Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater tourbillon – Four seasons are four new one-of-a-kind creations highlighting the rich tones of the crafts cultivated within the Maison. Masterpieces of engraving and enamelling, they are an invitation to admire dials graced with striking naturalistic symbolism.
In 1941, Vacheron Constantin combined technical power with aesthetic perfection by introducing its ultra-thin Minute Repeater wristwatch. This mechanism, which strikes the hours, quarters and minutes on demand using two gongs, is presented in an ultra-thin gold model radiating the characteristic elegance of Vacheron Constantin watches. With the four one-of-a-kind, Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater tourbillon – Four seasons models, the manufacture perpetuates the tradition of chiming watches by drawing inspiration from this emblematic 1940s timepiece.
The dials of the watches are artistic masterpieces. The miniature image of a carp swimming in water is decorated with seasonal colours. These watch faces are engraved using the bas-relief technique to highlight the richness of the scenography. A minimum of 60 hours is spent on each dial in order to engrave the material with a burin and to create a depth effect based on differences in height of up to 1.35 mm.
The enameller then takes over with a palette of twelve colours applied using the champlevé technique, which involves embedding the enamel in the cavities created by the engraver. Around 15 firings are then necessary to achieve the desired colours by applying successive layers. These high-risk operations must be carried out with the greatest care to prevent multiple firings from cracking or dulling the enamel.
Each of the watches is equipped with the 2755 TMR calibre, which regulates the striking mechanism by means of a one-minute tourbillon with a rotating carriage serving to neutralise the effects of the Earth’s gravity. The manual-winding movement, with a 58-hour power reserve discreetly indicated on the back, beats at a rate of 2.5Hz (18,000 a/h), a low frequency typical of traditional watchmaking. With its 471 components, the 2755 TMR calibre incorporates a silent centripetal flywheel strike governor, guaranteeing the excellence of the minute repeater.
The four one-of-a-kind watches represent each of the seasons. Summer consists of an 18K gold dial featuring a combination of handcrafts engraving and champlevé enamelling representing the “summer season.” The strap is in brown Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish and large square scales.
For Spring, the dial is again 18K gold with a combination of handcrafts engraving and champlevé enamelling representing the “spring season” while a black Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish and large square scales finishes the piece. For autumn, the same techniques are applied to the dial to create an image representing the “autumn season” and the piece is completed with a Red Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish and large square scales. The final winter piece features a dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather strap and a dial design based on the “winter season.”