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Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers watches touring America
Watches & Wonders

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers watches touring America

Tuesday, 05 March 2019
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Roberta Naas
Journalist

“Life is all about time - what we make of it and how we use it.”

Roberta Naas is a veteran journalist in the watch world with more than 32 years of experience and author of six books on watches and time. She was as well the founder of www.atimelyperspective.com.

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5 min read

At the second annual Watches & Wonders Miami event that took place mid-February, in-the-know collectors had a very rare opportunity to see the 20 new and unique Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers watches that are touring America.

The watches, introduced in California, were in the Vacheron Constantin Miami Design District boutique. They were only shown on request and only to truly interested buyers, as each is a work of art and technical prowess – as well as one of a kind. According to Vacheron Constantin’s President of the Americas, Leslie Kobrin, this marks the first time the brand has had such a large collection of Les Cabinotiers pieces, which it has taken on tour to four major cities in America.

The Les Cabinotiers line is reserved for Vacheron Constantin’s unique and bespoke pieces.

The Les Cabinotiers line is reserved for Vacheron Constantin’s unique and bespoke pieces. It is the place where the watchmakers and artisans fulfill their inner dreams, bringing concepts, ideas, technology and aesthetics to the forefront. According to Christian Selmoni, Director of Heritage and Style for Vacheron Constantin, the design of each watch is determined by the specialized Les Cabinotiers designers and watchmakers. “It is a bit like a creative playground,” he says. “There is no barrier, nothing they can’t express freely. This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our know-how in creating unique pieces. We have a complete Les Cabinotiers department at the Manufacture; it is like a mini manufacture inside the main manufacture. The Les Cabinotiers pieces are not mixed with the regular product. They are designed, developed and produced by a special team.”

Les Cabinotiers Tigre Majestueux © Vacheron Constantin
Les Cabinotiers Tigre Majestueux © Vacheron Constantin
Métiers d’art L’éloge de la Nature – Cranes Pink Gold

The 20 unique pieces in this series range from high complications such as minute repeaters and tourbillions, to works of art in the form of engraved, sculpted, painted dials and more. “Our clients love the combination of complications and engraving, so many of the pieces bring those arts together,” says Selmoni. Artistic watches include the Cranes (Ref. 86073/000R-B013) watch. This 40mm 18-karat 5N rose gold timepiece boasts a stunning Grand Feu translucent blue enamel dial that emulates the sky. In the center, two 18-karat gold hand-graved and sculptured cranes fly across the watch. They take up the full space of the dial thanks to the use of the Caliber 2460 G4 hands-free movement that displays the date, minutes, hours and day via four apertures. Water resistant to 3 bar, the watch is finished with a dark brown Mississippiensis alligator leather strap. The Cranes is sold in a luxury Makassar’s Ebony presentation box with a magnifying glass and a corrector pen to set the time and date. Several other artistic watches utilize the same movement. The Mysterious Animals Parrot watch features a fully engraved and sculpted 18-karat gold white parrot, perched in the center of the dial among 18-karat yellow gold palm fronds. Another, the Imperial Tiger watch, depicts an amazing painted and engraved tiger.

Métiers d’art L’éloge de la Nature – Cranes Pink Gold © Vacheron Constantin
Métiers d’art L’éloge de la Nature – Cranes Pink Gold © Vacheron Constantin
Traditionnelle Grandes Complications - Snake

Another key timepiece in the collection is the Snake watch. Housing the Caliber 2755 QP movement, it offers perpetual calendar, minute repeater and tourbillon. The manual movement consists of an incredible 602 parts, each meticulously finished. It is endowed with 58 hours of power reserve. This movement is usually fitted into the brand’s Traditionnelle Grandes Complications watches. The dial side of the Snake watch – similar to the Traditionnelle Grandes Complications — displays the month, day, date, and leap year, as well as the hours and minutes. There is an aperture to show off the tourbillon escapement and the small seconds on the tourbillon carriage. The slide to activate the minute repeater is fitted into the case at 7:00. As if the rich brown guilloche dial and rose gold hands and accents – combined with the incredible mechanics of the watch – were not enough, Vacheron Constantin’s artisans have engraved the entire side of the 45mm case with a snake motif. This watch is sold in a Prestige automatic-winding presentation box made of Ebony and accompanied by a magnifier and corrector pen.

Traditionnelle Grandes Complications - Snake © Vacheron Constantin
Traditionnelle Grandes Complications - Snake © Vacheron Constantin
Les Cabinotiers - Armillary Tourbillon Snake

Collectors will be thrilled to see that the Les Cabinotiers series also includes an Armillary Tourbillon – a beauty thanks to the complexity of the caliber, the architecture of the movement and dial, and the stunning openworked, partially skeletonized dial. Housing Caliber 1990, the watch features a huge aperture at 9 o’clock wherein the armillary tourbillon rotates constantly on two axes. On the right side of the dial, the minutes and hours are indicated via a retrograde function. Caliber 1990 has four patents pending and incorporates two original complications that were first introduced in Vacheron Constantin’s Reference 57260, the world’s most complicated watch when it was launched in 2015 (57 functions). These include the armillary tourbillon with double axes and the double retrograde indication. Vacheron Constantin reserves this movement for one-of-a-kind and extremely limited editions. The new Les Cabinotiers 45mm Armillary Tourbillon watch is crafted in 18-karat 5N rose gold while the hour markers and hands are titanium with 5N gold on them. This watch is presented in the luxury Les Cabinotiers box.

Les Cabinotiers - Armillary Tourbillon Snake © Vacheron Constantin
Les Cabinotiers - Armillary Tourbillon Snake © Vacheron Constantin
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