In the wake of the most complicated watch ever made – the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260 with 57 complications – the manufacturer now unveils his Maître Cabinotier retrograde armillary tourbillon model. This watch was created by the three master watchmakers who created the Ref. 57260, and they incorporated two of the complicated features in the new timepiece: the armillary tourbillon and the double retrograde indication.
The Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260 was presented to mark the watchmakers 260th anniversary and was made to a special commission, using the latest technology to preserve the traditional watchmaking principles. The research and skill mobilised to create this superwatch remained a source of inspiration as well as a development resource for its three watchmakers, who were at the same time working to highlight some of its complications separately. And the Maître Cabinotier retrograde armillary tourbillon model is the first timepiece born of this project.
The watch is a remake of two of the Ref. 57260’s complications – the double retrograde indications and the armillary tourbillon – in a contemporary guise. The retrograde function governs the hours and minutes while the tourbillon revolves on two axes and has a spherical balance-spring.
The manually wound calibre 1990 movement developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin features retrograde hours and minutes indications with instant flyback. The lighting reaction of the retrograde hands contrasts with the more stately pace of the armillary tourbillon. It operates under a sapphire crystal dome at 9 o’clock and can also be admired through a opening on the side of the case. The armillary tourbillon is not only fascinating, it also achieves remarkable timekeeping precision. It is fitted with a new type of escapement, made as lightweight as possible by the use of high-tech materials.
The dial is silver-colored with a sun satin-finish and applied white gold hour-markers. The watch shows hours, minutes and small seconds, the hands are made of titanium.
The white gold case measures 45.7 mm in diameter and is 20.06 mm thick. It is water-resistent up to 3 bar and equipped with a transparent sapphire crystal back.
The Vacheron Constantin Maître Cabinotier retrograde armillary tourbillon comes with a black Mississippiensis alligator leather strap.