Vacheron Constantin’s Atelier Cabinotiers presents yet another inordinately complex timepiece, choosing to look to the stars.
Vacheron Constantin looks to the skies
Vacheron Constantin, it seems, is on a quest to make itself known as the creator of the most complicated watches in the world. In 2015, the brand debuted the Ref 57260, a pocket watch with a whopping 57 complications, commissioned by a customer from the USA. The watch was birthed in the brand’s Atelier Cabinotiers, the workshop devoted to creating bespoke timepieces. This year, the atelier has revealed its latest creation, the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600. Here are seven things you need to know about the watch.
The watch contains 23 complications and the caliber 3600 is composed of 514 parts and measures only 8.7mm thick. It took five years to develop from scratch and was crafted by a single master watchmaker. It is a piece-unique creation.
of the 23 complications are astronomical ones (hence the name). Noteworthy complications include the running equation of time, the mareoscope, and precision moonphase—it only needs to be adjusted by only one day every 122 years.
The watch has 15 complications— like running equation of time, perpetual calendar, precision moonphase and mareoscope— shown on the front dial and eight, including sidereal time, celestial charts, and tourbillon, on the back.
The running equation of time complication shows the difference between civil time and mean solar time (or regular clock time versus the time according to the sun’s position), while sidereal time is measured based on the Earth’s rate of rotation relative to the stars in the sky (as measured by an observer on the ground.
The mareoscope includes a tide level indicator and a display to indicate the positions of the sun, earth, and moon relative to one another. The height of the tides are, after all, affected by the relational forces between these three celestial bodies.
The celestial charts on the back of the watch indicate not only the constellations visible from the northern hemisphere, but also the indications of the celestial equator (the projection of our terrestrial equator into space) and the ecliptic (the projection of the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun).
The watch has a 3-week power reserve, which is especially exceptional considering the large amount of power needed to run all 23 complications in the watch. The Caliber 3600 has six barrels made of a sturdy and ductile alloy that allows it to store substantial amounts of mechanical energy while still staying exceedingly slim.