Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”
Reading Time: 25 minutes

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” – a new themed range from the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers department, a tribute to the world of the sea and its accompanying mythology.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

This single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers minute repeater and tourbillon watch was inspired by the Flying Dutchman and his ghost ship. Interpreted on a dial in miniature enamel painting and grisaille enamel, the ship sails into the heart of the storm on raging waves streaked with lightning. In-house developed and produced Manufacture Calibre 2755 TMR is regulated by a one-minute tourbillon and equipped with a minute repeater mechanism.

Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
An 18-carat white gold minute repeater tourbillon depicting the legendary ghost ship “Flying Dutchman”, using both miniature and grisaille enamelling techniques.
  • A single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers timepiece evoking the legend of the Flying Dutchman.
  • A dial crafted using a rare technique combining miniature enamel painting and grisaille enamel, offering a ghostly vision of the ship in a stormy sea.
  • Calibre 2755 TMR, developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin, equipped with a tourbillon and a minute repeater mechanism.

Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman is a watch inspired by this legend of the seas dating back to the 17th century. Ever since, sailors have continued to spread the tale of this cursed captain who haunts the waves with his crew, a bad omen for anyone who sees his bow in the mist. In Wagner’s opera, the “Dutchman’s Lament” shows a man overcome by his fate: “The grace I seek on land, never shall I find,” he sings. “To you, ocean tides, I shall be true”. Is it really the Dutchman condemned to wander endlessly for having blasphemed God that we can see on the deck of the ship featured in this Les Cabinotiers watch? The strikingly realistic dial of this unique timepiece offers a spectral vision of the ghost ship, plunging through the waves in the middle of a storm. With the sea raging and the waves threatening, lightning streaking across a full moon sky, the stage is set for a dramatic vision of this vessel. It is as if the minute repeater of the watch has been designed to sound the death knell of any sailor crossing its path, in order to drag him into the swirling depths of a mechanical sea.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
An 18-carat white gold minute repeater tourbillon depicting the legendary ghost ship “Flying Dutchman”, using both miniature and grisaille enameling techniques.

The full creativity of artistic crafts

The dial is a masterpiece of artistic craftsmanship staging a spectacular show in its own right. To create it, Vacheron Constantin’s master artisan drew on a rarely used technique combining miniature enamel painting and grisaille enamel. The first work harks back to the great days of miniature enamel painting for which Geneva became famous in the 17th century. This technique consists of painting on a layer of opaque white enamel – coated onto to a gold background – with colours made from on powdered metallic oxides to which an oil-based binder is added. The colours are applied with an extremely fine brush like gouache on a canvas, fixed at each stage by a firing in the kiln that requires perfect control of temperatures and times. On this model representing The Flying Dutchman, the scene of the raging sea beneath a leaden sky streaked with lightning had to be “placed” with meticulous care, in such a way as to leave the space devoted to the ship in the shade. A dozen passages in the oven were necessary to achieve this marine painting. The stage ends with the application of a layer of fondant (transparent enamel flux), followed by lapping, a polishing process involving very finely grained stones to achieve a smoothly lustrous surface. The process concludes with a “glazing” firing operation that also gives the enamel a domed appearance. At this point, a miniature enamel-painted part is considered complete.

  • “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
  • “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

In the case of Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman watch, the result is however still only a draft version that has yet to be completed by the famous ghost ship. To produce its other-worldly appearance, the artisan has opted for grisaille enamel so as to bring out its silhouette in a play of light and shade. This technique consists of applying successively fired thin layers of white or Limoges white enamel that amplifies the motif as they are superimposed. It is also extremely important to manage the temperatures and firing times, given that this white enamel melts at a temperature about 40° Celsius lower than the enamels of the underlying miniature painting – a fact that prevents the latter from being altered – and that it takes no more than a few seconds to fix it in place. This second step in crafting the dial, which also requires about ten firings in the kiln, is all the more delicate in that it is done on the basis of a finished painting. Any wrong move would risk destroying the two months of work devoted to this horological masterpiece, a rare expression of immense mastery in the realm of artistic crafts.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
An 18-carat white gold minute repeater tourbillon depicting the legendary ghost ship “Flying Dutchman”, using both miniature and grisaille enamelling techniques.

A Grand Complication Manufacture movement, Calibre 2755 TMR

This single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers watch is powered by the 471-component minute repeater and tourbillon Calibre 2755 TMR. Derived from Calibre 2755, Vacheron Constantin‘s signature movement for Grand Complication models, this manual-winding version is equipped with a one-minute tourbillon, beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and endowed with a 58-hour power reserve displayed on the back. The mechanism is complemented by a minute repeater serving to sound the time on demand. To create this particularly complex chiming mechanism, which is controlled by a sliding bolt on the bezel, Vacheron Constantin‘s engineers and master watchmakers drew inspiration from the work done on the 2005 La Tour de l’Île anniversary watch, and its strike governor in particular. This system enables the duration of the musical sequences to be perfectly timed so as to achieve a distinct and harmonious sound of the notes playing the hours, quarters and minutes by hammers striking two circular gongs. The model is thus equipped with a perfectly silent centripetal flywheel strike governor that avoids any undue wear on the mechanism.

Calibre 2755 TMR features Fine Watchmaking finishes including meticulous hand-bevelling of the bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, circular-graining of the baseplate and rounding off applied to the tourbillon carriage bars. The fact that each part composing the movement is hand-finished and decorated – whatever its place within the mechanism and even when hidden from sight – demonstrates the same meticulous care displayed on the dial and representing an integral part of Vacheron Constantin’s signature aesthetic quest in which overall beauty and harmony stems from the attention lavished on even the smallest details. Calibre 2755 TMR is housed in a 18K white gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and 13.52 mm thick and fitted with a dark blue alligator leather strap secured by a white gold folding clasp.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
An 18-carat white gold minute repeater tourbillon depicting the legendary ghost ship “Flying Dutchman”, using both miniature and grisaille enamelling techniques.

The Anatomy of Beauty®

Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Flying Dutchman watch perfectly fits Vacheron Constantin’s annual theme “The Anatomy of Beauty® ”which celebrates the Maison’s attentiveness to detail. This extraordinarily painstaking care is expressed through the designers’ aesthetic choices and preferences as well as in the meticulous finishing work performed by the artisans. All the components of a Vacheron Constantin watch benefit from this scrupulous attention, even those that remain invisible once the movement has been assembled. A keen eye will note the fine guilloché work on a dial or the gem-set minutes track; it will make out the contours of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem on the links of a bracelet; it will notice the small flame-blued screw serving as a seconds indicator on a tourbillon carriage and the mirror polish of a minute-repeater hammer; it will appreciate the artisans’ delicate touch when chamfering a plate or rounding off a bridge; and finally, it will admire the miniature enamel painting depicting a ship tossed around by a stormy sea streaked with lightning. At Vacheron Constantin, concern for detail delicately shapes an anatomy of beauty in which nothing is left to chance.


“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

In the opacity of the ocean depths, flora and fauna appear in a play of light and shade. This single-edition Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle timepiece reinterprets this special atmosphere on the dial, depicting a green turtle in a maritime décor adorned with coral and created using two rare techniques: miniature painting and grisaille enamel. Self-winding Calibre 2460 SC, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin, is housed in a 40 mm-diameter 18K white gold case with an officer-type back.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
This 18-carat white gold creation pays tribute to the beauty of the oceans with an elegant play of chiaroscuro shadows in hand-enamelled grisaille. The turtle evolves in its natural environment on the face of the dial.
  • A Single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers timepiece showcasing artistic crafts and watchmaking expertise, reflecting an amazing tribute to the emblem of the seas: the turtle
  • A dial enamelled using a rare technique combining miniature enamel painting and grisaille enamel, which gives life to a marine decor.
  • Two other timepieces embodying similar expertise have been created: one featuring a whale and the other a shark.
  • A self-winding movement developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin, Calibre 2460 SC
  • A 18K white gold 40 mm-diameter case with an officer-type caseback

The turtle, which is thought to have appeared 200 million years ago, is both a marine emblem and a reminder of the slow evolution of species on Earth. “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”, the topic chosen in 2022 by Vacheron Constantin for its unique Les Cabinotiers timepieces, could not ignore this very special animal as a source of inspiration. A symbol of luck and longevity, the turtle is also present in a number of aquatic fables and legends, notably those surrounding Turtle Island – a 17th century buccaneer’s hideout – as well as the founding myths of the Amerindians.

The green turtle – an endangered herbivore weighing around one hundred kilos with its over one-metre shell – was chosen to enliven the watch dial. The animal glides gracefully amid a maritime setting adorned with plants and coral. To create this naturalistic tableau, Vacheron Constantin‘s master enameller first used the miniature enamel painting technique and then gave full depth to this scene in grisaille enamel. Housed in a 18K white gold case, the dial is swept over by hours, minutes and seconds hands driven by self-winding Calibre 2460 SC.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
This 18-carat white gold creation pays tribute to the beauty of the oceans with an elegant play of chiaroscuro shadows in hand-enamelled grisaille. The turtle evolves in its natural environment on the face of the dial.

A clever play on light and shade

The dial of the Les Cabinotier Grisaille – Turtle watch plunges into the deep blue sea in a strikingly realistic manner. The challenge of this remarkable creation reflecting a rare degree of enamelling expertise lies in depicting the richness of the ocean depths. Within this environment where the sun’s rays penetrate only partially, the field of vision appears to be cloaked in an opaque veil: colours disappear, replaced by a play on light and shade that creates the impression of a lunar landscape at the bottom of the ocean. The genius of craftsmanship displayed here consists in giving the illusion of a chiaroscuro immersion. To achieve this, the master artisan first worked on the dial using miniature enamel painting, a technique that forged the reputation of “Geneva enamels” in the 17th century and which requires perfect mastery of pigments and firing. The colours – composed of metal oxide powders mixed with a binding agent – are fired multiple times in a kiln heated to more than 800 °C in order to ensure their adhesion to the surface. Each such operation implies a risk of altering their radiance or their exact hue, as well as the potential formation of microbubbles.

“Le“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
This 18-carat white gold creation pays tribute to the beauty of the oceans with an elegant play of chiaroscuro shadows in hand-enamelled grisaille. The turtle evolves in its natural environment on the face of the dial.

The first step is to create the painting in the form of shadows, while anticipating those that will not remain as such. On a translucent enamel background, the master artisan superimposed three basic layers of dark pigments mingling black and blue, before tracing the outlines of the turtle, sea grass and coral in shades of purple tones. Here again, four firings in the kiln were required necessary to achieve a perfect rendering while still maintaining a relative impression of obscurity. After working the dial using the lapping technique, the artisan then opted for a change of method in order to light up the miniature painting: grisaille enamel. Representing a skill that appeared in the 16th century, grisaille enamel consists of applying a layer of dark enamel overlaid with touches of a rare white enamel called Limoges white. Each layer is then fired in a kiln for specific times defined to the nearest second. Over the course of another ten or so firings, the details of the turtle and its natural habitat took shape before finally, after 120 hours of enamelling, endowing the dial with an air of stunning realism. Such a level of mastery, which is visible on every part of the dial, sublimates this miniaturist approach to aesthetic sophistication expressed through even the smallest details.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
The automatic calibre 2460 SC has a 40-hour power reserve. Its 182 components come to life in a 26.2 mm diameter with a thickness of 3.6 mm. This movement is certified with the Hallmark of Geneva.

Calibre 2460 SC developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin

The Manufacture 2460 SC movement features a level of finishing that makes each constituent part an indispensable element of the final aesthetic composition. Oscillating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and equipped with a 916/1000 gold oscillating weight finely adorned with a guilloché motif pattern, it is endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve. In the grand tradition of manufacture calibres, the bridges are finished with hand-polishing angles. The straight-graining, which consists in perfectly smoothing the component flanks, is also done by hand, while the screws are scrupulously polished. The plate is circular-grained on both sides with bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève on the caseback side.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

Calibre 2460 SC is housed in a 18K white gold case measuring 40 mm in diameter. To admire the meticulous finishing work performed on all components, one must open the officer-type back, a hinged cover first introduced during World War I when small pocket watches with hinged backs were transformed into more practical wristwatches for officers. The Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle watch is fitted with dark blue alligator leather strap secured by a white gold pin buckle.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
Grisaille – Turtle

The Anatomy of Beauty®

The rendering of this turtle in a maritime décor adorned with coral reflects Vacheron Constantin’s particular attentiveness to detail, a real second nature. This extraordinarily painstaking care is expressed through the designers’ aesthetic choices and preferences as well as in the meticulous finishing work performed by the artisans. All the components of a Vacheron Constantin watch benefit from this scrupulous attention, even those that remain invisible once the movement has been assembled. A keen eye will note the fine guilloché work on a dial or the gem-set minutes track; it will make out the contours of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem on the links of a bracelet; it will notice the small flame-blued screw serving as a seconds indicator on a tourbillon carriage and the mirror polish of a minute-repeater hammer; it will appreciate the artisans’ delicate touch when chamfering a plate or rounding off a bridge; and finally, it will admire the miniature enamel painting depicting a ship tossed around by a stormy sea streaked with lightning. At Vacheron Constantin, concern for detail delicately shapes an anatomy of beauty in which nothing is left to chance.


“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse

Vacheron Constantin offers a deep-sea dive to discover the sea horse and its mysteries. At the heart of this immersion is a dial combining various traditional artistic crafts. Concealed in the ocean fauna, the sea horse is made of cloisonné enamel with gem-set fins against a partially guilloché dial background. The case and lugs have been trimmed to accommodate the bezel set in a sapphire colour gradient. This single-piece edition is powered by Calibre 2160, an ultra-thin self-winding tourbillon movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery - Sea Horse
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enameling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.
  • Four artistic crafts at work: guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting
  • A bezel set with a subtle colour gradient of sapphires, ranging from intense blue to a slightly lighter shade.
  • A single-piece edition driven by Calibre 2160, an ultra-thin self-winding tourbillon movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Four artistic crafts at work: guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting A bezel set with a subtle colour gradient of sapphires, ranging from intense blue to a slightly lighter shade. A single-piece edition driven by Calibre 2160, an ultra-thin self-winding tourbillon movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enameling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.

At the heart of the “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” range, the figurative theme chosen by Vacheron Constantin in 2022 for its Les Cabinotiers single-piece editions, the sea horse finds its natural place in this maritime hall of fame. A mysterious animal clad in insect-like armour and endowed with a prehensile tail like that of a monkey, it swims only vertically, with its head and horse-like snout pointing forward. Its natural habitat is on the seabed, amid fields of algae and seagrass meadows, which is precisely where Vacheron Constantin has decided to depict it on the dial of its Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse watch.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery - Sea Horse
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enameling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.

This creation by the Manufacture’s master artisans combines the techniques of guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting to make this piece an anthem to the splendours of the ocean and a tribute to the year’s “The Anatomy of Beauty” theme, within which overall harmony is born of attention to detail. Measuring 39 mm in diameter and graced with a bezel set with a subtle sapphire gradient, the 18K 5N pink gold case houses in-house Calibre 2160, a tourbillon movement distinguished by its slimness despite its self-winding system.

Mise en abyme

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery - Sea Horse
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enamelling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.

In order to give depth to the dial in a way other than through vanishing lines or a multi-level construction, the master artisans combined guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting techniques. First, the 3N yellow gold dial was marked out in champlevé to determine the areas for the guilloché and engraving, while outlining aquatic decoration and the sea horse. Once the motif had been traced, the cells intended for enamelling were hand-guilloché and engraved, an operation rendered all the delicate by the fact that these surfaces are small and each entirely separate from the others. A first layer of transparent enamel was then applied to the dial, after which the patient cloisonné work could begin. This technique consists of reproducing the contours of the motif with gold wires barely thicker than a sheet of paper (1/10th x 4/10th of a mm). These wires made of 24K fine gold – to avoid any risk of oxidation – had to be cut to the right length, shaped and imperatively include an angle to ensure a better “hold” of the enamel during the firings in the kiln. In addition, each of the cells thus partitioned must be hermetically sealed off in order to avoid colour mixing during firing. Three to four firings were required to obtain the desired colours and the required thickness, “over-glazed” by the master artisan in such a way that, after polishing using the lapping technique, the dial features a perfectly flat surface with the gold wire shines brightly just beneath. The piece is then fired one last time to give the final touch that involves tautening the enamel and erasing any micro-scratches.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery - Sea Horse
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enamelling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.

To represent the eye of the sea horse, the master gem-setter then secured the sapphire cabochon in place using the bezel (closed) setting technique. The setting continues on the bezel with baguette-cut sapphires in a subtle blue gradient. The result reflects a tireless quest for excellence, whereby the mastery of every deft move and the meticulous care lavished on even the smallest details reveal the anatomy of the watch.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery - Sea Horse
The automatic caliber 2160 has an 80-hour power reserve. Its 188 components come to life in a 31 mm diameter with a thickness of 5.65 mm. This movement is certified with the Hallmark of Geneva.

An ultra-thin calibre reflecting a concern for elegance

Presented in a 39 mm diameter perfectly suited to all wrists, the case of the Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse watch has been trimmed, as have the lugs, so as to achieve ideal formal harmony. In-house Calibre 2160 matches this concern for elegance while also featuring a self-winding tourbillon regulator. Invented at the beginning of the 19th century to cancel out the effects of gravity on watch movements for the sake of accuracy, the tourbillon appears here in an ultra-thin version, with its carriage housed in a movement barely 5.65 mm thick representing a true technical feat. The slimness of the 188-component Calibre 2160 is notably made possible by the peripheral rotor ensuring a comfortable 80-hour power reserve. The 18K 5N pink gold case enabling the subtle intricacies of the movement to be admired through its sapphire crystal back is only 11.15 mm thick.

The finishing of Calibre 2160 displays the same high level of quality, with each component finished and decorated by hand, testifying to the fascination of Vacheron Constantin movements, whose beauty lies in the meticulous attention to details. The bar of the tourbillon carriage, itself openworked in the shape of the Manufacture’s Maltese cross emblem, is entirely hand-chamfered, as are the mainplate and bridges. On the dial side, the mainplate is circular-grained, while the bridges are adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif on the caseback side. Paired with a dark blue leather strap secured by a folding clasp set with 14 baguette-cut sapphires, this watch issued in a single-piece edition is water-resistant to 30 metres and exercises an inimitable maritime appeal.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery - Sea Horse
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enameling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.

The Anatomy of Beauty®

Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse is a single-piece edition embodying an aesthetic quest in which the smallest details contribute to “The Anatomy of Beauty®” that is Vacheron Constantin’s theme for 2022. Attentiveness to detail is second nature at Vacheron Constantin. This extraordinarily painstaking care is expressed through the designers’ aesthetic choices and preferences as well as in the meticulous finishing work performed by the artisans. All the components of a Vacheron Constantin watch benefit from this scrupulous attention, even those that remain invisible once the movement has been assembled. A keen eye will note the fine guilloché work on a dial or the gem-set minutes track; it will make out the contours of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem on the links of a bracelet; it will notice the small flame-blued screw serving as a seconds indicator on a tourbillon carriage and the mirror polish of a minute-repeater hammer; it will appreciate the artisans’ delicate touch when chamfering a plate or rounding off a bridge; and finally, it will admire the miniature enamel painting depicting a ship tossed around by a stormy sea streaked with lightning. At Vacheron Constantin, concern for detail delicately shapes an anatomy of beauty in which nothing is left to chance.


“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman

The single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman watch, which enriches the “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” theme chosen by Vacheron Constantin in 2022, pays tribute to the legend of this cursed captain who, among other things, inspired an opera by Wagner. The ghost ship of the Flying Dutchman in the middle of a storm is depicted on the watch dial, a masterpiece created using a rare enamelling technique. To reproduce the raging sea under a lightning-streaked full moon sky, the master artist created the scene in miniature painting, reflecting the grand tradition of 17th and 18th century “Geneva enamels”. The ghostly appearance of the ship is then added in grisaille enamel in a play on light and shade that perfectly translates the phantasmagorical universe of the legend. This timepiece is driven by the 471-component minute repeater and tourbillon Calibre 2755 TMR, developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin. Derived from Calibre 2755, the Maison’s signature movement for Grand Complication models, this manual-winding version is equipped with a one-minute tourbillon, beating at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and endowed with a 58-hour power reserve displayed on the back. The mechanism is complemented by a minute repeater serving to chime the time on demand.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon – Flying Dutchman
An 18-carat white gold minute repeater tourbillon depicting the legendary ghost ship “Flying Dutchman”, using both miniature and grisaille enamelling techniques.

Reference                                 
6540C/000G- 034C       

Caliber                                      
2755 TMR
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
33.9 mm diameter, 7.1 mm thick
Approximately 58 hours of power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
471 components
40 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva

Indications                               
Hours, minutes
Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
Minute repeater, tourbillon and power-reserve indication on the case-back side

Setting                                      
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)

Case                                          
18K white gold with case
45 mm diameter, 13.52 mm thick                    

Dial                                            
18K gold covered with “Grand Feu” miniature enamelling and grisaille enamelling representing a “Flying Dutchman”
18K white gold hands

Strap                                         
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Buckle                                       
18K white gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box                                            
Les Cabinotiers model

Single-piece edition

“Les Cabinotiers”, “Pièce unique”, “AC” hallmark engraved on caseback


“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle

A marine reptile thought to have appeared 200 million years ago and a legendary creature, the turtle finds its place within the Les Cabinotiers theme for 2022. Entitled “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®”, it is dedicated to the world of the sea and the accompanying mythology. This single-edition Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle piece takes up the challenge of creating the illusion of an immersion into the abyss, towards these marine landscapes composed of shade and light. To recreate this chiaroscuro world, Vacheron Constantin‘s master artisan first worked on the dial according to the miniature enamel painting technique so as to reveal the shadow-like motifs. The grisaille enamel technique was used to light up the dial, revealing in successive layers the details of the turtle in its natural habitat. No less than 18 firings in the kiln in the course of a 120-hour process were required to complete this strikingly realistic masterpiece of miniaturisation The watch is powered by self-winding Calibre 2460 SC, a movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin, indicating hours, minutes and seconds. In the grand tradition of manufacture calibres, all movement components have been finished and decorated by hand. The care lavished on the finishing touches can be admired by opening the officer-type back of the 40 mm-diameter 18K white gold case.

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Grisaille – Turtle
This 18-carat white gold creation pays tribute to the beauty of the oceans with an elegant play of chiaroscuro shadows in hand-enamelled grisaille. The turtle evolves in its natural environment on the face of the dial.

Reference                                 
2400C/000G-071C                                              

Calibre                                      
2460 SC
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
26.2 mm diameter, 3.6 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
182 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
 

Indications                               
Hours, minutes, central seconds

Setting                                      
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)

Case                                          
18K white gold
40 mm diameter, 9.42 mm thick                                         

Dial                                            
18K gold covered with “Grand Feu” miniature enamelling and grisaille enamelling representing a “Turtle”     
18K white gold hands

Strap                                         
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Buckle                                       
18K white gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Box                                            
Les Cabinotiers model

Single-piece edition
“Les Cabinotiers”, “Pièce unique”, “AC” hallmark engraved on caseback


“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse

Issued in a single-piece edition, the Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon jewellery – Sea Horse watch illustrates the theme “Les Royaume Aquatiques®” by depicting a sea horse in its natural environment. This masterpiece of miniaturisation calls on four artistic crafts to endow the marine painting with an illusion of depth. Work on the dial begins with tracing the decoration to create the guilloché pattern and engraving the cells, followed by meticulous cloisonné enamelling and ending with setting the eye of the seahorse. Gem-setting continues on the bezel with a subtle gradation of blue sapphires. Housed in a 18K 5N pink gold case measuring 39 mm in diameter, Calibre 2160 developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin preserves the watch’s elegant curves thanks to its remarkable slimness. A self-winding tourbillon movement equipped with a peripheral rotor to enhance its slenderness, this 188-component mechanical movement operating at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour has a profile measuring barely 5.65 mm thick and features extremely meticulous haute horlogerie finishing.

Four artistic crafts at work: guilloché, engraving, enamelling and gem-setting A bezel set with a subtle colour gradient of sapphires, ranging from intense blue to a slightly lighter shade. A single-piece edition driven by Calibre 2160, an ultra-thin self-winding tourbillon movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
This 18-carat 5N pink gold, creation pairs four Métiers d’Art techniques, hand-engraving, hand-guillochage, hand-enamelling and gem-setting to highlight the seahorse parading around the tourbillon.

Reference                                 
6007C/000R-056C

Calibre                                      
2160
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
31 mm diameter, 5.65 mm thick
Approximately 80 hours of power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
188 components
30 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications                               
Hours, minutes
Small second at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
Tourbillon

Setting                                      
Hours and minutes adjustment: winding crown (2 positions)

Case                                          
18K 5N pink gold  hand gem-setting with graduation of 74 baguette-cut sapphires
39 mm diameter, 11.15 mm thick                                         

Dial                                            
18K gold with four artistic crafts: hand-guilloché, engraving, hand-cloisonné ennamel and hand gem-setting with 1 sapphire cabochon representing a “Sea horse”
18K 5N pink gold hands

Strap                                         
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Buckle                                       
18K white gold buckle hand gem-setting with 14 baguette-cut sapphires 
Half Maltese cross-shaped

Box                                            
Les Cabinotiers model

Single-piece edition
“Les Cabinotiers”, “Pièce unique”, “AC” hallmark engraved on caseback


Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” Gallery


“Les Royaume Aquatiques®”

“Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” (aquatic kingdoms) evoke the wonderful world of the sea and its accompanying mythology. Since time immemorial, civilisations have venerated the elements composing the universe, including water personified by the gods of the sea and the oceans. Within this context, Poseidon, brother of Zeus and ruler of the seas, stands out with his trident as the symbol of this indomitable nature. He is however alone in reigning over the tumultuous waves. In the same spirit, the ocean is filled with mysterious creatures, Nereids, Naiads or Sirens who are at times nymphs and at others frightening creatures that appear to sailors, who are always quick to spread sea legends. That of the Flying Dutchman, celebrated by Wagner, refers to the era of the conquest of the oceans, of buccaneering and the daring deeds of Blackbeard.

Despite scientific exploration, the mystery of the seas has not vanished. The ocean floor remains virtually unexplored and largely uncharted. Dives into the ocean abyss have revealed unknown species, which nurture myths like that of a colossal squid lurking at the bottom of the sea. The oceans – which cover nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, are home to the majority of living species and regulate more than 80° of the Earth’s climate – and remain a vast expanse that has not yet revealed all its secrets. The enigmatic aspect of the seven seas and the fabulous creatures that inhabit them remain a source of genuine fascination across the ages. A source of inspiration for poets, an obsession among explorers, a pipe dream for fabulists or a treasure trove for naturalists… the sea has also nurtured the creations of Vacheron Constantin, which this year has chosen “Les Royaumes Aquatiques®” as the theme for its single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers timepieces.

  • Vacheron Constantin and the sea
  • Vacheron Constantin and the sea
  • Vacheron Constantin and the sea

Vacheron Constantin and the sea

Marine life has been a rich source of inspiration throughout the history of Vacheron Constantin. A world that is inseparable from sailing, whether on lakes or the high seas. From the mid-19th century onwards, specially commissioned pieces adorned with miniature enamel paintings or engravings began to be crafted, demonstrating a strong attachment to the world of the sea and its natural or legendary creatures. Lake landscapes and boats with lateen sails, brigantines at anchor, dolphins, sea dragons and mermaids are among the themes chosen for these pocket watches. Great attention has also been devoted to technical aspects. Renowned for its precision “instruments”, Vacheron Constantin delivered marine chronometers to several army corps in the early 20th century, knowing that this equipment was indispensable for calculating longitude at sea. More fanciful yet still radiating a maritime aura, some of the desk chronometers made by the Maison in the 1940s were shaped like rudders, while one of the models of the famous 1937 “Bras en l’air” (arms in the air) pocket watch, displaying the hours and minutes on demand, is named “La Caravelle” with its engraved and gem-set motif. For the 1996 launch of the Overseas line, Vacheron Constantin also drew inspiration from the name of this new collection evoking the spirit of travel across oceans. The caseback is thus meticulously engraved with a caravel skippered by the famous explorer Amerigo Vespucci in his quest to discover the New World.

With its Métiers d’art collection, which appeared in the early 2000s, Vacheron Constantin has revived naturalist themes related to water and its fauna and flora in an approach celebrating decorative techniques. In 2011, the Manufacture presented the second series of three Métiers d’art – La Symbolique des Laques watches featuring the aquatic world thanks to Maki-e: an ancient traditional Japanese technique that consists of sprinkling gold or silver dust on still wet lacquer, usually black, to create the motif. These watches feature the turtle, the frog and the carp, embodiments of longevity, luck and strength in Far Eastern animal symbolism. A year later, it was the turn of the Métiers d’art – Les Univers Infinis series to pick up the theme of water, this time interpreted according to the graphic expression of Dutch artist Cornelis Escher. The Fish watch featuring guilloché and cloisonné enamel and the Shell watch with engraving and champlevé enamel reflect the same sensitivity to naturalist decorations, based on a resolutely contemporary approach.

Les Cabinotiers: single-piece editions

In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of models and to unique creations. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, a time when master watchmakers were called cabinotiers and worked in ateliers bathed in natural light, known as cabinets and located on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings. In the hands of these learned artisans, open to the new ideas of the Enlightenment, exceptional timepieces were born, inspired by astronomy, mechanical engineering and the arts. This expertise, which constitutes the great Geneva watchmaking tradition, has been flowing through Vacheron Constantin’s veins since 1755.

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