In 2015, Vacheron Constantin ushered in a new historical milestone. Looking back at the brand’s history of watchmaking that has been innovating for 260 years, Vacheron Constantin has launched a series of shining new works to pay tribute to the brand’s long-standing contribution to the field of decorative arts in the history of watchmaking. Twelve unique crystal clocks are like glittering arches, demonstrating Vacheron Constantin’s superb watchmaking techniques and art crafts, and these technologies and craftsmanship have also made Vacheron Constantin’s enduring and outstanding image in the watch industry.
For two and a half centuries, Vacheron Constantin has been devoted to designing and developing the most exquisite timepieces. Each piece is carefully incorporated into the historical archive of this distinguished brand. 2015 is a new milestone for Vacheron Constantin, marking the brand’s history of watchmaking which has been continuously produced for the past 260 years. On this occasion, Vacheron Constantin upholds the brand’s innovative ideas and professional watchmaking skills, adding new works to the master of Metiersd’Art, introducing 12 crystal table clocks. Each clock is equipped with a new movement independently developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, equipped with a constant power system and a 30-day power reserve function. This series of works will be launched one after another in this special year. The first transparent crystal table clock will be the first exclusive appearance at the Geneva Fine Watch Fair.
Unique creative presentation
Over the past few decades, the popularity of watches has slowed down the production of clocks. Nevertheless, the clock still has a place in the field of mechanical crafts of art, providing a wide range of creative presentations for various decorative arts. The magnificent volume of the clock allows Vacheron Constantin to make full use of it and show the culture of decorative arts to the fullest. Vacheron Constantin inspired a brand’s clock in 1933 to explore the many characteristics of crystals: translucent crystals are pure and flawless, and more pure after artistic processing; rock crystals are rich in minerals and are more natural Rare treasures. Vacheron Constantin’s outstanding watch decoration arts and crafts are used in a variety of crystal materials as before. The exterior design of the clock is made by watchmakers and crystal glass masters, as well as gem search masters, gem cutting masters, machine engraving masters, The master sculptors and enamel masters worked together. It is the dedication of these master craftsmen that enables Vacheron Constantin to continuously meet the challenges and create new achievements.
Although the 12 clocks are equipped with the same movement and have the same rhythm, the crystal arch structure of each clock has its own characteristics. Eight of them are made of transparent crystals, which reproduce the movement structure in the art forms of oriental inspiration, art nouveau inspiration, decorative art inspiration, op art inspiration, postmodern inspiration, deconstruction inspiration, green inspiration and utopian inspiration. diversification. These decorative themes perfectly complement the movement with five faces on the periphery of the arched structure and the crystal base supporting the clock movement. The other four clocks show the natural mineral color of natural crystals that have been bred in the earth’s long river. The rich minerals in these natural crystals create natural gems with different flavors. The clock only uses extraordinary natural crystals with excellent quality, color, luster and refraction: hazy white crystal, amber-colored citrine, black rutile known as the arrow of love, or dazzling hair called Venus Golden rutile.
Intersection of light, transparency and decorative arts
The beautifully decorated crystal table clock is full of brilliant gems, paying tribute to the decorative craftsmanship and pure aesthetics. The master of crystal glass manufacturing first uses a metal stick to take out the melted crystal from a furnace with a temperature of 1500 degrees Celsius and ‘aggregate’ it, and then uses the traditional process of hundreds of years to create a 3 kg crystal block. Let the crystal block cool for about a day, and then cut it into several pieces by the cutter. The five crystals of the clock arch structure are polished and carved, and the last crystal is used to support the clock movement.
The beauty of natural crystal rare minerals
Four of these crystal table clocks have been patiently cut and faceted to bring out the mineral shapes in their natural crystals. Several gem search masters have traveled around the world for up to a year before they found natural crystals that perfectly fit the structure of the clock. These ores are so-called crystals formed after thousands of years of blooming crystalline light. The master of gem cutting devotes professional skills to highlight the texture of natural minerals contained in them. The achievement of such awesome results is entirely due to the long-term skills and keen perception of the gem-cutting masters. They not only show the inherent beauty of the crystal, but also make the crystal bloom more bright and charming.
260 years together with art masters to create high-end watch art
These 12 ingenious clocks once again show the wisdom and talents of master craftsmen such as crystal masters, gem cutters, sculptors, machine engravers and enamel masters, and vividly illustrate Vacheron Constantin’s determination to promote arts and crafts. The masters of Vacheron Constantin craft their own unique ways to enhance these evolving traditional clock and watch decoration crafts. These traditions are also the lively demonstration and foundation of Vacheron Constantin’s future development.
In addition to the meticulous carving of the crystal, each of the clock’s scale rings and the base of the clock also have two eye-catching decorative crafts: big fire enamel and machine-engraved carving. Twelve satin-finished silver Roman numerals have been carved one by one and have a large black fire enamel on the surface. Since the melting point of enamel is 860 degrees Celsius and the melting point of silver is 900 degrees Celsius, the operation of this step must be controlled precisely. The silver bases of the 12 clocks are each decorated with their own hand-carved and carved patterns, which complement the translucent large fire enamel. Since the base of each clock is integrated with the arch structure of the entire clock, the master of carved carving must extend the carving process to the five crystal faces that form the arch, which makes the difficulty of making carved patterns much more difficult. This new challenge requires master craftsmen to continuously improve their craftsmanship.
A skill that combines mechanical and architectural aesthetics
Such an exquisite jewellery case should naturally be equipped with a mechanism capable of exhibiting excellent performance. Through the transparent clock cabinet, you can see the new 9260 manual winding (winding key required) engraved movement manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. It is really pleasing to the eye. The engraved structure makes this bridge composed of seven hand-beveled polished bridges. The inner beauty of the movement is unobstructed.
The 9260 caliber combines 30-day power reserve and constant power system functions, showing unparalleled functional characteristics, fully interpreting Vacheron Constantin’s fine watchmaking tradition.
Excellent 30-day power reserve
The 9260 movement has two barrels. The power of each barrel is over 1 meter long to ensure power reserve for nearly one month. The superb grinding process reduces friction and wear between the movement parts and makes the movement more durable. At 6 o’clock, a sapphire crystal power reserve display is provided to monitor the remaining energy of the clock.
Constant power to ensure accurate travel time
Any mechanical device used to measure time will be equipped with a power component (spring barrel), which transmits power to the speed control component (composed of the escapement system, balance wheel and hairspring), so that time is divided into equal parts to ensure the time Accurate when counting. The accuracy of the movement depends on the stability of the vibration frequency, which is mainly achieved by the regular swing of the speed regulating component. This in itself requires the escapement system to regularly transmit power to the balance spring to ensure that the balance spring always vibrates at the same frequency and amplitude. However, the power transmitted to the power components will vary depending on the degree of winding, which will inevitably lead to periodic changes in the power supply of the movement, that is, the power supply is strong when the chain is just started, and the power supply will gradually begin in the later period. Weaken. This change will make the swing frequency unstable, which will cause the pointer to move imbalanced. Therefore, only a constant power system can ensure that the swing frequency is reliable and stable.
The development of various constant power system auxiliary devices is to cope with the differences that may be caused during the transmission of power from the barrel, and to ensure that the oscillation amplitude of the balance wheel is stable and regular. The principle of these devices is to neutralize the excess power on the escape gear, ensuring that the escape gear can always transmit constant power to the balance. In other words, the constant power system auxiliary device can be used as a filter to offset the impact caused by the uneven power transmission of the power assembly to the escape wheel.
There are various auxiliary devices for the constant power system. Some are located on the gearbox (seed chain drive system) of the barrel, others are on the escapement (constant power escapement). Vacheron Constantin’s new master of art is inspired by the collector’s clock made in 1933. Its constant power system assistance device is located between the power module and the escapement system.
To regulate the excess energy transmitted to the escapement by the power pack (dual barrel), the clock is equipped with an additional device to filter this energy. This attachment is uniquely composed of a movable latch and a release system connected to a spring whose tension can only withstand the predetermined energy. Specifically, when non-constant energy is transmitted to the barrel, the movable latch and release system locks and tightens the spring. When the excess energy is released through the system, the spring will recover again, which guarantees a constant energy transfer to the escapement system. This additional device provides constant power for the escapement system in this way, maintaining the stability of the balance amplitude and the accuracy of the movement of the movement.
This additional mechanism is very useful for a movement with a very long power reserve like the 9260. The length of the power reserve depends to a great extent on the length of the mainspring in the mainspring box. The longer the length of the mainspring, the greater the number of swings, and the greater the risk of error in the movement of the movement.
The constant power system of the 9260 movement gives the clock a precise running time with an error rate of no more than one minute per week. This is a remarkable achievement for a 2.5 Hz low-frequency movement like the 9260, and it only needs to be wound up once a month.
Model: 99900 / 001-B034-Crystal, available only at Vacheron Constantin stores
Movement: 9260 Vacheron Constantin develops and manufactures manually wound mechanical movement (with winding key)
106 mm x 131.1 mm x 58.7 mm (length x height x thickness)
Constant power system
About 720 hours (30 days) power reserve
Vibration frequency 2.5 Hz (18,000 times / hour)
Display: hours, minutes, power reserve
Clock cabinet: carved 24K gold-plated baccarat crystal arched clock cabinet; the baccarat crystal block below the movement is frosted and engraved
Double-layered silver base with hand-engraved carvings and translucent great fire enamel
202 mm x 219 mm x 105 mm (length x height x thickness)
Dial: Silver dial with Roman numerals
Lacquered metal hands
Display box: Clock display box
Accessories: equipped with a magnifying glass, gloves, two winding keys