The oldest, continually operating watch brand in Switzerland, Vacheron Constantin, is known for its technical prowess and keen watchmaking innovation. The brand has created some of the most complicated, and beautiful watches ever seen. Now, it releases two one-off minute repeater tourbillon watches that are as alluring to look at as they are to listen to.
Part of the brand’s Les Cabinotiers – Récits de Voyages collection that recalls the brand’s vast geographical expansion over the centuries and pays homage to different cities, one of the new timepieces reflects the styles of New York’s distinctive Art Deco era, while the other captures the essence of the Middle East. The unique metiers d’arts designs are inspired by New York’s Chrysler Building and by décor inside the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Both watches are powered by Vacheron Constantin’s in-house-made Caliber 2755 TMR with a minute repeater that chimes the time and a tourbillon escapement.
The Tribute to Art Deco Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon celebrates the brand’s long-standing relationship to New York City – since Vacheron Constantin was sold here for more than 200 years (since the 1810’s). By the 20th century, the most prominent families in America, such as the Rockefellers, James Ward Packard and others, were customers. Also, during the 1920’s Manhattan started building skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building and others in true Art Deco styles.
“Vacheron Constantin’s private collection contains small treasures typifying the Art Deco style and testifying to the intense creativity of this exuberant universe,” said Christian Selmoni, Vacheron Constantin Style & Heritage Director. “The production of this era – swept through by winds of freedom in response to classic watchmaking traditions – is characterized by ultra-thin pocket watches, travel watches, brooches and above all jewelry watches.”
The newest Tribute to Art Deco watch features a dial made using wood marquetry inspired by cloisonnee’ enamel work. The marquetry is created on two levels to add depth and dimension, and for the first time, Vacheron Constantin’s master artisans combine marquetry with champleve’. Exactly 110 small wood veneers are precisely cut, stained and sanded to acheive the perfect look – taking a full month to create. A minutes track with 11 faceted diamond hour markers accentuate the look. The 44mm 18-karat 5N pink gold case is entirely engraved with herringbone motifs reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties.
The Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Tribute to Arabesque watch is inspired by the domes, arches and artwork of the Muslim world. The dial is completely engraved and open-worked and are meticulously hand etched to one-tenth-of-a-millimeter precision. It recalls the 82 domes and four minarets found at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in a geometrical rendition. The craftsmanship reflects an open lattice-like look.
Both watches carry the Hallmark of Geneva – attesting to their fine craftsmanship. The musical movement boasts a system first unveiled by the brand in 2005 in the La Tour de L’Ile watch. It allows the musical sequences that strike the hours, quarter-hours and minutes past the hour to be perfectly timed with the hammers striking two circular gongs to create the individual sounds. The mechanical manually wound watch consists of 471 individual components and 40 jewels. It offers 58 hours of power reserve. The prices for each of these watches is on request.