Vacheron Constantin’s bespoke studio, Les Cabinotiers, has kept the tradition of creating made-to-order unique pieces of Haute Horlogerie alive. The Swiss watchmaker has introduced its latest one-of-a-kind creation that took a whopping eight years to complete. Meet the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie Tribute to Johannes Vermeer, a bespoke pocket watch that represents the true pinnacle of high watchmaking. The bespoke piece was commissioned by an anonymous collector whose “passion consists in always seeking the watch which is theoretically impossible to obtain.” The collector demanded a pocket watch with a real Westminster chime with five gongs, five hammers, Grande and Petite Sonnerie, and adorned with miniature enamel.
“This astonishing creation has been made on request by one of our clients who owns an impressive number of important timepieces from Vacheron Constantin. He has a couple of unique timepieces as well, notably, an old fashioned minute repeater in steel and one of the 15 unique pieces from the Métier d’Art Chagall & L’Opera de Paris “Tribute to Famous Composers”, said Christian Selmoni, Style & Heritage Director, Vacheron Constantin.
The bespoke pocket watch is powered by a unique manual wound caliber 3761 that’s made of 806 components. The movement is based on the one found inside the Grand Oeuvre, Reference 57260. With 57 complications and 2,826 individual components, the Reference 57260 is correctly considered as the most complicated pocket watch ever made. The caliber 3761 comes with a tourbillon, minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, and Westminster chime, using five separate gongs. The Westminster chime, as the name suggests, refers to the famous bells of Big Ben in London. To recreate the four-bar melody played in perfect harmony is a very complicated task. There’s also a silence mode that can deactivate the chiming function of the watch. Every component of the movement is hand-finished and decorated according to the standards of the Geneva Seal hallmark.
The one-off pocket watch measures 98mm in diameter and is beautifully engraved by master craftsman Emmanuelle Maridat, who took 5 months to complete the engraving work. The engraving includes motifs ranging from tulips, pearls, and acanthus leaves to a pair of roaring lions. The hinged cover is enameled in a miniature reproduction of the famous Girl With a Pearl Earring painting from 1665 as a tribute to the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The portrait was done by Swiss enamel artist Anita Porchet and it took seven months of work, stretched out over two years, with more than 20 firings in the kiln to stabilize the colors. As expected, the price of the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Westminster Sonnerie Tribute to Johannes Vermeer remains undisclosed.
[Via: Revolution Watch]