precious metal bracelet, featuring links inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross, is more elegant than ever while radiating a style all its own.
In addition to the case/bracelet combination, the brilliance of the gold extends to the blue dial, whose hour-markers, hands and moon discs are also made of 18K 5N pink gold. While the blue-lacquered gold dial captivates the eye with its sunburst satin finish, the counters are distinguished by their snailed decoration, while the gold-rimmed minute-rack opts for a velvet finish. These delicate decorations contrasting with the vertical-brushed of the case endow the blue dial with its full strength of character.
Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre
The 41.5 mm-diameter case accommodates a mechanical self-winding movement from a proud lineage, the ultra-thin Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre with perpetual calendar and moon-phase display. The latter function involves impressive feats of miniaturisation enabling it to cope with calendar irregularities while eliminating any need for correction until 2100. No less than 276 components are housed in a thickness of barely 4.05 mm. Beating at a frequency of 19,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve, the mechanism drives indications of the hours, minutes, perpetual calendar function – with the day of the week, date, month and leap year shown on a 48-month counter – as well as moon phases.
Vacheron Constantin is offering a pleasing association of colours by presenting a new Overseas perpetual calendar with a gold case and bracelet along with a blue dial. This model featuring a dial adorned with three different finishes (sunburst, snailed and circular satin-finished) is powered by the Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre.
The four one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds timepieces pay symbolic tribute to the range named “La Musique du temps®”
The extra-thin 1120 AT movement gives free rein to the talents of the master enameller. It provides an off-centred display of the hours on a right-hand dial sector, while leaving space to express the art of champlevé enamel. These four one-of-a-kind creations – showcasing artistic crafts by respectively featuring a hummingbird, a blue jay, a blue tit and a robin – add fresh notes to “La Musique du Temps®”, a theme dreamed up by the Maison’s Les Cabinotiers department.
Vacheron Constantin‘s approach to time measurement finds its ultimate expression when technical sophistication is enhanced by the talent of art masters and by hand finishing consistent with the tenets of Haute Horlogerie. All of which is perfectly illustrated in four one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds models. Masterpieces of champlevé painted enamel, the enchanting bucolic scenes on the dials offer a poetic interpretation of “La Musique du Temps®”, a theme imagined by the Les Cabinotiers department and honoured here by the imaginary song of the birds.
Perfect mastery of volumes and craftsmanship techniques is essential on these models featuring a two-tiered dial. The work on the two dial sections – one enamelled and concealing the module driving the hours and minutes, while the other guilloché area serves to display these indications – requires great precision in the fine adjustment of these two elements endowing this model with its innate elegance.
To create these strikingly realistic dials, Vacheron Constantin’s master enameller used the champlevé painted enamel technique. This consists of hollowing out of the dial material thin alveoli, designed as receptacles for the enamel delicately applied with a brush. Performed using binoculars, this work is all the more complex due to the rich palette of colours. To give life to the birds, the master artisan has in fact extended his palette to some 10 colours and their subtly graded shades for each of the dials, representing the fruit of intense research and extreme dexterity in their application. Mastery of fire is also indispensable, given that enamel – a mineral material – must be melted to achieve its inimitable translucent brilliance. As the birds take shape under the expert hand of the craftsman, the piece requires successive firings in the kiln to gradually fix the colours in place, which is a risky operation for the work already performed.
The right-hand section of the dials, consisting of a sector for displaying the hours and minutes, is finely hand guilloché and then coloured to bring out the basket-weave motifs.
The Maison has chosen birds embodying powerful symbolism. The hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird and capable of flapping its wings up to 200 times a second, is represented in shades of green, feeding on flower nectar. The blue jay, sentinel of the forests, warns its fellow birds of the presence of predators, accompanying its cries with a few loud wing flaps. Appearing against a brown backdrop, the blue tit with its bright eye highlighted by a brush stroke signals its presence to those who would like to take its place. A robin rests on the dial adorned with burgundy hues. Framed by elegant 40 mm-diameter cases in pink gold, or white gold for the robin, these dials are a true invitation to dream and to contemplate the wonders of nature. Each timepiece is fitted with an alligator leather strap in a colour matching that of the dial.
A Calibre with Satellite Hours and Minutes
Driven by a concern for formal purity, the Maison has opted for the in-house self-winding 1120 AT calibre because of its slimness and reliability. Developed in the 1960s, this movement immediately attracted the attention of specialists and collectors, not only for its 2.45 mm thickness but also for its construction, which is considered to be a model of horological engineering.
Over the decades, this ultra-thin movement has been interpreted through different variations with additional functions, including this 1120 AT version. Despite its satellite hours and minutes module on the reverse side and its guilloché gold oscillating weight winding the barrel on the back of the movement, it is only 5.45 mm thick and housed in a 12.37 mm case. The most notable specific feature of the calibre lies in the time indications. The display appears on a 120° sector bearing applied minutes. The satellite hours are thus of the dragging variety with three arms, each carrying a four-digit rotating disc and taking turns along the minutes scale.
Les Cabinotiers: One-of-a-kind 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.
Enter the world of “Haute Manufacture”
After celebrating the union between Haute Horlogerie and Haute Couture, Vacheron Constantin‘s new ladies’ collection highlights jewellery virtuosity as the captivating Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery timepiece distils time in a shower of diamonds.
In Roman mythology, Egeria was the name of an inspirational nymph whose inventiveness inspired artists and designers. At Vacheron Constantin, it is now the name of its new ladies’ collection, whose allure flows from the confluence of Haute Manufacture skills. Haute Horlogerie instils the technical sophistication so dear to Vacheron Constantin and the legacy of the asymmetrical displays that have marked its history, while Haute Couture endows Égérie with style, magnificently refined shapes, attention to detail and delicate textures. This dual inspiration embodied by the first models in the collection – Égérie self-winding, Égérie moon phase, Égérie moon phase diamond-pavé – is further enriched by the Maison’s jewellery mastery.
Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery is first and foremost an exceptional aesthetic appeal, a refined silhouette with an impeccable fit on the wrist. Its case, a 37mm-diameter circle sculpted in white gold, is rimmed with 246 brilliant-cut diamonds. The five rows of its supple, flowing bracelet are studded with 588 brilliant-cut diamonds. The dial unfurls like a light-filled stage carpeted with 510 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Like an Haute Couture gown, Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery conceals a world of details. Specially designed for the collection, the calligraphic numerals display the delicacy of lace; the moon phase is encircled by diamonds; and the leaf-type hour and minute hands are reminiscent of those used by the nimble fingers of Haute Couture ateliers.
Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery is also a tribute to Vacheron Constantin’s watchmaking heritage, embodying the creative freedom of the Manufacture, its style and its expertise. In reference to the asymmetrical displays present since the 19th century, notably in the form of interlaced subdials, the off-centre moon-phase indication is highlighted in a subtle diagonal line formed by the Vacheron Constantin logo and crown topped with a rose-cut diamond.
Behind the scenes, time is regulated by the Manufacture-made 1088 L self-winding moon phase calibre whose refined finishing is revealed through the sapphire crystal caseback: sweeping over its hand-crafted Côtes de Genève finishes is a 22-carat gold oscillating weight, elegantly openworked and inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross. An unmistakably Haute Horlogerie signature for this Égérie moon phase jewellery timepiece available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
Vacheron Constantin’s new ladies’ collection is enriched by a jewellery model entirely bedecked in diamonds. Drawing its dual inspiration from the confluence of Haute Manufacture skills, Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery embodies the refinement of Haute Couture and the technical sophistication of Haute Horlogerie. This interpretation is highlighted by a 37mm white gold case, a dial and a bracelet studded with 1,344 brilliant-cut diamonds, along with a rose-cut diamond adorning the offset crown aligned with the moon-phase display.
This visually harmonious composition influenced by the heritage of the Maison beats to the tune of the Manufacture-made 1088 L self-winding moon phase calibre, whose refined finishing is revealed through the sapphire caseback.
Displaying a range of indications including civil, solar and sidereal time, as well as combining 19 complications within this minute repeater calibre makes this unique watch a masterpiece of aesthetics and technical horology. Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication – Ode to Music is a tribute to the grand laws of Nature, which continue to exercise their formidable powers of fascination.
Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication – Ode to Music offers a fresh demonstration of Vacheron Constantin‘s technical mastery in the creation of horological grand complications. As part of the range poetically named “La Musique du Temps®”, which includes a collection of exceptional chiming watches – all one-of-a-kind collector’s pieces –, this new creation is based first and foremost on a minute repeater which determined the construction of the entire calibre.
The starting point was the famous Manufacture 1731 movement, due to its extreme slimness for a minute repeater mechanism. At just 3.90 mm thick, the 1731 calibre also has an impressive 60-hour power reserve and a magnificent sound quality, thanks in particular to the development of an entirely silent flying strike governor. This movement has therefore been reworked to accommodate the astronomical complications that make this timepiece an exceptional watch. With the new 1731 M820 calibre, this timepiece is thus equipped with 19 complications – a feat in itself – housed in a space barely 7.84 millimetres thick, without straying from the spirit of the ultra-thin base movement. One of the great challenges was to index the running equation of time to the minute repeater while maintaining extreme slenderness.
Perpetual Calendar and Solar Time
This watch is equipped with a perpetual calendar that is harmoniously expressed on the blue opaline dial. The date is indicated by a serpentine hand in a snailed counter at 3 o’clock for the sake of legibility. The days, months and leap years are discreetly displayed in windows between 12 and 2 o’clock. The date is indicated by the precision moon phases and age, but also the day / night indication which is coaxial to the moon phases, a logical and lyrical complement to the perpetual calendar. The lower part of the dial is occupied by the pointer-type display of sunrise and sunset times, complemented by a linear indication of the length of day and night. A 4 o’clock aperture also reveals a disc bearing the signs of the zodiac, seasons, solstices and equinoxes.
As heralded by the latter functions, this piece is first and foremost an astronomical watch which, in addition to the civil time indicated by the two central hands, also displays the particularities of solar time. Since the Earth’s path around the Sun describes a trajectory that is not circular but instead elliptical, and given that the Earth’s axis is inclined at 24° to the plane of its orbit, the time between two solar zenith passages is not the same throughout the year. This difference between the solar (true) day and the civil (average/mean) 24-hour day ranges from -16 to +14 minutes depending on the time of the year,
coinciding only four times in 12 months.
Known as the equation of time, or time correction in astronomical parlance, this information has long fascinated watchmakers. The fact that these variations are rigorously identical from one year to the next makes it possible to programme them mechanically via an annual cam that controls the display of this time differential. For this timepiece, the company’s master watchmakers have chosen the rarer and more complex solution of a running equation of time. This consists in also displaying solar time by means of a central minutes hand, in this instance symbolically serrated, and thus enables instantaneous reading of both civil and solar time.
An astronomical watch according to Vacheron Constantin’s master watchmakers would not deserve its name without an indication of sidereal time. This is precisely what can be viewed on the back of this timepiece, with a sky chart ingeniously formed by two superimposed sapphire discs. Taking a fixed star in the sky as a reference point, the time it takes the Earth to complete a full 360° revolution, or sidereal day, is exactly 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. Since the Earth both spins on its axis and revolves around the sun, it takes about four minutes less than a calendar day to return to its point of departure in relation to the given star. On this model, the first lower mobile disc is rimmed by a sidereal time scale punctuated by the cardinal points, which thus rotates in step with sidereal time.
Still on the same disc, an off-centred blue ellipse serves as a transparent indicator of the constellations of the celestial vault, which are positioned on the fixed upper disc. This mechanical ballet thus reveals the vision of the sky in motion as seen from a given point on Earth. This same second disc also bears a white ellipse for the celestial equator and a red ellipse for the ecliptic. While the first is a projection of the equator onto the celestial sphere that takes into account the Earth’s approximately 24° inclination, the second represents – from a heliocentric point of view – the plane of the Earth’s orbit serving as a reference for celestial coordinates. Finally, one notes an intense blue dial bearing the months of the year.
The difference between the sidereal day and the mean or average day means that the movable lower disc will accelerate daily by some four minutes in relation to the fixed outer disc, so as to indicate the current month at exactly midnight by means of a yellow arrow.
Housed in a pink gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and barely 12.54 mm thick, perfectly designed to accommodate the sky chart corrector and the minute repeater slide on the case middle, this calibre is one of the very few movements to offer simultaneously a minutes repeater and the civil, solar and sidereal time..
This extreme level of complexity is matched by the exceptional finishing of this timepiece, including the Côtes de Genève that can be be admired through the transparency of a movement that appears to be floating in the stars. A midnight blue alligator leather strap with pin buckle rounds off the elegance of this captivatingly complex timepiece.
The Overseas collection is enriching its range with a new territory to explore. The prestige of a precious metal case and bracelet is now complemented by the extreme sophistication of an openworked movement that is also ultra-thin and houses a perpetual calendar, giving the timepiece a contemporary and horologically sophisticated look.
In this new gold-clad version, Vacheron Constantin highlights the expression of Haute Horlogerie values. While retaining its dynamic design, the aesthetic of the timepiece is transfigured by a sapphire dial inviting observers on a journey to the heart of the extremely thin 4.05 mm openworked perpetual calendar movement.
Complexity Transcending the Complication Itself
Much appreciated by collectors for its reliability, its extreme precision and its performance, self-winding Calibre 1120 QPSQ is now joining the Overseas collection in a new guise. Entirely openworked, which is a feat in itself, it reveals its mechanical intricacies beneath a sapphire crystal. The transparent caseback also stages a fascinating watchmaking show starring the gear trains and the NAC-treated oscillating weight with its segment in 22K gold, which is also openworked for the first time in the Overseas collection so as to highlight its stylised design shaped like a Maltese cross.
Skeletonisation is regarded by connoisseurs as a watchmaking complication in itself and is indeed a speciality during watchmaking training. This technique, which consists of finely openworking a mechanical movement by hollowing out its components yet without compromising their reliability, is an extremely complex undertaking: a quest for transparency coupled with highly sophisticated skills mastered by very few watchmaking artisans. Today, Vacheron Constantin is one of the rare Manufactures capable of openworking calibres as complex as perpetual calendars and ultra-thin movements. All components of the 1120 QPSQ calibre have been hollowed out, finished and decorated, so as to exalt the functional beauty of the mechanism.
The Peak of Artisanal Watchmaking Expertise
To fully match the style of Overseas, the movement has benefited from special finishing work, entirely performed by hand. Multiple skills have thus come into play so as to endow the mechanism with the sought-after aesthetic perfection. Straight-graining the surfaces to give them a satin-brushed finish; bevelling straight lines and curves to make the create light effects; circular brushing, sunburst finishing, circular-graining and polishing to ensure varied reliefs: while the use of all these ancestral craftsmanship techniques has served to highlight the beauty of the components, an anthracite grey shade obtained by means of an NAC electrolytic treatment gives the mechanism a very modern face. The dial bears applied 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers, the Maltese cross emblem as well as day, date and monthcounter rings. This design ensures that the watch is perfectly legible while allowing the gaze to roam freely through the heart of the movement and admire its hand-crafted finishing.
A Calendar Requiring No Adjustment Until 2100
While watches with simple calendars – indicating the day, date and month – require constant adjustments according to months with 28, 29 and 30 days, the Overseas Perpetual Calendar ultra-thin skeleton watch will not require any intervention until March 1, 2100, neither for its calendar indications nor for the moon phases. Achieving such a performance with a movement that slim – yet housing 276 components – called for authentic feats of design and miniaturisation.
The Freedom of Personalisation
Like all models in the Overseas collection, this exceptional watch offers a modular touch via a simple and convenient bracelet/strap interchangeability system. Fitted with a gold bracelet whose satin-brushed half Maltese cross-shaped links underline the elegance of the timepiece, it also comes with two additional straps in blue alligator leather and blue rubber.
There are two distinctive realms in which craftsmanship, know-how and rarity would be nothing without passion, creativity and concern for details. Haute Horlogerie and Haute Couture share this same vocation, continuously reinvented by the artisans working behind the scenes. Égérie was born from the conjunction between these two fields of expertise. Haute Couture instilled a sophisticated style, subtly paired with the asymmetrical aesthetic faithfully perpetuating the Vacheron Constantin heritage. Imbued with this two-fold inspiration, the new Égérie collection weaves the face of watchmaking femininity according to Vacheron Constantin. A watch featuring a classic look “draped” with a mischievous touch reflecting today’s women: inspiring, independent and charismatic.
A delicate interplay of textures and intertwined shapes, alternating flat and subtly raised areas; a pleated effect reminiscent of fabric; a singular asymmetry borne by a fluid aesthetic: such is the exquisite aesthetic of the Égérie watch. A feminine name for a watch inspired by women, from the famous nymph Egeria recurrently featured in Roman mythology to the contemporary muses who inspire artists, designers and other creative talents. Infused with an exquisitely feminine sensibility, the new Vacheron Constantin collection draws its refinement from the world of Haute Couture. A dial featuring a pleated pattern. A diamond ‘halo’ resembling slender braiding and accentuating the feminine shape of the case. And above all, sophistication in each and every detail, expressed through pleasingly harmonious geometry punctuated by 18-carat gold Arabic numerals, daintily scalloped like lace.
A clever system of interchangeable leather straps brings the pleasure of changing things up to suit the mood of the moment. No tools are required: the owner can switch strap with a simple clip, as the fancy takes her. The gold models come with differently coloured straps.
Égérie is also the modern interpretation of aesthetic codes cherished by Vacheron Constantin, which has been offering off-centre displays since the early 19th century, notably by playing on two intertwined circles. Égérie has made this its signature touch. The date or moon-phase integration is thus part of a subtle diagonal line formed by the Vacheron Constantin logo and the crown daringly taking its place between 1 and 2 o’clock. Depending on the model, the latter is adorned with a cabochon-cut moonstone or a rose-cut diamond. This creative freedom is driven by a bold spirit that makes all the difference.
The mischievous Égérie has a strong character and this elegant watch is firmly embedded in its era. A watch that is a daily companion and a confidante of the most precious evenings.
A watch for every day, for every evening, for every moment. Available in a self-winding version in 18K 5N rose gold or steel, this timepiece captures the spirit of the times. The 35 mm pebble-shaped case is crowned with a slender bezel overstitched with 58 diamonds. Extended by integrated lugs, it is punctuated between 1 and 2 o’clock by a crown adorned with a cabochon-cut moonstone, of which the soft shade melds flawlessly into the overall aesthetic. The dial sets the stage for a delicate opaline silver work of art inspired by the world of Haute Couture: composed of concentric circles, its centre and periphery are graced with a pleated pattern. Developed after several months of testing, this decoration was created in the Manufacture’s guillochage workshop using the historical “tapestry” technique.
By dint of lengthy long and extremely subtle operations, the artisan adjusts the gears of a 1904 pantograph-type machine in order to reproduce a large format motif in a miniature version on the dial. The expertly wielded tip of the burin, regularly sharpened by the artisan, gives rise to the draped-effect motif of the Égérie dial. Specially designed for the collection, the calligraphic numerals evoke fine embroidery, while the leaf-type hours and minutes hands recall the fine needles used by the nimble fingers at work in Haute Couture ateliers. In a signature touch, the date appearing in a circle rimmed with diamonds draws on the tradition of Vacheron Constantin’s off-centre displays.
A bold move for this versatile watch, escorted by three interchangeable leather straps for the 18K 5N pink gold version. The steel model is paired with a polished metal bracelet designed to ensure an extremely flowing look and feel. Both slim and graceful, it sits so incredibly lightly on the wrist, like a second skin, that the wearer can easily forget it is even there.
Beating behind the scenes is the 1088 calibre. This in-house self-winding movement with its 40-hour power reserve endows the timepiece with a degree of autonomy perfectly suited to a modern lifestyle. Its sapphire crystal case-back reveals its Haute Horlogerie finishing: a hand-crafted Côtes de Genève motif as well as a delicately openwork 22K gold oscillating weight inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross.
Égérie moon phase
The night star is at the very heart of the Égérie moon phase model, which comes in a 37 mm case in 18K 5N rose gold or steel, with a diamond-set bezel. The stellar horological complication springs a surprise by appearing where it is least expected.
An offset circle glittering with 36 diamonds displays a dreamlike vision of time, with the 18K gold moon appearing in a starry sky revealed behind clouds formed by a delicate mother-of-pearl assembly. The enchanting charm of this model is further enhanced by its opaline silver dial and pleated pattern, developed after several months of testing and achieved using the ancient ‘tapestry’ technique. This delicate process, performed using a machine dating from 1904 and operating on the principle of the pantograph, serves to reproduce a miniaturised engraving based on a large-sized motif. This complex and meticulous operation calls for the greatest dexterity on the part of the Vacheron Constantin guilloché artisan.
The Égérie moon phase model is available in steel set with 58 diamonds, while the crown is graced with a cabochon-cut moonstone, a symbol of calm and serenity, contributing to a particularly modern and dynamic version fitted with a metal bracelet. Both light and slim, it nestles on the wrist like a second skin, to the point where one could easily forget it is even there. For a more chic, sophisticated look, the case of the Égérie moon phase also comes in an 18K 5N pink gold version, likewise fringed with 58 diamonds and featuring a cabochon moonstone on the crown. Its versatile elegance is paired with three interchangeable leather straps, enabling the wearer to adopt a variety of looks as the fancy takes her.
This model is powered by the in-house self-winding moon phase 1088 L movement. This user-friendly calibre meets the expectations of a modern lifestyle with its 40-hour power reserve. The sapphire crystal case-back reveals the refinement of the Haute Horlogerie finishes applied: the hand-crafted Côtes de Genève are swept over by an elegantly openwork 22K gold oscillating weight inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross.
Égérie moon phase diamond-pavé
When night falls, the Égérie moon phase diamond-pavé model leads the dance in a stunning evening gown. Its case in 37 mm 18K white gold sparkles with 292 diamonds, while the dial deploys its concentric circles amid a shower of 510 diamonds resembling a precious embroidery. An Haute Couture look that brilliantly showcases the masterful touch of the Manufacture’s finest gemsetters.
Framed by diamonds, the arresting sight of the mother of pearl star pursuing its majestic path beneath a translucent sapphire crystal naturally draws the gaze, while the winding crown is adorned with a rose-cut diamond. These flamboyant interpretations embrace the wrist with two easily interchangeable night blue straps, one in leather and the other in satin, each secured by a gemset pin buckle.
The Égérie moon phase diamond-pavé model beats to the rhythm of the in-house self-winding moon phase 1088 L movement, of which the generous 40-hour power reserve suits for memorable times. The sapphire crystal case-back reveals the refinement of the Haute Horlogerie finishes applied: the hand-crafted Côtes de Genève finishes are swept over by a 22K gold finely wrought openwork oscillating weight inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross.
The Beautiful High Watchmaking according to Vacheron Constantin has been in existence every day for 265 years and is intended for both women and men. From the first ladies’ pocket watches introduced around the turn of the 18th century to contemporary wristwatches, the heritage of the Maison testifies to its impressive ability to capture the spirit of its times while meeting women’s expectations. Whether functional or ceremonial objects, jewellery or sports watches, Vacheron Constantin’s feminine creations embody the evolution of artistic sensibilities, clothing trends as well as social codes and customs. Perpetually renewed aesthetic and technical creativity, inspired by women, for women.
Delving into Vacheron Constantin’s archives reveals the production of one-of-a-kind models specially made for women, at their request, at the turn of the 18th century. At the time, various dignitaries of the European courts wore a watch as a functional attribute. Often worn on long chatelaine chains, it was also a topic of discussion, a ceremonial object testifying to a distinctive social status.
At the turn of the 18th century, the time was ripe for the first complications
Women such as the Countess of Luchapt and the Queen of Romania, Elisabeth Pauline Ottilie Louise de Wield, whose correspondence is faithfully preserved in the Maison’s archives, certainly had a lot to say. The watch was perceived as a jewel that told the time, an example of gold- and silversmithing that matched and enhanced precious formal attire, as exemplified by an 1815 Vacheron Constantin yellow gold pocket watch of which the case middle is finely engraved with a floral motif enhanced with garnets.
These demanding clients were also very fond of useful complications such as striking mechanism, a field in which Vacheron Constantin’s reputation was already well established. Among the oldest historical models from the Maison is a yellow gold 1838 watch that could be found in the pockets of the ladies’ dresses or worn as a pendant: it is distinguished by its quarter-repeater complication and offset small seconds appearing on the guilloché dial, engraved with a flower motif.
At the turn of the 19th century, watches conquered ladies’ wrists
During the second half of the 19th century, hunter-type cases appeared in colourful versions adorned with translucent (generally monochrome) enamel to match the colour of a dress perfectly, such as this Vacheron Constantin piece from 1887. Case covers were embellished with precious stones and pearls, enamelled volutes, arabesque engravings, often inspired by floral motifs according to the tastes of the person placing the order. The watch left the pocket and could be worn as a pendant, a chatelaine necklace or as a brooch. At the end of the century, women’s appearance was beginning to change and Vacheron Constantin was already keenly attuned to the times and to trends inspired by Parisian tailors.
Although it was not yet well accepted for women to wear a watch on the wrist in the early 20th century, dress sleeves were shorter and arms were increasingly left bare, meaning the time was ripe for the first wristwatches. It is worth noting that some very rare examples of feminine models fitted on bracelets already appeared in the late 19th century among Vacheron Constantin creations. Witness a model dating from 1889 and probably presented on the occasion of the World’s Fair in Paris: it is the oldest wristwatch known to date in the history of Vacheron Constantin. Its finely engraved and diamond-set case is paired with a bangle-type bracelet featuring a sculpture of two winged goddesses. This timepiece features the subtly original feature of a movement wound via the notched rotating bezel. A characteristically feminine touch of daring!
The early 20th century brings effervescent creativity
At the beginning of the 20th century, ladies’ watches were naturally permeated by Parisian influences. Pearl motifs and lace-like engravings, mother-of-pearl combined with precious and semi-precious coloured stones, jade, as well as lacquer and multi-coloured enamels were used to adorn a number of Art Nouveau style pendant watches. Under the influence of Ferdinand Verger, the French agent with whom Vacheron Constantin had been working since 1879, watches were transformed into jewellery, featuring wonderful cameo paintings inspired by Asian art or Ancient Greece.
In the 1920s, Vacheron Constantin also embraced the codes of Art Deco. Watch shapes became increasingly varied, ranging from the pure and rigorous lines of cases that were now oval or rectangular, square or sculpted in asymmetrical shapes, generally set with stones of two different colours. Creativity was effervescent. The 1923 Vacheron Constantin watch offers a striking example of this trend with its white gold case and hexagonal dial highlighted with diamonds and sapphires. These jewellery watches were also complemented by more discreet models meetings the needs of women who wanted to be able to read the time in all circumstances, on a daily basis or for glamorous evenings. Vacheron Constantin thus continued to produce a few pocket watches, as illustrated by its 1929 “surprise” watch in white gold set with 18 cabochon-cut rubies.
In the 1930s, despite a difficult economic situation and the gloomy atmosphere prevailing in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, Vacheron Constantin continued to bring superb jewellery watches to life, such as the 1937 model. Set with brilliant-, baguette- or lozenge-cut diamonds, its case and bracelet are crafted in platinum, a material greatly appreciated for its modern appearance. The hours and minutes hands were driven by a tiny oval movement. During this period, faced with strong demand for watches of various shapes, Vacheron Constantin developed miniaturised calibres, better adapted to the dainty dimensions of the cases. The Maison introduced the so-called “baguette” calibre 7’’’ (21.5 x 6.5 mm), mainly used for jewellery watches. This baton-type movement was equipped with a patented system designed to protect the balance from impacts and make it more robust.
A feminine take on Beautiful High Watchmaking
From the 1940s onwards, women wore watches almost exclusively on their wrists. The geometric lines of the Art Deco period had gradually given way to more voluptuous shapes. Designed as jewellery that tells the time, “secret” watches were particularly in favour and Vacheron Constantin strove to deploy formidable stylistic inventiveness through its designs vividly illustrating the modern era. Watches became more voluminous and the case was generally seamlessly integrated with the bracelet thanks to the meticulous attention devoted to designing the lugs. Several pieces presented from 1942 onwards at the Montres et Bijoux show in Geneva illustrate this creative audacity through generous bracelets with wide gold links, such as those of the model unveiled in 1946.
In the wake of these bold and original shapes, the wild 1970s also represented a tremendous source of inspiration for the Maison and one of its creations won the Prestige de la France prize in 1972, intended to reward design-related innovation in several industrial fields. This watch, which was christened “1972”, is distinguished not only by the asymmetrical shape of its case but also by its gold bracelet integrated into the case middle. It perfectly epitomises the aesthetic codes of this period when ladies’ watches tended to feature complex diamond, trapeze-shaped and oval geometrical effects. During this same decade, colours were vibrant and gemsetting was the order of the day. At the end of the 1970s, Vacheron Constantin introduced the incredible Kallista (Greek for “the most beautiful”) watch – set with 118 emerald-cut diamonds, each weighing between 1.2 and 4 carats – born from a collaboration with designer Raymond Moretti.
In the course of the following decades, Vacheron Constantin’s flagship collections were created and became rapidly dual gender. An invitation to travel, the sporty design of the Overseas collection was interpreted in feminine versions featuring case diameters adapted to the slimmest wrists. The technical sophistication and aesthetic refinement of the Traditionnelle and Patrimony collections also appeared in precious and delicate guises: highlighted with mother-of-pearl or diamonds, equipped with hand-wound or self-winding Haute Horlogerie movements, including a moon phase complication much appreciated by women, these models are imbued with a distinctively feminine aura of elegance. This means that each of these timepieces illustrates the Maison’s desire to accompany women to the best of its ability through a blend of style and precision. A desire now expressed through the new Égérie collection. Inspired by the world of Haute Couture and the aesthetic codes embedded in the history of Vacheron Constantin, it is an anthem to the “one of not many” woman, charismatic and fascinated by horological expertise. Exactly like each of the feminine creations from the Maison over the past two centuries and more.
Over the years, Vacheron Constantin has always devoted great importance to meeting women’s expectations by remaining fully attuned to aesthetic sensibilities and trends. Custom-made at the turn of the 18th century and throughout the 19th century, they were issued in small limited editions during the 20th century. Whether sporty, elegant or jewellery models, the ladies’ watches created ever since by the Maison illustrate its desire to continue accompanying women to the best of its ability through a blend of style and precision. Exactly like the Égérie collection launched in 2020, which epitomises the new face of watchmaking femininity according to Vacheron Constantin. Inspired by the world of Haute Couture, imagined for women, it captures the spirit of its time, as indeed has each of the Maison’s feminine creations for more than 200 years.
With their elegant and refined design, these two Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater perpetual calendar – A perfect combination watches are the latest in a long line of exceptional achievements by the Manufacture. The purity of their design stems notably from a consummate and comprehensive mastery of ultra-thin movements.
A worthy descendant of historical fine watchmaking calibres
The Les Cabinotiers minute repeater perpetual calendar – A perfect combination models are equipped with a revisited movement, the 1731 QP calibre, which combines a minute repeater and perpetual calendar at the heart of an extremely slim white or pink gold case. For the watchmakers of the Maison, the challenge was to associate two of the most sophisticated complications within a movement measuring just 5.70 mm thick, while ensuring precision, reliability and user friendliness.
No fewer than 438 components, some measuring about a hair’s breadth, compose a true watchmaking alchemy within a mechanical manual-winding movement beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz) and driving the following functions – hours, minutes, day, date, month, leap-year indication, moon phase and minute repeater – while maintaining a 65-hour power reserve.
These new timepieces are the latest in a line of watches that have left an indelible imprint on their respective eras. In 1992, Vacheron Constantin presented reference 30020, an exceptional model repeating the hours, quarters and minutes while also endowed with a perpetual calendar. In 2013, the Maison launched the famous 1731 calibre, named in tribute to Jean-Marc Vacheron’s birth year: an extremely slim manual-winding minute repeater movement inspired by historical calibres.
The two Les Cabinotiers minute repeater perpetual calendar repeater timepieces combine a vision of complex watchmaking with an aesthetic pairing pure design with undeniable elegance. The calendar indications follow a classic layout with the indications of days, dates and month, positioned at the top of the dial adorned with a sunray guilloché motif. This perfectly legible display leaves all the space required for the golden dance of the moon standing out against a star-studded background. The leap year is discreetly indicated through an aperture, while the equally unobtrusive minute circle marks off the passing of time without disturbing the intuitive calendar reading. In the same spirit, the slender 42 mm case exudes an unassuming yet refined aura. Only the control system for the minute repeater function, on the left side, reflects the true complexity of these two pieces and testifies to their ability to sound the tempo on gongs. A degree of sophistication confirmed by a simple glance through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback offering admirable views of the mechanical subtleties of this watch that chimes the time.
Les Cabinotiers: one-of-a-kind creations
In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of pieces and 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.
Vacheron Constantin and chiming watches
Chiming watches occupy a special place among horological complications. For more than two centuries, these complex mechanisms have been highlighted by Vacheron Constantin. Today, Les Cabinotiers department has chosen to pay tribute to them through one-of-a-kind creations on the theme “La Musique du temps®”.
Born from the need to tell the time in the dark in an age when people had to rely on candlelight, “audible” watches have taken various forms: repeaters (indicating the hours and sometimes the quarters and minutes on request), sonnerie (striking) watches (indicating the hours and quarters in passing) and alarms (which can be programmed to ring at specific times). While each of these complications has its own distinctive characteristics, they all combine an integrated and complex mechanism with the finely crafted nature of musical instruments in terms of their resonance, acoustics and harmonics. Featuring watch cases equipped with complex movements as their only means of musical expression, these creations represent a magnificent feat of miniaturisation.
At Vacheron Constantin, the first mention of a chiming watch dates back to 1806: a gold pocket watch with minute repeater registered by the founder’s grandson Jacques-Barthélemy, in the very first production register kept in the company’s archives. Ever since, sonnerie or repeater watches have been an integral part of the Manufacture’s proud heritage, steadily enriched over the decades.