Four exclusive Vacheron Constantin pieces dedicated to the new Moscow boutique
To celebrate the opening of its new boutique in Moscow, Vacheron Constantin presented four limited edition watchmaking masterpieces.
The Traditionnelle Calibre 2253 Moscow Boutique, pictured above, is taking the label “limited edition” to the extremes, only one model built. It is equipped with a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, an equation of time as well as sunrise and sunset times for the city of Moscow.
The equation of time is probably the most fascinating complication in this outstanding model. Its purpose is to indicate the difference in minutes between the variable solar time shown by a sundial and the constant mean time of clocks and watches. For practical reasons, mankind has divided each year into 365 and a quarter days, each day into 24 hours, and the hours into 60 minutes each. However, solar noon, the exact time when the sun reaches its zenith, does not generally correspond to the legal standard time shown by watches. In actual fact, solar time and mean time coincide just four times a year – on April 15th, June 14th, September 1st and December 24th. For the rest of the year, the difference between solar and mean time varies from minus 16 minutes to plus 16 minutes.
The oldest clock showing the equation of time was made by the mathematician Nikolaus Mercator in the 17th century. It enabled people in those days to convert the sun’s varying noon to the standard constant time shown on their watches. Since then, the rare instruments calculating the equation of time have been the work of extremely accomplished horologists.
Making this complication work does indeed call for particular skill. It depends on the equation cam, a waisted oval or analemma, shaped like a figure 8 and calculated according to the daily declination of the sun observed from a given spot in the course of a calendar year. The cam rotates once a year and the extreme precision of its shape governs the accuracy of the equation of time. This fascinating complication is displayed by a short hand appearing between 10 and 11 o’clock on the dial of the
Traditionnelle Calibre 2253 Moscow Boutique timepiece.
This exceptional creation also features another astronomical complication seldom found in watches – the times of sunrise and sunset throughout the year at a given locality. This extremely intricate complication serves to provide an accurate daily indication of these times for the city of Moscow. Here too, the mechanism relies on a cam, the outline of which is calculated according to the latitude and longitude of Moscow Its symmetrical display shows the sunrise times at 8 o’clock and sunset times at 4 o’clock.
The 44 mm round case is made from 950 platinum – with such a unique timepiece, we can’t expect less, can we? Oh, and if you’re still hesitant about rushing over to Berlin House in Moscow to get your hands on this unique piece, the Traditionnelle Calibre 2253 Moscow Boutique is delivered with a pair of 18k white gold cufflinks.
The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Moscow Boutique model is equipped with the legendary Calibre 1120 QP, an ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement, acknowledged by connoisseurs as one of the most iconic perpetual calendar movements.
An indispensable prerequisite for integrating the calendar functions, this miniaturisation was pushed to the limit in order to create an ultra-thin perpetual calendar movement measuring a mere 4.05 mm thick. This mechanical hand-wound movement is equipped with an oscillating weight featuring the particularly meticulous finishing that is the signature of Haute Horlogerie. Beating at a frequency of 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour), it has an approximately 40-hour power reserve. Calibre 1120 QP drives indications of the hours, minutes and a perpetual calendar displaying the day of the week, the date, the month, the leap year on a 48-month subdial, as well as the moon phase.
The Patrimony retrograde day and date Moscow Boutique watch is equipped with a double complication revealed by two retrograde indications.
The instant return of the hands from one point to another in less then one tenth of a second, across an almost 180° semi-circular sector, brings considerable forces into play for a mechanism of this size. An enormous amount of energy is suddenly released to enable the hand to move in a fraction of a second from side of the display to the other with such impressive precision.
At the heart of this timepiece forcefully proclaiming its pure, understated aesthetic, 283-part Calibre 2460R31R7 – a mechanical self-winding movement designed, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin – drives the hours and minutes as well as date and day of the week functions. Beating at the rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour, Calibre 2460R31R7 features an over 40-hour power reserve. It is distinguished by the meticulous bevelling of the bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève and by the circular graining on the baseplate. Its 22-carat gold oscillating weight, with a décor inspired by the Maltese cross, runs by means of an innovative ceramic ball bearing system.
For those who prefer simplicity over complications, Vacheron Constantin is offering the Traditionnelle Moscow Boutique Edition, a 30-piece limited edition, distinguished by a hand-guilloché slate-grey dial.
At the heart of its case ticks the ultra-thin self-winding 1120 movement. Developed and produced in-house by Vacheron Constantin, it beats at a frequency of 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour) and has an approximately 40-hour power reserve. Its finishing and construction are a testament to its finely crafted nature. Not only are the main flat surfaces of the movement adorned with a meticulous “Côtes de Genève” motif, but all their sharp angles are bevelled and hand-polished – as too are the screw heads.
To accommodate this demonstration of mechanical virtuosity in the style it deserves, Vacheron Constantin created the 18K white gold case of its new Traditionnelle Moscow Boutique based on two criteria that are rarely associated. While the elegantly slender profile is akin to a classical design, the 41 mm diameter lends it a resolutely contemporary dimension.