Vacheron Con­stantin’s Ate­lier Cabinotiers presents yet another in­or­di­nately com­plex time­piece, choos­ing to look to the stars.

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents - Text Ni­co­lette Wong

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.

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