At the Maison Vacheron Constantin, the Les Cabinotiers represent a department dedicated to the personalization of pieces and unique creations. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, a time when master watchmakers were called ‘cabinotiers’ and worked in ateliers bathed in natural light, known as cabinets and located on the top floor of Geneva’s buildings. The artisans were inspired by astronomy, mechanical engineering and the arts. This unique craftsmanship atelier at Vacheron Constantin is still present today.
In 2015, after eight years of development the atelier presented the most complicated watch ever made: a pocket watch reference 57260 with 57 complications. In 2016, the wristwatch Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon Ref. 91990/000G-9882 in white gold was launched, which highlights two of the mechanisms from reference 57260: the bi-axial armillary tourbillon with spherical balance-spring and the instant retrograde display of the time indication. Whereas here, even a double retrograde display was implemented, for hours and minutes.
Vacheron Constantin and the watchmakers of the department of the Les Cabinotiers now extend this unique line with an execution in ultra-light titanium, Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon Ref. 91990/000T-B633. On the right side of the watch, the large and small hands sweep over the semi-circle of the dial, with a strikingly fast return to zero once the 60 minutes and 12 hours have been reached. To provide the best possible view of its subtle details, the slate opaline dial is limited to a single chapter ring punctuated by Arabic numerals for the minutes and Roman numerals for the hours.
The armillary tourbillon with small seconds is placed on the left side of the dial. Forming a sphere in perpetual motion, this tourbillon was named ‘armillary’ in reference to the French watchmaker Antide Janvier, who in the 18th century created a spectacular astronomical clock bearing an armillary sphere. This structure consists of two nested carriages moving on two different axes at a speed of 60 seconds per rotation.
In this modern interpretation, the mechanism features a silicon escapement and a lever with diamond pallets, which ultra-light high-tech materials contribute to a precision that even exceeds the requirements of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The cylindrical balance-spring, invented by Jacques-Frédéric Houriet in 1814, has no terminal curve giving the tourbillon a perfectly concentric beat leading to an improved isochronism.
Four patents have been registered for the retrograde system, escapement and tourbillon of the manual-winding movement caliber 1990. On the dial side, the caliber features a bold construction with clean-edged bridges and a Clous de Paris hobnail finish on the remaining dial plate. This one of a kind timepiece has ‘Pièce unique’ and ‘Les Cabinotiers’ engraved on its backside.
|MODEL:||Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon|
|PRICE:||Price available upon request|
|CASE MATERIAL:||Grade 5 Titanium|
|DIAL:||Slate-grey opaline dial|
|STRAP:||Grey Mississippiensis Alligator Leather|
|POWER RESERVE:||65 hours|
|FUNCTIONS:||Retrograde Hours and Minutes, Armillary Tourbillon|