At the 25th edition of the SIHH, Vacheron Constantin will also kick off the celebrations for its 260th anniversary. As to be expected of the brand, these celebration include lot’s of new watches and even a unique collection of table clocks. The Métiers d’Art Arca consists out of only twelve pieces, only available through the Vacheron Constantin boutiques. They are unique in several ways, starting with the material their housing is crafted from. Four will feature Rock Crystal, a natural translucent stone that can have the most marvelous and stunning inclusions of other minerals. Finding crystals that are not only suitable in size, but also of a high enough quality in terms of color, translucence and attractiveness of the inclusions is very hard, and at the same time will also make each clock a true piece unique.
The remaining eight other table clocks in this limited edition are crafted from translucent crystal, with their crystal arcs displaying decorative themes from a variety of architectural movements: Orientalism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Op Art, Post-Modernism, Deconstructivism, Green Architecture and Utopianism.
While wristwatches can last at least a lifetime, table clocks will often hold their prominent position in a house for decades, if not centuries. While the world around them evolves, they remain a center point of time in a household, determining the pace, yet seemingly unaffected by it themself. Vacheron Constantin applied precious decorative techniques that highlight the timeless fashion of the table clock.
The base of the table clock reveals 12 unique hand-guilloché motifs, that feature a slightly transluscent color, achieved through Grand Feu enamel. The satin-brushed silver Roman numerals receive a similar treatment, only this time with black Grand Feu enamel. Never shy of a challenge, applying the enamel will need nerves of steel, since the enamel melts at 860°C, while the silver numeral itself will start melting at 900°C.
No table clock without a movement, and no Vacheron Constantin without an exceptional movement. Build around seven hand-bevelled bridges is Vacheron Constantin Caliber 9260. This open worked movement is winded by a key and offers a 30-day power reserve, with a power reserve display at six o’clock. It achieves this by using two barrels, which each contain a mainspring of over one meter long. Friction and wear are reduced to a minimum by finishing each competent to sheer perfection.
The powerful mainsprings do have a significant variations in their energy output based on how far they are wound (down). To cope with this Vacheron Constantin equipped the movement with a constant force mechanism, that harmonizes the power output of the mainspring barrels before it is passed on to the escapement. This is achieved by a small spring that gets its energy from the mainspring barrels. When the spring reaches a predefined point of tension, the spring will release this small amount of energy to the escapement, providing it always with a constant force of power, which enables it to maintain a favorable amplitude and greatly contribute to the precision of the movement overall.
With the Métiers d’Art Arca does Vacheron Constantin indeed proof that 260 years of experience pay off, and we at Revolution most certainly look forward to what the next 260 years of the great Maison will bring us!
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics