At this year’s SIHH, Vacheron Constantin presented its new collection dedicated to the Nicolas Copernicus and the history of amazing astronomical discoveries.
Nicolas Copernicus was a mathematician and philosopher, who in 1543 published De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, a work heralding a major astronomical revolution in the history of science. His hypothesis challenged geocentrism, the cosmological system rooted in antiquity and defended by Aristotle and Ptolemy, which held that the Earth is immobile and located at the centre of the universe. In this book, Copernicus put forward the theory of heliocentrism, demonstrating not only that the Earth spins on its axis and has a satellite, the Moon, but above all that it gravitates around the Sun. Several decades later, this theory was to be completed by incorporating the elliptical trajectories of the heavenly bodies. This new vision of space had a considerable philosophical impact on the perception of humanity. It overturned all existing beliefs and ushered humankind from a closed world into an infinite universe. This revolution was to have profound repercussions on all fields of thought.”
Outstanding craftsmanship is visible within every single detail. Artisans from Vacheron Constantin did a great job on bringing two worlds – science and luxury watches together into real work of art. Nothing in this watch is created at random. With this collection, three watches present same theme interpreted differently in its unique way.
First piece of this exceptional collection is the mix of the finest enamelling techniques put together into superb combination. First element, which is the Earth in champlevé Grand Feu enamel, shows us the geography of the continents surrounded by the oceans. In the background we can notice the map of the sky, which is enamelled in slight pastel colours, creating good-looking contrast to the Earth. The third element of this model’s dial are 12 zodiac signs in polychrome enamel.
The second model of this collection bears more baroque styled engravings, which are overlapping zodiac signs on a white gold disc. The engraver has provided a wealth of ramolayé (pounced ornament) details, highlighting volumes in the material carved out by hand and lit up by the subtle interplay of slanting and depth effects. The bulging muscles of Sagittarius or the flowing mane of Capricorn are outstandingly realistic when viewed under a magnifying glass. On the Earth orbiting around a flaming gold Sun, the finesse of details has been pushed to extremes: the oceans are covered with microscope waves achieved by engraving effects, while the contrasting continents are polished to accentuate the luminosity of the gold.”
The third dial, which is my favourite one, is beautifully adorned with the overlapping zodiac signs. The eye-catching motif complementing the whole dial are the laser-engraved constellations, enhanced with the Super-Luminova.
The heart the watches from this collection that brings all the functions to life is the in-house mechanical self-winding calibre 2460 RT movement. Created in three-year process, the movement is capable of presenting the exceptional view of the sky, which pays tribute to the legendary Copernican revolution.
The time is displayed by two triangular hands, circulating around the outer part of dial. Cut-out hand is for hours and solid hand is for minutes. The main theme of this collection is the Earth, which rotates around the sun in 24-hour time period – it corresponds to the solar day. The complication, which has blown my mind is the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun in 365.2421898 days. This mechanism requires just one-day correction in 8,000 years time – that’s incredible ! Vacheron Constantin shows that it is “constantly” eager to innovative development of its time display, due to exceptional horological experience cultivated across many decades.
– Diameter : 43 mm
– Material : 18K white gold
– Sapphire crystal front and caseback
– Calibre : 2460 RT
– Mechanical, self-winding
– Power reserve : 36 hours
– Frequency : 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
– Components : 352
– Jewels : 27
– Functions : Hours and minutes (peripheral hands), earth orbit around the sun and rotating on itself
References: 7600U/000G-B212 (Grand Feu enamel) 7600U/000G-B211 (Hand-engraving) 7600U/000G-B226 (Sapphire)