VACHERON CONSTANTIN : a record-breaking 57 complication pocket watch

VCRef57260

Eight years, three master watchmakers, fifty-seven complications, 2826 parts, ten patents, ten ‘firsts’, 957grams, 98mm in size, one reference number (Ref. 57260).

Oh, and one hashtag, of course.

Venerable house of horology or not, Vacheron Constantin’s 260th birthday is in 2015, when a hashtag is almost de rigueur.

#themostcomplicated pocket watch is the result of the Maison of Vacheron Constantin’s realisation of an order from a client to their Ateliers Cabinotiers. Cryptically called ‘Tivoli’ when the first teaser came out, all is now revealed, on the 260th day of the 260th year of Vacheron Constantin.

Inside the white gold case is the in-house Calibre 3750 comprising of 2,826 components.

The full list of complications (let’s not get into the usual disputes about what constitutes a ‘complication’ here and what has been counted but just agree that this is a significant piece) as provided by Vacheron is below, but as Alex Ghotbi can explain this mindboggling timepiece far better than I will ever be able to, go to his post at Vacheron’s forum The Hour Lounge (from where these photos and illustrations were sourced) at this link for details.

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COMPLICATIONS

Time Functions
1. Regulator-type hours, minutes and seconds for solar meantime
2. Visible spherical armillary tourbillon regulator with spherical balance spring
3. Three-axis tourbillon
4. 12-hour second time zone hours and minutes
5. Indication for 24 world cities for world-time
6. Day and night indication for the 12-hour world-time

Perpetual Calendar Functions
7. Gregorian perpetual calendar
8. Gregorian days of the week
9. Gregorian months
10. Gregorian retrograde date
11. Leap-year indication and four-year cycle
12. Number of the day of the week (ISO 8601 calendar)
13. Indication for the number of the week within the year (ISO 8601 calendar)

Hebraic Perpetual Calendar Functions
14. Hebraic perpetual calendar with 19-year cycle
15. Hebrew name of the day
16. Hebrew name of the month
17. Hebrew date indication
18. Hebrew secular calendar
19. Hebrew century, decade and year
20. Indication for the number of months in the Hebraic calendar year (12 or 13 months)
21. Indication for the Golden Number with 19-year cycle

Functions Of The Astronomic Calendar
22. Indications for the seasons, equinoxes, solstices and signs of the zodiac with “sun” hand
23. The sky chart
24. Sidereal time hours
25. Sidereal time minutes
26. Hours of sunrise
27. Hours of sunset
28. Equation of time
29. Length of the day
30. Length of the night

Lunar Calendar Function
31. Phases and age of the moon, one correction every 1,027 years

Religious Calendar Function
32. Indication for the date of Yom Kippur

Functions Of The Three-Column-Wheel Chronograph
33. Retrograde fifths of a second chronograph – one column wheel
34. Retrograde fifths of a second rattrapante chronograph – one column wheel
35. 12-hour counter – one column wheel
36. 60-minute counter

Alarm Functions
37. Alarm with single gong and hammer striking
38. Alarm strike / silence indicator
39. Choice of normal alarm or carillon striking alarm indicator
40. Alarm mechanism coupled to the carillon striking mechanism
41. Alarm striking with choice of grande or petite sonnerie
42. Alarm power-reserve indication

Westminster Carillon Striking Functions
43. Carillon Westminster chiming with five gongs and five hammers
44. Grande sonnerie passing strike
45. Petite sonnerie passing strike
46. Minute repeating
47. Night silence feature
48. System to disengage the striking barrel when fully wound
49. Indication for grande or petite sonnerie modes
50. Indication for silence/striking/night modes

Further Functions
51. Power-reserve indication for the going train
52. Power-reserve indication for the striking train
53. Winding crown position indicator
54. Locking mechanism for the striking
55. Winding system for the double barrels
56. Hand-setting system with two positions and two directions
57. Concealed flush-fit winding crown for the alarm mechanism

VCRef57260d

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This will take some time for most to get their heads around, but to the three watchmakers responsible for this monumental creation and the Vacheron team behind it, not to mention the collector who placed the commission – shouting ‘bravo’ seems somewhat inadequate.

Happy 260th birthday, Vacheron Constantin.

For those into super-complications there is, of course, the Graves, which was sold last year.

In celebration of their 260th year, Vacheron released the Harmony Collection, including the Harmony Chronograph and Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph.



Categories: GMT/ dual/ worldtimer, Limited Editions, Minute Repeaters, pocket watches, Vacheron Constantin, Watch Profile, Watchmaking

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