14
January
2019
|
08:30
Europe/Amsterdam

SIHH19: Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar

  • A one-of-a-kind model created by the Les Cabinotiers department

  • Calibre 1731 QP: a revisited Grand Complication movement exclusive to Les Cabinotiers collection

  • An elegant and refined design perpetuating the Vacheron Constantin style


In the 18th century, the most experienced Geneva watchmakers exercised their talent in light-filled workshops called ‘cabinets’, located on the top floor of the city’s buildings. Crafting extraordinary complicated bespoke watches, these alchemists of time came to be known as ‘cabinotiers’. Accomplished masters of their art, they cultivated a blend of technical and manual skills backed by vast scientific knowledge and curiosity for new ideas, nurtured by the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment.

In response to the highest technical, aesthetic and artistic challenges, the one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantin models now crafted in its Les Cabinotiers department, heir to this prestigious past, are a delight to the most demanding connoisseurs of Haute Horlogerie. The new Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar, driven by an unprecedented calibre, is a further illustration of this exclusive approach.


A Fine Watchmaking movement inspired by a legacy of historical calibres

The one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers minute repeater perpetual calendar is equipped with a revisited movement: Calibre 1731 QP, combining minute repeater and perpetual calendar functions at the heart of a delightfully slender 42 mm-diameter gold case.

The challenge for the in-house watchmakers lays in pairing two of the most sophisticated horological complications within an ultra-thin movement measuring just 5.70 mm thick, while ensuring precision, reliability and user friendliness. Among the technical feats accompanying the origins of this watch, the Maison’s Les Cabinotiers department developed a perfectly silent strike governor serving to control the cadence of the hammers in striking the gongs.

No less than 438 components, some of them no thicker than a hair’s breadth, compose this sophisticated horological ‘alchemy’ within a mechanical manual-winding movement. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz) and endowed with a 65-hour power reserve, it drives the full set of hours, minutes, day, date, month, leap-year indication, moon phase and minute repeater functions.

Being the world’s oldest watch manufacturer in continuous activity also means possessing an incredibly rich heritage. It is by drawing on this past and basing itself on the transmission of horological excellence and stylistic research that the Maison consistently defies time.

Any new Vacheron Constantin creation begins with imagining watches bearing a real technical and aesthetic signature.

The new Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar model is thus the latest in a line of watches that have made their mark on their respective eras. In 1992, Vacheron Constantin presented reference 30020, an exceptional creation combining an hours, quarters and minutes repeating mechanism with a perpetual calendar. In 2013, the Maison launched the famous Calibre 1731, whose name pays tribute to the birth year of Jean-Marc Vacheron: an extremely slim manual-winding minute repeater movement inspired by historical calibres.


Pure lines, mechanical complexity

Despite the complexity of this watch, Vacheron Constantin was determined to make it a model cultivating the elegance, discretion and other aesthetic values that have become its signature. The 42 mm-diameter case in white or pink gold features extremely pure lines. Only the minute repeater slide on the left-hand side of the case expresses the complexity of this model and testifies to its ability to set an audible cadence for time.

The gleam of the precious polished metal beautifully frames the deep colour of the midnight blue or brown dial, depending on the version. The day, date and month indications, appearing in the upper part of the dial, are displayed in an extremely legible manner, and thereby leave plenty of space for the gold Moon to pursue its poetic dance amid the stars, against a beautifully understated backdrop.

This arrangement of the various dial indications ensures a pleasingly balanced and elegant watch face, while the blue and brown colour lends a dynamic and modern touch.