< Vacheron Constantin >
The Geneva-based brand celebrated its 250th anniversary with a display of 21 heritage timepieces to a select gathering at the re-opening of its boutique in Dubai recently
The haute horlogerie manufacture , Vacheron Constantin commemorated the grand re-opening of its boutique in the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. A fitting welcome that is characteristic of the brand in the form of 21 precision-filled heritage timepieces were on display from Vacheron Constantin’s illustrious heritage collection in Geneva.
The compilation was a flawless depiction of the quintessential craftsmanship that the brand has built a reputation on and possesses a diversity of historical watches including pocket-watches dating back to the 1700s while other pieces belonged to more recent years. In town to celebrate the grand reopening of the Dubai boutique, these striking heritage timepieces were also part of an exclusive exhibition that took place subsequent to the boutique inauguration. A highlight among the heritage timepieces that graced the occasion was the exceptional pocket watch presented to Egyptian monarch, King Fouad in 1929, one which is credited as Vacheron Constantin’s second most complicated pocket watch. Another special feature was the Tour de l’Ile timepiece that was especially created to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the historical brand.
The event took place at the Presidential Suite in the Kempinski Hotel, MOE, and was graced by Yann Bouillonnec, Vacheron Constantin’s International Director and Yassin Tag, Vacheron Constantin’s Brand Manager, Middle East & Indian sub-continent, in addition to select media and esteemed guests from the region. Vacheron Constantin watches bear the Hallmark of Geneva since 1901. This prestigious insignia means that 40 per cent more time, craftsmanship and technique went into one Vacheron Constantin luxury timepiece compared to a watch without an insignia. Vacheron’s legacy includes the first complication watches, some of the first engine-turned dials, and the first quarter-repeater watches.
TOUR DE L’ILE
Tour de l’Ile took the Vacheron Constantin design-engineers and the watchmakers over 10,000 hours of research and development to create this sheer masterpiece of horological technique, named in reference to one of the historical sites of the venerable firm, located next to the current Maison Vacheron Constantin on the Quaide l’Ile. Calling this a “Grande Complication” model is a dramatic understatement: it is fact the world’s most complex watch ever made, with its original combination of 16 complications that can be read off on a double-face display. Its design-engineers have developed a calibre, no less than 834 parts are housed within a case measuring 47mm in diameter, smoothly integrating a series of grand horological complications and astronomical indications in order to make it a genuine wristwatch.
It was in 1927 that Francis Peter, president of the Cairo Joint Tribunal and a Swiss citizen, visited Vacheron Constantin’s workshop in a bid to find a gift to be presented to King Fouad I of Egypt, a known collector of watches. Vacheron Constantin had already begun working on an exceptional timepiece with an array of complications and eight hands. Once completed, Francis Peter chose this movement and had it encased in yellow gold. Its case back was decorated with the royal coat of arms and its perimeter trimmed with diamonds, while the day and month indications were changed from English to French. The timepiece was presented to King Fouad in a sandalwood box decorated with the royal crown and the king’s monogram in Arabic. Inside the box, the year 1929 was inlaid in gold and flanked by the Swiss escutcheon and the Egyptian royal coat of arms painted on enamel. The inside of the double back cover of the pocket watch—known in watchmaking parlance as the cuvette—was engraved with the following words: A Sa MajestéFouad 1er Hommage de la Colonie Suisse d’Egypte, (To His Majesty Fouad I Tribute from the Swiss colony of Egypt).
TRADITIONNELLE 14-DAY TOURBILLON OPENWORKED MODEL
Vacheron Constantin illustrates an unexpected encounter between tradition and modernity in its Traditionnelle 14-day tourbillon open-worked model. Combining the tourbillon complication with the art of open-working, 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.
(Check out the heritage timepieces of the brand in the following picture)