The laws of perspective
Vacheron Constantin illustrates an unexpected encounter between tradition and modernity in its Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day tourbillon openworked model. Combining the tourbillon complication with the art of openworking, both of which were born at the dawn of the 19th century, the Manufacture transcends the codes of these ancestral skills to offer an eminently contemporary composition. Playing with a double three-dimensional effect stemming both from the architecture of the 2260 SQ movement and from its Gothic inspiration, the model displays impressive depth highlighted by components featuring cleverly destructured lines.
While the first tourbillon emerged in 1801, the ability to develop and craft this horological complication in-house remains the exclusive preserve of a rare circle of Manufactures. Those able to openwork such a demanding calibre are an even rarer breed and among them, very few also rise to the challenge of endowing it with a 14-day power reserve. Vacheron Constantin belongs to this exclusive circle.
Combining a tourbillon with such an impressive power reserve calls for a specific construction. The Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day tourbillon openworked comprises no less than four barrels stacked in pairs in the upper part of the movement, making it more ‘crowded’ than the lower part. Vacheron Constantin tamed these differences in volume by structuring its Calibre 2260 SQP in layers and thus creating a depth effect that the Manufacture has accentuated through an engraving motif specially designed to exalt the three- dimensional effect.
Constantly on the look-out for fresh challenges, Vacheron Constantin lays a new milestone in this demanding art by adopting an approach well off the beaten track in its Calibre 2260 SQ. In order to ensure that the openwork echoes the distinctive movement architecture, the Manufacture has undertaken stylistic research on the theme of “shapes within shapes”. Overturning classic conventions governing aesthetic equilibrium, certain mechanical elements form Gothic-inspired ribbed vaults, disrupting lines and destructuring curves. The three- dimensional construction of the calibre is highlighted by a fresh interplay of light and structure; the sense of depth and height is further accentuated; while the contrasts between the matt and polished finishes infuse the model with unique radiance.
Far more than a mere object of mechanical excellence indicating the time, a timepiece by Vacheron Constantin is by essence destined to be a full-fledged work of art capable of revealing all the beauty of unique expertise enriched by over 260 years of history. Ever since its founding in 1755, the Manufacture has consistently enhanced the beauty of its creations through artistic crafts exercised by skilled artisans. Hand engraving is one such technique. A demanding art calling for exceptional patience and dexterity, it was used right from the start as a means of achieving ethereal lightness. The first watch created by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755 already featured an openworked and engraved balance-cock. The quest for transparency then continued, with increasingly finely fashioned mechanical parts, leading to the creation in 1924 of the first entirely openworked calibre beating at the heart of a pocket watch. A past master in the practice of this extremely intricate discipline, Vacheron Constantin has given free rein to its creativity, progressively openworking both simple and complicated calibres, associating them according to its inspiration with other artistic crafts, and interpreting these miniature marvels both on pocket-watches and wristwatches from the 1960s onwards.
Not content with being one of the rare manufacturers capable of openworking such complex calibres as minute repeaters, perpetual calendars and tourbillons, Vacheron Constantin once again pushes the boundaries of its art by reinventing both the technique itself and the aesthetic codes governing it. The engraving thus becomes a sculpture, as the straight lines morph into interlacing curves, while the watch parts become architectural works creating mesmerising light effects.
This perfection is once again severely tested when casing up the movement, since the transparency stemming from the openworking highlights every single perfection, however tiny. Well before the start of the long sequence of water-resistance, reliability and precision testing begins, the calibre returns several times to the workbench until the full magic of a masterfully executed openworked movement begins to weave its spell. Just as as in other fields, the exceptional in terms of horology stems from an ideal blend of excellence and patience.
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Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day tourbillon openworked
Ref.: 89010/000P-9935 Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
- 2260 SQ
- Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
- Mechanical, manual-winding
- 29.10 mm (12 ’’’ ¾ ) diameter
- 6.80 mm thick
- Approximately 336 power reserve
- 2.5Hz (18’000 vibrations/hour)
- 231 components
- 31 jewels
- Small seconds at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
- Power Reserve
- Platinum 950
- 42.00 mm diameter, 12.22 mm thick
- Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
- Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
Dial Slate-colored external ring with 18K white gold applied hour-markers and white minute-track
Strap Black Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
- Triple-blade folding clasp in platinum 950
- Polished half Maltese cross-shaped