Friday, March 27, 2015

Something Special from Vacheron Constantin

So on a train ride back to Lucerne with a colleague who was also staying there, we got into the usual argument about "most important/top five" watch brands (editors note, it is a STUPID debate, believe me!), and inevitably it rolled around to Vacheron Constantin.
Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
For my part, I really, really like nearly everything Vacheron does.  But like that person that you first fall in love with, you realize as time goes on that you love them for different reasons every day.  In other words, it is an evolution of feelings and understanding.  So although that does not speak even a little bit to the horological feats achieved by these nice folks in Geneva, it is the best I can do at describing an indescribable appreciation.

So having said that, this morning's mail had this new update from Vacheron Constantin and it is really pretty swell -

This is the Savoirs Enluminés, a truly special limited edition of 60 pieces.  
Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

The Savoirs Enluminés collection  was inspired by the Aberdeen Bestiary.  And no, that is not a dodgy pub outside of Pittodrie with overflowing bogs and floors littered with broken teeth of Rangers supporters.

No, according to our trusted friends at Wikipedia, the Aberdeen Bestiary is:

a  12th-century English illuminated manuscript bestiary that was first listed in 1542 in the inventory of the Old Royal Library at the Palace of Westminster.
Information about its origins and patron are circumstantial. It probably comes from the 12th century and was owned by an ecclesiastical patron of the north or south province. The Aberdeen Bestiary is related to other bestiaries of the Middle Ages and especially the Ashmole Bestiary. Some argue that the Aberdeen Bestiary might be the older of the two.

Aren't you glad you asked?

But back to the watches -
Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
A more easily grasped explanation is that the Aberdeen Bestiary is notable for the extremely high quality of its miniaturized illuminations.  See, we got there in the end ; )
Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
And like everything that Vacheron does, there is an unyielding devotion to the crafts.  

As this is a blog, and not an omnibus, I am going to cut it off here and provide you with the technical details -

Métiers d’Art Savoirs Enluminés


7000S/000G-B001 - Vultures 
7000S/000G-B002 - Caper 
7000S/000G-B003 - Altion
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
Only available in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques 


1120 AT
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical self-winding, with dragging hours additional mechanism 
32.80 mm (12’’’1⁄2) diameter
5.45 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve

2.75 Hz (19’800 vibrations/hour) 
205 components
36 jewels 

Hours, minutes
Time indicated by Arabic numerals mounted on satellite-wheels

The hours move one after the other across a 120° scale located 
on the lower dial  

18K white gold
40 x 49.45 mm, 10.30 mm thick

Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters) 
Name of the inspiration model engraved on case band

Two-level dial:

Upper dial : hand-textured champlevé gold base with Grand Feu
miniature enameling 

Lower dial : polished letters in relief on a grained gold base  


Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather strap, 
hand-stitched, saddle- finish, large square scales 


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


Delivered with a magnifying glass, 
a pair of gloves 
and a dedicated brochure to better showcase 
the craftsmanship and technicality behind
these creations 

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