By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
I already started drooling when I saw the specifications on this watch. Powered by a manual-winding Calibre 2755-B1 movement, it is made using 839 parts to run an astonishing 15 complications. Operating at 2.5Hz or 18,000 vibrations per hour with 58 hours of power reserve, it is becoming a benchmark for all movement makers.
The Atelier Cabinotiers is essentially to Vacheron Constantin what the Micro Artist Studio (located in Shiojiri in Nagano Prefecture) is to Seiko for their Credor timepieces. Master craftsmen with no equal. If you want to commission a one-of-a-kind watch to Vacheron Constantin (plus bags of money!), the team at Atelier Cabinotiers will execute the order. The Maître Cabinotier Astronomica is an output from that department.
As its name suggest, this watch focuses on astronomical references. Vacheron Constantin has created a piece that has practically every measurement that anyone would ever need in a watch no wider than 47 mm diameter and 19.1 mm thick in white gold.
1. Minute repeater
3-7. Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year)
8. Power reserve
9. Equation of time
10. Sunrise time
11. Sunset time
12. Sky chart
13. Age and phases of the moon
14. Sidereal hours and minutes
15. Seasons, zodiac signs
Not all the 15 complications are situated on one side. What you will be able to see on the front dial are 11 complications consisting of minute repeater chiming hours, quarters and minutes, equation of time, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, date, day of the week, month, leap years, power reserve, sunrise and sunset times. You would expect the dial to be extremely busy but the watch makers in Vacheron Constantin have been able to design a dial that is well balanced.
The icing in the pudding is the case-back. Unlike other watches, the case-back of this watch can pass for the front dial of any watch due to the design. Here, you will be able to find the final four complications that allow you to follow a sky chart, the solstice, the equinox, sidereal time, the age and phases of the moon, the seasons, and the zodiac signs.
At the time of writing this would appear to be a one-piece only production run. The cost of designing and creating such a piece makes it a USD1 million category at the very least. The capability of creating a mechanical wonder is in itself a stamp of approval that worth more than any certification can give. For more info, please visit vacheron-constantin.com
Meor Amri Meor Ayob – Contributing Editor
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!) on his own free time. Read his articles here.
His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch