Vacheron Constantin’s latest single-piece edition — Les Cabinotiers Dual Moon Grand Complication — has just been revealed at Watches and Wonders 2023. The one-of-a-kind, double-sided watch has been crafted as a highly original and unique tribute to the moon.
Incredibly complex, it comprises 11 horological complications, including a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, a precision moon phase and a sky chart. The moon display, often presented in the background of dials, takes centre stage in this Vacheron Constantin model with its colour and design instantly drawing attention. Cased in white gold, the watch’s time-related and astronomical complications are regulated by a tourbillon and completed by a minute repeater. Powering the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Dual Moon Grand Complication is the manual-winding 2755 TMRCCQP caliber, which – with its 774 components — highlights the Maison’s commitment to complex, refined watchmaking.
The front of the watch depicts the moons in the two hemispheres on a disc coaxial with the central hands and shaped like a starry dome. The deep blue contrasts harmoniously with the dial’s silvery hues as it performs a complete rotation in 59 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes.
A periphery scale that graduates from 1 to 29½ indicates the age of the moon. The crafting of the rhodium-plated moons set against the blue-sky background — that involved nearly 56 hours of careful work — draws attention to Vacheron Constantin’s legacy of excellence. The uneven surface of the moon achieved by a high-precision process of diamond-cutting lends a depth to the material, making it shine or sparkle based on the angle of the light that falls across it.
The display of the hours and minutes is slightly off-centred upwards to allow for a harmonious integration of calendar indications. Traditional pointer-type dials have been let go of in favour of rotating discs. The instantaneous display of the month and leap year and the semi-instantaneous display of the day appear through apertures, as does the date display. This display, on the upper rim of the dial, is shown through a semi-circular window, but with a retrograde hand that remains a signature of Vacheron Constantin since the early 20th century. The dome beneath which the moon-phase disc turns is fitted with two ‘masks’ whose smoky appearance is achieved by metallisation. It is held in place by a satin-brushed curved brass ring, which in turn bears the white gold hour markers.
To allow the moon phases to take priority on the front of the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Dual Moon Grand Complication, the opening revealing the tourbillon regulator has been placed on the back. The one-minute-rotating tourbillon bears the brand’s Maltese cross emblem. To whittle down the weight in order to amp up performance as well as for upping the aesthetic quotient of the timepiece, the tourbillon components have been skeletonised. Since the timepiece pays homage to the moon, the notion of sidereal time has also been integrated.
A fixed dial, with a blue dot that represents the celestial horizon, is placed below a moveable sapphire crystal engraved with the constellations, while the rim features month markings and five-day graduations. By performing a complete rotation, according to sidereal time, this mobile disc gives the exact position of the constellations at the time when the watch is consulted by pointing it northwards. Sidereal time is read off counter-clockwise, facing the current date on the blue outer ring, bearing a 24-hour scale, along with the cardinal points.
All functions of the Les Cabinotiers Dual Moon Grand Complication, complemented by a minute repeater chiming the hours, quarters and minutes, are powered by in-house Calibre 2755. It offers a 58-hour power reserve. Hand-bevelled and satin-brushed, with a Côtes de Genève motif on the rear bridges as well as mirror-polished hammers and strike-regulator bar, the movement is a proud showcase of the Maison’s high watchmaking standards. To allow it to smoothly align with the 46 mm 18 ct white gold case, it has also been rhodium-plated. The technical complexities of the timepiece pair perfectly with the elaborate design sensibilities, making the watch truly stand out as a special homage to the moon.