Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds
Reading Time: 8 minutes

The extra-thin 1120 AT movement gives free rein to the talents of the master enameller. It provides an off-centred display of the hours on a right-hand dial sector, while leaving space to express the art of champlevé enamel. These four one-of-a-kind creations, Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds,  showcasing artistic crafts by respectively featuring a hummingbird, a blue jay, a blue tit and a robin – add fresh notes to “La Musique du Temps®”, a theme dreamed up by the Maison’s Les Cabinotiers department.

  • Four one-of-a-kind timepieces paying symbolic tribute to the range from Les Cabinotiers named “La Musique du temps®”.
  • The dials are enamelled masterpieces each depicting a songbird, beautifully offset by the delicate guilloché pattern adorning the area devoted to time indications.
  • The ultra-thin Manufacture 1120 AT movement provides a dragging display of the hours by means of satellites moving along the minutes sector

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Vacheron Constantin’s approach to time measurement finds its ultimate expression when technical sophistication is enhanced by the talent of art masters and by hand finishing consistent with the tenets of Haute Horlogerie. All of which is perfectly illustrated in four one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds models. Masterpieces of champlevé painted enamel, the enchanting bucolic scenes on the dials offer a poetic interpretation of “La Musique du Temps®”, a theme imagined by the Les Cabinotiers department and honoured here by the imaginary song of the birds.

Perfect mastery of volumes and craftsmanship techniques is essential on these models featuring a two-tiered dial. The work on the two dial sections – one enamelled and concealing the module driving the hours and minutes, while the other guilloché area serves to display these indications – requires great precision in the fine adjustment of these two elements endowing this model with its innate elegance.

To create these strikingly realistic dials, Vacheron Constantin’s master enameller used the champlevé painted enamel technique. This consists of hollowing out of the dial material thin alveoli, designed as receptacles for the enamel delicately applied with a brush. Performed using binoculars, this work is all the more complex due to the rich palette of colours. To give life to the birds, the master artisan has in fact extended his palette to some 10 colours and their subtly graded shades for each of the dials, representing the fruit of intense research and extreme dexterity in their application. Mastery of fire is also indispensable, given that enamel – a mineral material – must be melted to achieve its inimitable translucent brilliance. As the birds take shape under the expert hand of the craftsman, the piece requires successive firings in the kiln to gradually fix the colours in place, which is a risky operation for the work already performed.

The right-hand section of the dials, consisting of a sector for displaying the hours and minutes, is finely hand guilloché and then coloured to bring out the basket-weave motifs.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Natural wonders

The Maison has chosen birds embodying powerful symbolism. The hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird and capable of flapping its wings up to 200 times a second, is represented in shades of green, feeding on flower nectar. The blue jay, sentinel of the forests, warns its fellow birds of the presence of predators, accompanying its cries with a few loud wing flaps. Appearing against a brown backdrop, the blue tit with its bright eye highlighted by a brush stroke signals its presence to those who would like to take its place. A robin rests on the dial adorned with burgundy hues. Framed by elegant 40 mm-diameter cases in pink gold, or white gold for the robin, these dials are a true invitation to dream and to contemplate the wonders of nature. Each timepiece is fitted with an alligator leather strap in a colour matching that of the dial.

A calibre with satellite hours and minutes

Driven by a concern for formal purity, the Maison has opted for the in-house self-winding 1120 AT calibre because of its slimness and reliability. Developed in the 1960s, this movement immediately attracted the attention of specialists and collectors, not only for its 2.45 mm thickness but also for its construction, which is considered to be a model of horological engineering.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Over the decades, this ultra-thin movement has been interpreted through different variations with additional functions, including this 1120 AT version. Despite its satellite hours and minutes module on the reverse side and its guilloché gold oscillating weight winding the barrel on the back of the movement, it is only 5.45 mm thick and housed in a 12.37 mm case. The most notable specific feature of the calibre lies in the time indications. The display appears on a 120° sector bearing applied minutes. The satellite hours are thus of the dragging variety with three arms, each carrying a four-digit rotating disc and taking turns along the minutes scale.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Les Cabinotiers: one-of-a-kind creations

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.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Summary

The four one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds timepieces pay symbolic tribute to the range named “La Musique du temps®”. Artistic crafts play a unique role through the enamelling work done using the champlevé technique on each of the dials. To give life to the bird motifs, the master artisan has broadened his palette to encompass 10 colours and their subtly graded shades. The ultra-thin 1120 AT movement has been chosen for these four watches, since it enables an off-centred display of the time providing broad scope for the master artisan to express his artistry. These four creations depict a hummingbird, a blue jay, a blue tit and a robin, while the right-hand side is adorned with a finely executed guilloché pattern. This area is dedicated to time indications on a 120° sector bearing applied minutes. The satellite hours are thus of the dragging variety, with three hands each carrying a four-digit rotating disk and taking turns along the minutes scale.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds Technical Specification

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds - Hummingbird Reference 2010C/000R-B681
Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Hummingbird Reference 2010C/000R-B681

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Hummingbird

Reference
2010C/000R-B681

Calibre
1120 AT
Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical self-winding
32.80 mm (143/4’’’) diameter, 5.45 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 40 hours
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour)
205 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Dragging hours and minutes

Case
18K 5N pink gold
40 mm diameter, 12.37 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, two-level dial:

  • Left dial (above): champlevé painted enamel representing the hummingbird
  • Right-hand dial (below): hand-guilloché and green color

Applied hour-markers in 18K 5N pink gold

Strap
Green Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Clasp
18K 5N pink gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

One-of-a-kind timepiece
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » inscriptions engraved on the back of the timepiece

 

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Blue tit Reference 2010C/000R-B682
Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Blue tit Reference 2010C/000R-B682

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Blue tit

Reference 2010C/000R-B682

Calibre
1120 AT
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical self-winding
32.80 mm (143/4’’’) diameter, 5.45 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 40 hours
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour)
205 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Dragging hours and minutes

Case
18K 5N pink gold
40 mm diameter, 12.37 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, two-level dial:

  • Left dial (above): champlevé painted enamel representing the Blue tit
  • Right-hand dial (below): hand-guilloché and brown color

Applied hour-markers in 18K 5N pink gold

Strap
Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Clasp
18K 5N pink gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

One-of-a-kind timepiece
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » inscriptions engraved on the back of the timepiece

 

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Blue jay Reference 2010C/000R-B683
Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Blue jay Reference 2010C/000R-B683

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Blue jay

Reference
2010C/000R-B683

Calibre
1120 AT
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical self-winding
32.80 mm (143/4’’’) diameter, 5.45 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 40 hours
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour)
205 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Dragging hours and minutes

Case
18K 5N pink gold
40 mm diameter, 12.37 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, two-level dial:

  • Left dial (above) : champlevé painted enamel representing the Blue jay
  • Right-hand dial (below) : hand-guilloché and blue color

Applied hour-markers in 18K 5N pink gold

Strap
Blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Clasp
18K 5N pink gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

One-of-a-kind timepiece
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » inscriptions engraved on the back of the timepiece

 

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Robin Reference 2010C/000G-B684
Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Robin Reference 2010C/000G-B684

Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds – Robin

Reference
2010C/000G-B684

Calibre
1120 AT
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical self-winding
32.80 mm (143/4’’’) diameter, 5.45 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 40 hours
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour)
205 components
36 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Dragging hours and minutes

Case
18K white gold
40 mm diameter, 12.37 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback

Dial
18K gold, two-level dial:

  • Left dial (above) : champlevé painted enamel representing the Robin
  • Right-hand dial (below) : hand-guilloché and burgundy color

Applied hour-markers in 18K white gold

Strap
Burgundy Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

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

Presentation box & accessory
Les Cabinotiers model

One-of-a-kind timepiece
« Pièce unique » and « Les Cabinotiers » inscriptions engraved on the back of the timepiece

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