Vacheron Constantin has enriched its Metiers d’Art collection with another exquisite timekeeper of stunning beauty. In its base, the watch in question has already impressive 14-Day Tourbillon model which is in this new edition additionally beautified. Its intricate caliber which is completely revealed from both of its sides has all of its components meticulously engraved with a very demanding motif that shows acanthus leaves which cover the entire surface of the caliber. The new watch with a two week power reserve shows off the maison’s expertise in engraving and it is placed inside a platinum housing of modest size.
The Genevese watchmaker is currently celebrating its 260 year of continuous production of high-end watches. In order to underline the fact that it is oldest watch brand with uninterrupted production in the world, Vacheron Constantin launched several new models. Among these commemorative watches is the watch that we are now talking about which stems from its Metiers d’Art lineage. The collection that celebrates traditional artistic crafts includes breathtakingly beautiful models that are embellished with highly demanding techniques. This latest one is concentrated on the craft of miniature engraving.
The commemorative spirit of the watch is visible through the choice of the depicted motif. New 14-Day Tourbillon version is engraced with acanthus leaves decorations. This type of embellishment was first seen in the 5th century B.C. when it was used to decorate the Corinthian columns. This natural motif which symbolizes glory, victory and eternity is known for its slated charming appearance which allows it to be combined in various different ensembles. After the Ancient Greek period, the motif was heavily used in other artistic movements, most notably during the Renaissance and the Baroque. What is even more important, it is exactly the motif that was seen on some of the first pocket watches of the brand that has been producing high-end timekeepers all the way from 1755.
It is extremely difficult to create the floral motif that can be seen on the entire surface of the movement with all of its plates and bridges adorned with it. Vacheron Constantin here relies on the skilful work of a master engraver which embellishes the caliber with the means of line-engraving and champlevé techniques. It should be also noted that the additional difficulty that further complicates the engravers feat is the fact that the surface on which he or she works on is extremely minute, even smaller than a single millimeter. This is because the specific caliber comes in its original form. It is not further enlarged to facilitate the task and it is previously already finished with the means of techniques such as circular and straight graining, beveling, as well as polishing.
In order to complete the process with the use of a tiny chisel, the engraver must work for at least ten full days. The difficulty of the task can also be demonstrated with the fact that the height of the engraved surfaces on the rear side of the watch is around 2/10th of a millimeter. However, the laborious process certainly pays off in the end, since the final result looks absolutely beautiful.
Since it takes so much skill and effort to decorate the caliber in the desired manner, Vacheron Constantin opted to reveal the movement as much as it is possible. That is why the dial of the watch is made from transparent sapphire material. Its only visible components are minute ring in slate-gray color on the periphery, as well as the one around its power reserve indication. By the way, the remaining power storage display is of a dragging type and its pointer moves on the scale of 280 degrees. The watch has a massive power reserve that lasts for as much as two weeks. To ensure the maximal legibility of the indication, each of its 14 days of power storage is divided in half. The tourbillion complication of the watch is placed at the bottom of the dial and is shaped in a form of the Maltese cross which is the brand’s logo. Since its period of rotation lasts for exactly one minute, the tourbillion is likewise utilized as the seconds indication. Hours and minutes are shown with central golden hands with rhodium treatment.
As for the technical aspect of the featured caliber 2260/1, it should be said it is a manually-wound mechanical caliber which integrates 31 jewels in its construction and involves a total of 231 components. Its diameter is 12 ¾ lignes (29.1 mm), while its thickness is exactly 6.8 mm. Since the caliber includes a tourbillion complication, it comes as no surprise that its operational frequency is a bit lower. The movement’s regulating organ beats at the rate of 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz).
The novel watch from the Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art collection has the reference number 6000A/000P-B025. As it has been mentioned, it is placed inside a round case made of platinum. Its dimensions are: the diameter of 41 mm and the thickness of 12.22 mm. Both sides of the case are guarded with crystals made of sapphire. The watch is not water resistant.
Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art Mechaniques Gravees 14-Day Tourbillon timepeice is paired with an alligator Mississippiensis leather strap in a deep blue shade. The attachment locks with a deployant buckle which is, just like its housing, made in platinum.
Another Model with the Engravings in the Shape of Acanthus Leaves
In addition to the reviewed 14-Day Tourbillon model, the Genevese manufacturer has simultaneously included another piece in its Metiers d’Art lineage. This watch features the same type of plant-like decorations and looks fairly similar to the tourbillion model. It is somewhat smaller (39 mm wide) piece which is equipped with ultra-thin caliber 4400/1 whose thickness measure to minute 2.8 mm. This watch bears the reference number 1100A/000P-B026 and features a power reserve that lasts for three entire days.