Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers division is known to create watches that transcend the boundaries of conventional horology to offer a unique timekeeping experience. For 2020, one such masterpiece from the brand comes in the form of the Astronomical Striking Grand Compilation – Ode to music, a watch that comprises 19 complications that include basic timekeeping, a minute repeater, and many astronomical complications.
For a watch with so many complications, one would assume that this watch would have a very busy face with low readability. But that is exactly where this watch impresses. The face is quite busy, but Vacheron Constantin has laid out the information quite thoughtfully and overall the watch is quite legible. To achieve this the 19 complications were split between the front and the rear. So what you have on the dial side is a perpetual calendar set up, running equation of time, sunrise and sunset display with the length of day and night, a Moonphase indicator, Zodiac indication with seasons, solstices and equinoxes and of course normal timekeeping. The entire information is spread out throughout and is quite easy to read at a glance. The dial has been presented in a nice shade blue and is well complemented by several golden elements such as the hands and the applied markers.
The visual drama on the front flows over to the back as well. The exhibition back not only gives a view of the hand-wound caliber 1731 M820 but as mentioned before features a set of complications as well. So basically, why you have here is a sky chart hat constitutes 2 discs; the upper one is fixed whereas the lower that also features the blue ellipse rotates. Furthermore, the months have been printed on the outer periphery and can be read using a small yellow pointer that slowly moves forward with the lower rotating disk. Despite what’s on offer, the movement is considerably thin coming in at around 8mm and offers a power reserve of around 60 hours operating at 3 Hz.
The entire package that we just talked about is housed inside an elegant looking that has been crafted from 18k red gold. It measures 45mm wide with a total thickness of around 12.5mm. Water-resistance is limited to just 30 meters.