Within the world of watches there are very few workshops cable of producing such advanced and bespoke timepieces as within Vacheron Constatin’s Les Cabinotiers. A department dedicated to fulfil the true connoisseur’s dream of a fully customised Vacheron but also the birthplace of some of the most complicated watches ever made. Every year they present a series of truly unique watches to demonstrate the width and depth of the Maison’s capabilities.
The launch was this year hosted in Singapore and I had the opportunity to explore the novelties at first hand. The 2019 collection created by Les Cabinotiers, La Musique du Temps: The Music of Time, holds 12 one-of-a-kinds timepieces that all carries striking artistic crafts and chiming complications. All the watches also come with a sonic print recorded and certified by Abbey Road Studios, a continuation their recent partnership with VC, and display the Hallmark of Geneva quality certification. I will be breaking down the details of my 5 favourite novelties from the launch and explain how I styled them;
‘La Musique du Temps’ Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Ultra-Thin – A Romantic Note
To start out, the first watch that I will be looking closer at is this handsome minute repeater named “A Romantic Note”. Crafted in a beautiful case of solid 18k pink gold, the dial is what makes this piece truly unique. A special grand feu enamel is used to create the solid cream foundation to its railroad chapter and exquisite arabic numerals. A highly wearable timepiece measuring 41mm in diameter and 8.5mm thick. A very charismatic but understated model that I here styled grey/brown checked waistcoat, a paisley tie and a crisp white shirt.
‘La Musique du Temps’ Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon – Four Seasons
Ever since I became familiar with Vacheron Constantin, I have always been impressed with their use of artistic elements. Enamel work is here used to express an interpretation of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter on four extraordinary minute repeater tourbillon models. Each dial tells its own tale of a swimming carp surrounded by a vivid colour palette resembling the season. On the left; Winter, crafted in a Platinum case with blue details I have here styled it with a symphony of colour matching stripes. On the right; Spring, elements of green paired with a pink gold case makes this an eccentric timepiece. I here wore it with a Prince of Wales blazer cut from a thick Irish linen.
‘La Musique du Temps’ Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar – A Perfect Combination
Another addition to the collection is this elegant timepiece named “A Perfect Combination”. An impressive fusion of two the most advanced complications within watch making, the minute repeater and the perpetual calendar. What’s most impressive is how Vachron Constantin managed to pack all of this into an elegant case measuring only 5.7mm thick, 42mm in diameter and 10.44mm thick. It is available in both pink and white gold, limited to one piece per metal and features a hand-guilloché silvered sunray pattern on the dial. My words: an extremely stylish and wearable grand complication. Here paired with a classic three piece suit.
Les Cabinotiers – La Caravelle 1950
The last piece that we will be looking at is not part of the La Musique du Temps collection but a 2019 creation from the Les Cabinotiers department. Inspired directly by a reference from 1950 the enamel dial illustrated by the infamous artisan, Anita Porcet, depicts a scene of a ship sailing across open waters. The watch is a beautiful statement in a red and navy palette. I styled it with blue stripes and a burgundy silk/linen suit.
Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre