Vacheron Con­stantin

Revolution (Hong Kong) - - SIHH 2017 - TEXT BY SEAN LI

We’ve talked about

how Vacheron Con­stantin’s Les Cabinotiers Ce­les­tia Astro­nom­i­cal Grand Com­pli­ca­tion 3600 is a tech­no­log­i­cal tour-de-force; per­haps it in­spired this SIHH col­lec­tion, the Métiers d’Art Coper­ni­cus Ce­les­tial Spheres 2460RT. You will per­haps re­mem­ber from your school years that Ni­co­laus Coper­ni­cus is the Polish as­tronomer and math­e­ma­ti­cian who first pos­tu­lated the view of a he­lio­cen­tric plan­e­tary sys­tem, that is, that plan­ets re­volved around the Sun, rather than around the Earth – the geo­cen­tric model. It was an ab­so­lutely revo­lu­tion­ary con­cept at the time; what seems fairly ob­vi­ous to us to­day took more than two cen­turies to be of­fi­cially ac­cepted. With the Ce­les­tial Spheres, Vacheron Con­stantin pays trib­ute to Coper­ni­cus and his per­sis­tence through­out the rest of his life in pre­sent­ing and de­fend­ing his model of the Uni­verse. There are three mod­els, each an­i­mated by the 2460 RT cal­iber to per­fec­tion. The hours and min­utes are shown at the very pe­riph­ery of the dial, by do not in­trude on the mag­nif­i­cent ex­am­ples of métiers d’art that dom­i­nate the watch. All three mod­els fea­ture a gold stamped Sun in the cen­ter (of course), with the Earth ro­tat­ing on it­self once ev­ery 24 hours while fol­low­ing an el­lip­ti­cal path around it. As you will know from the Ce­les­tia Astro­nom­i­cal though, the Earth’s path around the Sun is not ex­actly 365 days – it’s ac­tu­ally 365.2421898 days. Vacheron Con­stantin sought to re­pro­duce this as ex­actly as pos­si­ble, and achieved it to an amaz­ing de­gree of ac­cu­racy, as it takes 8,000 years for it to de­vi­ate by just one day. The three mod­els on of­fer are crafted with a va­ri­ety of tech­niques, from Grand Feu enamel, hand paint­ing, or laser and hand en­grav­ing on sap­phire crys­tal.

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