For the very first time in Dubai, the world’s oldest Haute Horlogerie manufacture hosted a stunning Global Launch of its newest high complications and most unique pieces that are a part of the renowned “Atelier Cabinotiers.” This is a dedicated service for bespoke pieces from the brand and an entity of immense pride for the watchmaker with more than 260 years of uninterrupted history. The exclusive gathering was attended by prominent VIP guests, socialites and bloggers from the region who not only discovered the breathtaking pieces but also met with the Director of Atelier Cabinotiers of the Maison, Mr. Dominique Bernaz.
Ever since its founding, Vacheron Constantin has been making special-order watches. Its master watchmakers do not keep track of the hours it takes to determine the exact aesthetic of a piece or select the functions and components needed to make the customer’s dreams come true. In those early days, to take advantage of the best midday light for as long as possible, the craftsmen would set up shop on the topmost storeys of buildings. These workshops, often cramped and sometimes directly beneath the rooftops, illuminated by many windows, earned a solid reputation for the quality work they turned out and became known as cabinets [“closets”], and their occupants as cabinotiers.
During this exclusive global launch of Vacheron Constantin’s newest high complications, a main highpoint of the spectacular exhibition was the showcasing of the Maître Cabinotier Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon, a truly magnificent creation.
Maître Cabinotier Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon
In the wake of the most complicated watch ever made, the Reference 57260 with 57 complications, Vacheron Constantin unveils the Maître Cabinotier retrograde armillary tourbillon model. This timepiece bearing the Hallmark of Geneva was produced by the three master watchmakers who created Reference 57260, and they incorporated two of the complicated features of the superwatch: the armillary tourbillon and the double retrograde indication. Its contemporary styling opens the remarkable structure of the calibre 1990 movement to view. The high-precision manually wound movement is housed in a 45.7 mm case in white gold. Four patent applications have been filed for this unique model.
The lighting reaction of the retrograde hands contrasts with the statelier pace of the armillary tourbillon with a spherical balance spring. The elegantly structured tourbillon operates as a sphere perpetually rotating on two axes under a sapphire crystal dome at 9 o’clock. It’s called an armillary tourbillon because it is based on an armillary sphere like the one incorporated in an astronomic clock made by the French clockmaker, Antide Janvier, in the 18th century. The tourbillon is a visual evocation of the rings and hoops of the ancient model of the celestial sphere. The tourbillon carriage, made of lightweight aluminium alloy, incorporates Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese Cross emblem, which forms up every 15 seconds as the tourbillon rotates.
Double retrograde system
The manually wound calibre 1990 movement developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin features retrograde hours and minutes indications with instant flyback. The double indications are as technically fascinating as they are visually mesmerizing. The hands flick back to zero at such a speed that the special attention is needed to ensure a precise indication and such lightweight and resistant materials as the titanium used in the hands.
Contemporary styling and finish
Another feature that makes the Maître Cabinotier retrograde armillary tourbillon watch original is the modern styling applied to the architecture and finish of the movement. The calibre 1990 is electro-plated with an NAC treatment in a dark anthracite colour creating a mirror-polished effect. On the dial side the movement displays its modern architecture with sharply cut bridges tempered by a sunburst satin finish and Geneva stripes. The back presents a more conventional look, finished with Geneva stripes making an elegant counterpoint to the contemporary face of this unparalleled watch in the Vacheron Constantin product range. As an additional token of excellence, the painstaking work of chamfering all the edges took more than 130 hours.
Maître Cabinotier 15-Complications Lions
Vacheron Constantin unveils an extremely sophisticated Grande Complication wristwatch, equipped with an exceptional set of functions and featuring an entirely hand-engraved case with 4 lions on a savannah background. This impressive feat of miniaturisation, driven by manual- winding calibre, brings together 15 of the most demanding Haute Horlogerie complications and gives pride of place to astronomical functions. This exceptional movement embodying a compendium of horological excellence and bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva is housed within a 47 mm-diameter, 19.1 mm-thick 18K 5N pink gold case. Inspired by one of the most complicated wristwatch that paid eloquent tribute in 2005 to the 250th anniversary of the Geneva-based Manufacture – Vacheron Constantin’s very famous Tour de l’Ile, the unique Maître Cabinotier 15-Complications Lions watch demonstrates the remarkable expertise Vacheron Constantin has acquired in the art of combining multiple complications within an extremely small space.
Malte tourbillon high jewellery
Symbolizing the cultural bridge between the arts, engineering and creative genius, Vacheron Constantin’s Malte tourbillon high jewellery, certified by the Hallmark of Geneva, brings together the magic of watchmaking and the mystery of gem-setting. Created by the Atelier Cabinotiers, this unique piece features an invisible settings entirely hand-crafted, dressed in 398 baguette diamonds and 36 yellow diamonds (totalling approximately 19.67 carats), creating a supreme illumination of time and of the tourbillon.
Such an exceptional watch deserved an equally exceptional movement, and this model is duly equipped with mechanical hand-wound calibre, comprising 169 parts and endowed with an almost two-day power reserve. This new tonneau-shaped movement – making a perfect fit with the case – is entirely developed and crafted within the Manufacture. The exceptional character of the 2795 calibre is underscored by its Côtes de Genève decoration, meticulous hand-chamfering of the bar edges, and engraved individual serial number.
After the remarkable exhibition made waves at the Vacheron Constantin boutique in The Dubai Mall on the 25th, the pieces from the Atelier Cabinotiers travelled to Doha on the 28th of April, where they left a regal mark on their connoisseurs from the region.
Hallmark of Geneva
All Vacheron Constantin watches meet the demanding criteria of the Hallmark of Geneva, the prestigious label of quality and excellence instated in 1886. Standing for much more than just a certification of origin, it is issued by a neutral and independent official body. The Hallmark of Geneva rewards watches developed and assembled in Geneva according to extremely stringent criteria relating both to movement components and performance of the watch. Embodying a four-fold consumer guarantee of provenance, resilience, accuracy and expertise, the Hallmark of Geneva establishes high production standards serving to achieve the best possible results in terms of reliability and aesthetics, while ensuring respect for traditional hand workmanship as well as the transmission of these skills. Vacheron Constantin is its most loyal representative since 1901 with each Vacheron timepiece being Hallmark of Geneva certified starting 2016.
About Vacheron Constantin
Established in 1755 in Geneva, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest watch manufacture and has been making watches without any interruption for more than 260 years. Founders of the true spirit of technical and precious Haute Horlogerie, the men and women of Vacheron Constantin continue to design, develop and Manufacture exceptional timepieces that adhere to the Maison’s three fundamental values: expert technique, inspired and harmonious aesthetics, and an extremely high level of finishing.