This SIHH 2017 will mark the year Vacheron Constantin really complicated their efforts. Introducing the brands most elaborated timepiece to date, the: “Les Cabinotiers Celestial Astronomical Grand Complication 3600”.
It took over five years and the total dedication of one single master watchmaker, in order to create this one-of-a-kind timepiece. Containing 23 complications in total, such as a: perpetual calendar, day/night indicator, precision Moonphase, age of the moon, running equation of time, sunrise & sunset time, day & night length, seasons, solstices, equinoxes and zodiacal signs.
Video courtesy of: Vacheron Constantin
And the list continues with a: tide level indicator, Sun-Earth-Moon conjunction, opposition & quadrature, transparent sky chart of the northern hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, of the ecliptic and celestial equator, hours & minutes of sidereal time, tourbillon, power reserve indication and 3 weeks of power reserve thanks to being equipped with 6 barrels.
The 45mm case is made of 18k white gold with a transparent case back. An engraving with “Pièce unique” and “Les Cabinotiers” can be read on the caseback. It has a fixed bezel, wide lugs and a crown with the Maltese cross-shape on it. An extremely simple case, if one holds in account the immense information being derived from the dual dial.
Time is exhibited on a slate-colored opaline grey dial with 18k white gold applied hour index markers and open-tipped hands. They’ve managed to combine astronomy and the horology art in an elegantly framed white gold case. The reading of this timepiece can be divided in three modes: civil, solar and sidereal; each of which is driven by its own gear train.
“Civil time” refers to the universally acknowledged mean time based on the fictional principle that the Sun moves around the equator at a constant average speed, which averages one full turn in each 24 hours.
While “Solar time” is based on the observable trajectory of the Sun during the course of a day. And depending on the day of the year, the discrepancy between “solar time” and “civil time” can range between +14 to -16 minutes. Supposedly these times only align at the same time four times a year. This is due to the Earth’s orbit being elliptical instead of round; the Earth is not always following the orbit at a constant speed; and the Earth’s rotation axis is being tilted in relation to the plane of this orbit.
Finally we observe “Sidereal time” which can be seen on the case back of this timepiece. It’s an astronomical time scale based on the Earth’s rate of rotation measured against the plausible motion of the stars seen from a local meridian. So, “sidereal time” diverges from “civil time” by approximately 4 minutes per day; which means 24 sidereal hours amount to 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds of civil time.
In order to present this sidereal time scale, two sapphire discs were superimposed; the lower one forms the background with a celestial dome, the celestial time minute-track and the four cardinal points; while the second disc on top of it contains the constellations, the projections of the equator (white circle) and the ecliptic (red circle); that final circle mimics the Sun’s annual trajectory as seen from Earth.
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestial Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
This “Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestial Astronomical Grand Complication 3600” (Ref#: 9720C/000G-B281) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 3600 with 64 jewels, 514 components and 18,000 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 3 weeks (504 hours!), when fully wound; while water-resistance can reach up to 30m (96 feet).
Mounted to this watch is a black Mississippiensis alligator leather with large scales, hand-stitched and saddle finish; secured to the wrist by an 18k white gold pin buckle with a polished half Maltese cross-shaped. This timepiece is sold with a corrector pen and a magnifying glass for what is an one-of-a-kind model, limited to one only unique piece.
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