Heritage Director Vacheron Constantin - On Les Cabinotiers Watch Collection

Heritage Director Vacheron Constantin - On Les Cabinotiers Watch Collection
Heritage Director Vacheron Constantin - On Les Cabinotiers Watch Collection

Video: Heritage Director Vacheron Constantin - On Les Cabinotiers Watch Collection

Video: VACHERON CONSTANTIN Les Cabinotiers 2020 presented by Christian Selmoni, Style & Heritage Director 2022, November

Master-cabotiers - this is how the skilful Geneva watchmakers who worked in small study rooms on the upper floors of houses (where the maximum natural light penetrated) were called in the Enlightenment era. It was they who introduced the latest achievements of engineering, astronomy, and decorative crafts into watchmaking. Vacheron Constantin continues the tradition of unique watchmaking masterpieces.

The clients of the world's oldest watch manufacture at one time were the Egyptian king Ahmed Fuad the First and his son Farouk I, the New York banker Henry Graves Jr.

In 2006, the Les Cabinotiers division appeared at the manufactory, designed to fulfill any wishes of collectors. Each new project requiring complex technical developments is accompanied by a designer, engineer and watchmaker. The client receives a personal agent who communicates with the studio, as well as a confidential password to enter the site, where you can personally monitor the progress of work.

Bespoke projects are kept in the strictest confidence, however, with the consent of the customers, the manufactory has released some of them: the Philosophia watch with one hour hand on a 24-hour dial or the Vladimir with 17 complications. In the year of its 260th anniversary, the house unveiled the most complex watch Ref. 57260 with 57 functions - It took eight years to develop and execute this private order.

Three years ago, the new management of the company decided to expand the boundaries of bespoke services: customers were given the opportunity not only to place orders, but also to choose ready-made unique watches made by Les Cabinotiers. In fact, their customer is the manufacture itself, which makes it easier for customers to choose, and allows craftsmen of all specialties - from engineers to engravers - to demonstrate their talents. Les Cabinotiers' collections of ready-made watches are presented to the international press: after Kyoto in 2017 and Paris in 2018, Vacheron Constantin organized a presentation of client models in Singapore.

The new collection of watches La Musique du Temps ("Music of Time") is built around the idea of ​​sounding time. Most of the 15 new products are equipped with a minute repeater function. It is combined with a perpetual calendar display (A perfect combination, Ref. 6610 ° C), with a tourbillon and a map of the stars (Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart - A Celestial Note), with a delightful enamel dial in eggshell shade (Minute Repeater Ultra Thin - A Romantic Note), inlaid with rubies (Minute repeater ultra-thin - The dance of gemstones), with enamel miniatures representing the four seasons (Minute Repeater Tourbillon - Four Seasons).

spoke about the new Les Caninotiers collection with Christian Selmoni, Heritage and Style Director of Vacheron Constantin.

Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater Perpetual calendar - A perfect combination
Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater Perpetual calendar - A perfect combination

1 of 4 Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart - A celestial note © Les Cabinotiers Press Office Minute repeater tourbillon sky chart - A celestial note © Les Cabinotiers Press Office Minute repeater Perpetual calendar - A perfect combination © Les Cabinotiers Minute Press Office repeater Perpetual calendar - A perfect combination © press office

- How did the la Musique du Temps collection come about?

“This important topic allows us to best express our expertise in sounding clocks, minute repeaters and striking clocks of the Grande Sonnerie. This is a rare art. Only a few manufactories are capable of producing sounding movements, since this is the most complex system in watchmaking. We have a repeater from 1803 in our archive, which strikes a quarter of an hour, and we presented the first Grande Sonnerie pocket watch with small and large striking in 1817. 200 years later, in 2017, Vacheron Constantin showed the first Grande Sonnerie watch.

- How do you see the similarities and differences with bespoke services in fashion?

- Individual watch orders are very close to haute couture. In both cases, we are talking about the design and manufacture of unique items that require masterly craftsmanship and countless hours of work. However, unlike fashion brands, we make functional luxury items that impose certain restrictions. Still, the caliber must be reliable and durable, including the complex mechanism of sound time indication.

- Can you fulfill any customer's request?

- In general, yes. Limitations can be technical: for example, if a combination of several complex functions results in an oversized package. Diameter 50 mm and thickness 20 mm is too big. In this case, we advise you to make a pocket watch.

- Now the manufactory offers ready-made watches Les Cabinotiers. Why?

- The new head of the house, Louis Ferla, was absolutely convinced of the enormous potential of this service. And he turned Les Cabinotiers into a kind of high jewelery shows that brands put on for their main clients. The idea turned out to be extremely successful and led to the positive development of the entire bespoke direction. This, by the way, is another similarity with high fashion. After all, the number of buyers who place a personal order is still less than those who prefer to buy a ready-made dress that exists in one copy. We have the same. Manufacturing developments take much less time than an individual project that requires lengthy approvals. And customers do not have to wait for their watches to be completed - they are offered a ready-made product.

Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater Tourbillon - Four seasons, Spring
Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater Tourbillon - Four seasons, Spring

1 of 4 Tourbillon - Four seasons, Spring © press office

- How many people work at Les Cabinotiers?

- We do not disclose these numbers. I can tell you that it includes designers, watchmakers, engineers, managers, administrators. Les Cabinotiers is a separate manufactory under the roof of Vacheron Constantin, its employees do not create regular collections. Almost all Les Cabinotiers models use their own sophisticated special calibers, such as the hand-wound repeater mechanism 1731 in fine enamel watches or 1731QP in models with a perpetual calendar and moon phase indicator. Clock decor is also done within the walls of the manufactory. We focused on four techniques that we consider to be the most important and traditional - inlay, enamel art, engraving, guilloche. In addition, we can add other artistic techniques by attracting third-party artists to cooperation.

- How long does it take on average to execute private orders?

- Except for the development time of the mechanism, it takes 2-3 years to create a project from scratch to the final product. We usually place orders for bespoke orders from 18 months to 8 years, depending on the complexity. We spent 8 years creating the most complex watch 57260 - but this is a world record.

- What are the most complicated watches in the collection of La Musique du Temps?

- This is the Symphonia Grande Sonnerie model. In our archives there is a mention of the 1817 Grande Sonnerie pocket watch, for their 200th anniversary we have released wristwatches with large and small striking and minute repeater. Caliber 1860 beats the hours and quarters of an hour, or only the hours; a minute repeater is activated upon request. The Symphonia rose gold case is completely hand-engraved. On the side surface, a musical fragment of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony is read. The fact is that a fragment from the score of the Pastoral Symphony is also engraved on the case of the historical pocket model of 1923 Les Bergers d'Arcadi; this watch is kept in our museum.

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

1 of 3 Les Cabinotiers Symphonia grande sonnerie - The sixth symphony © press service © press service © press service

- Was the collaboration with Abbey Road useful for "Music of Time"?

- Yes very. The collection was an excellent occasion to continue the partnership with the recording studio that began in 2018 with the FiftySix collection. The sound of each minute repeater of La Musique du Temps was recorded in the legendary second studio (Studio Two) Abbey Road. Therefore, each model is accompanied by a digital audio file and a certificate from Abbey Road and Vacheron Constantin.>

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