Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical manual winding
71 mm (31 ½’’’) diameter, 17.05 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 80h
Strikework power reserve (Grande Sonnerie mode): approximately 16 hours
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Hours, minutes, small seconds
Tourbillon, minute repeater, Westminster carillon
It's a Tourbillon with a 18,000 vph beat (I like slower beats on tourbillons); the clock features 5 gongs (anything more than two gongs makes it a Carillon); and look at that amazingly engraved balance cock and lots of sharp internal angles.
The case is beautifully engraved by an in-house craftsman. The high relief style engraving requires some super delicate polishing work, overpolishing distorts the master image. Also, darkness and shadows have to be created as well, but how do you make that out of a lustrous material such as gold? The engraver has to make tiny lines in order to matte the material to give the perception of shadow or darkness to give a higher relief and add dimension to the piece. Below are the numerical facts of the case...
18K 3N yellow gold, engraved with acanthus leaves on the case sides and with tulips and “pearl” decor on the bezel and the caseback
Bow sculpted with two lion heads
Officer-type cover, Grand Feu miniature enamelling depicting Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring painting, hand made by Anita Porchet
98 mm diameter, 32.60 mm thick
There are so many details about this watch that one cannot fathom the amount of complexity that goes into this watch. For instance, the hands were originally thought to be made of gold but this was too heavy, as the minute hand is 35 mm long! The inertia and mass of the hand was so great in gold that any shock would mean the hands would fall off the central pivot point (just like clapping your hands vigorously isn't great for the hands of our wristwatches). So the hands had to be made thinner and of a lighter material and are actually not made of solid gold. The little rich stories about every detail of the watch is so amazing - the ones that have been translated to the press are the more understandable (not to mention funnier) stories. Lastly, this piece took a total of seven years to go from concept to product - the project first started in 2013. The client remains anonymous, but was generous and kind enough to allow Vacheron Constantin to share and publicize this watch. Who knows, the client may be a member among us on WatchProSite...
unsolicited opinion is that this is a fantastic and elegant piece.
It's a bit large, but again, this is a carriage clock, not a pocket
watch. The movement finishing, the authenticity (even the movement is
designed to look like a movement from 200 years ago with a slow vph),
the enamel painting, and the incredible case are all just wonderful!
It's got everything I'd want; a Grand Sonnerie, an enamel painting (our
enamel expert and moderator GLau would insist on this), a beautifully
engraved case, and a clean and elegant dial. Just an incredible piece
for a lucky collector - a PATRON of great horological art. If the
PATRON does happen to be a member on WatchProSite, maybe he/she will
let us have a glimpse one day in a future WristScan post! That's the
only thing that could make this piece even better for me! Many thanks
to Vacheron Constantin and this esteemed patron with tremendous taste
(and seven years patience) for creating an amazing work of art! Seven