Introducing: The Vacheron Constantin Maître Cabinotier Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon, The First Use Of A Mechanism From The Reference 57260 Super Complication
Let’s glance back at where this watch comes from. As you’ll recall from our previous coverage of the reference 57260, among its 57 complications one specifically worked as the visual anchor – just as something of a philosophical assertion – for the watch: its supposed “armillary” tourbillon, a triple-hub tourbillon with a plan expected to reference an armillary circle. An armillary circle is a physical portrayal of the divine circle – the game plan of the heavenly bodies as seen from Earth, projected onto a circle encompassing the Earth.
The armillary circle, as a phyical portrayal of the heavens, appeared to be particularly able for reference 57260 given its accentuation on calendrical, and astronomical signs. These included not just a never-ending calendar, sign of sidereal time, and the equation of time, yet in addition something truly irregular: a Hebraic unending calendar, which is extremely hard to construct as the designing needs to represent the complex connection of both lunar and sun powered cycles.
Above is the really complex mainplate of the reference 57260. The mainplate conveys the tourbillon itself just as the going train for the tourbillon, the gongs and sledges for the striking trains, and, up top, the heart barrel and barrel for the sonnerie.
Seen very close, the first tourbillon with its carriage and accompanying mechanism are truly stunning; Vacheron obviously went all out or exertion and it truly shows. I think there are all the more sharp inward corners in plain view in the train spans on the privilege and left hand side of the tourbillon than in any 10 other very good quality watches I’ve ever seen and obviously the completion on the tourbillon confine itself is to a similar norm. I don’t have the foggiest idea who did the cleaning yet they have the touch of a Chantilly lacemaker and the persistence of a holy person (possibly two holy people).
So, how does such a superlatively made mechanism look, when you transplant it from a greatly measured case that is versatile more de jure than de facto, and place it in a wristwatch? In view of the images we’ve seen from Vacheron, the answer is, pretty darned awesome. This newest watch, similar to the reference 57260, was made by Ateliers Cabinotiers, under the bearing of Dominique Bernaz.
Dominique Bernaz, chief, Vacheron Constantin Atelier Cabinotiers.
Unlike the triple pivot armillary circle tourbillon in the reference 57260, the tourbillon in the Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon is a twofold hub tourbillon. There are several very fascinating perspectives to its construction. The departure wheel and lever are both in silicon, yet curiously, the jewel beds are introduced onto the lever independently, which allows a watchmaker to control the profundity of commitment of the stones with the getaway wheel; the accuracy of the Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon as per Vacheron, “enormously surpasses the requirements of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).” Such exactness is additionally a challenge on account of the other complication from 57260 that is available in the Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon: twofold retrograde hands for the hour and moment sign. In the 57260 the twofold retrograde hands are essential for the “detached” rattrapante chronograph; here they work as time signs. There could be no fewer than four licenses for the Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon’s movement, caliber 1990.
The first, and maybe most intriguing simply from a chronometric angle, is for the bed lever. It’s a side-lever design, which is typical for a tourbillon; the lever is a solitary piece of silicon, yet with openings for the jewel bed stones that have curved sharp edges inside; these curved cutting edges go about as flexible clamps to hold the bed stones in position, and allow them to be changed (in a conventional lever, the stones are held set up with shellac, which is mellowed on a warming iron to allow the stones to be moved if essential). The subsequent patent is for the tourbillon carriage (the inward and external enclosure turn to shape a Maltese cross once every 15 seconds) and the third is for titanium collet – a collet is a collar that fits over the equilibrium staff and holds the internal finish of the equilibrium spring set up; the Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon utilizes a spherical equilibrium spring. The fourth patent is for the twofold retrograde sign for the hours and minutes. I don’t know whether this is a unique complication, but rather I can’t recall some other watch with two retrograde hands for the hours and minutes with two hands on a solitary pivot. To arrange their activity, the arrival of two hands is governed by the cam for the moment hand, and the whole mechanism is visible on the dial side of the watch.
The movement is very traditional in many parts of its completion, both front and back; the extensions for the retrograde mechanism show a similar level of scrupulousness, for example, found in the bridgework of the reference 57260 pocket watch, with all the sharp internal corners you might actually want, just as a very exquisite interaction of curved shapes, cleaned steel, and NAC covered components (NAC represents nano-nebulous carbon). Indeed, the layering of completions and shapes in the works for the twofold retrograde complication comes very near upstaging the tourbillon, and makes me wonder very much what the watch looks like in the metal.
Alas, all things considered, neither I nor any other individual other than a very few companions of the owner will see this watch; it’s a unique piece, it’s now sold, and both owner and cost are private per Vacheron Constantin. The mystery normally invites theory, however, and given the idea of this watch as a derivative in many key regards of the reference 57260, just as the relatively close planning of its delivery with the declaration of the 57260, it appears to be a sensible speculation that the owner of the wristwatch may be a similar individual who commissioned reference 57260 almost 10 years prior. All things considered, stupendous as reference 57260 is, it’s not the most effectively convenient watch and however ostensibly a pocket watch, one struggles to envision a waistcoat with an ample enough pocket to contain it (on the off chance that it were me I’d have one made just to have the option to convey the supercomplication – all things considered, in for a dime, in for a dollar). Along these lines, the owner will have the option to convey a badge of their ownership of the world’s most complicated pocket watch on their wrist – expecting the theory is right. Even if the owner of the Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon isn’t the owner of the 57260, they’ve actually got a unique, and very uniquely delightful, complicated wristwatch.
The Vacheron Constantin Maître Cabinotier Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon, reference 91990/000G-9882. Movement, caliber 1990, hand wound, 35 mm x 10 mm (15 3/4 lignes), 65-hour power reserve, 18,000 vph. Quick retrograde hours and minutes, little seconds on the tourbillon carriage. Case, 18k white gold, 45.7 mm x 20.6 mm, sapphire precious stones front and back, pressure tried to 3 environments/30 meters; Geneva Hallmark.
Read our active coverage of the reference 57260 here , and our full technical breakdown here.
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