The Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Constantin
LOT 250
As a mysterious clock, “L’Esprit des Cabinotiers” sums up all that the Manufacture has offered over a quar-ter of a millennium, and indeed continues to offer at the most demanding and most accomplished level of haute horlogerie and artistic craftsmanship. Its name, referring to the Geneva watchmaker-craftsmen who used to work under the rooftops, eloquently embodies an approach focused on the tireless quest for tech-nical and aesthetic perfection, inextricably entwined with the brand’s geographical and historical origins. This exceptionally majestic object asserts its powerful presence in harmony with the traditions of 18th century timepieces made in extremely limited editions, table clocks driven by highly sophisticated mechanisms and clothed in an aura of supreme refinement.
Spring Mechanism This masterpiece consists of a golden sphere engraved by hand according to the sky chart drawn by Robert deVaugondy (1723-1786), geographer to Louis XV and creator of two large globes, one celestial and the other ter-restrial.The sphere is composed of eight petals symbolizing the lotus flower, which may be progressively openedby means of an extremely sophisticated spring mechanism. The keys to the mystery and its revelation are knownexclusively to the owner of the object. The flower delicately reveals its heart, a timepiece endowed with a widerange of functions and complications. This complex mechanism captures the essence and thedensity of time. Celestial Sphere Mechanism When set into motion, the pink gold sphere opens up like a lotus flower, a symbol of harmony, and unfolds itseight petals, while a central telescopic cylinder raises the timepiece nestling at its heart. With its sixteen smallconnecting rods, tiny sapphire balls and articulations, this original mechanism is entirely in keeping with thenoblest watchmaking traditions, as well as with the equally time-honored art of automata. It is therefore hardlysurprising that it was crafted by a master of this extremely rare speciality.The overall effect is dynamic, ethereal, mysterious and poetic, while the cabinet of the timepiece rests firmly onthree solid gold feet. The transparency of the glare-proofed sapphire crystal provides ideal visual access, fromthe front as well as from the back, to the watchmakers’ work magnified by the masters of decoration. The goldand steel structure discreetly houses the function correctors, while two tiny holes drilled through the sapphireshell on the back of the clock serve to wind the mechanism by means of a key concealed within the base.Attention is thus naturally focused on the hand-guilloché gold dial embellished with the same motif as the other250th anniversary creations, but featuring an extremely large diameter. The center is graced with gold hour andminute hands as well as a slender deadbeat seconds hand. Compared with the classic sweep seconds hand, thedeadbeat seconds hand jumps once per second.A small central subdial displays a second time-zone, topped by four horizontal apertures showing the perpetualcalendar indications – day of the week, date, month and leap years. In terms of such sovereign complications,“L’Esprit des Cabinotiers” offers automatic hour and quarter striking and the repeating function on request. The8-day power reserve appears in a counter at noon.The lower part of the dial is occupied at 8 by the equation of time, meaning the running indication of the dif-ferencebetween mean time and true time, which fluctuates throughout the year. The moon phase, with its hand-engraved18 carat gold disc, is positioned at 6 against a starlit sky in lapis lazuli. The hand of the thermometerlocated at 4 is in blued steel, as indeed are those on the other counters.
Grading system

C 1 D 1 - 01 M 1
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Chapter: 15 - The 250 th Anniversary Special Edition Timepieces
Esprit des Cabinotier Esprit des Cabinotiers s, , A Magical, My A Magical, Mysterious and Poetic Fusion of 250 Year ears of Know-How A one-of-a-kind creation, “L’Esprit des Cabinotiers” represents a masterful melding of the professions and crafts exercized by VACHERON CONSTANTIN and pays homage to the grand watchmaking tradition as well as to the rare and refined art of automata.
The Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Constantin
03-04-2005
Sold including buyer's premium:
2,206,250 CHF