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.