The one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860 replica the first grande sonnerie wristwatch in the history of Vacheron Constantin presented at the SIHH 2017 embodies a two- fold technical prowess: creating a supreme complication that only a handful of virtuoso watchmakers in the world are capable of mastering, while making it both simple and secure to use for its owner.
2017 is a year firmly dedicated to technical excellence for Vacheron Constantin, which is presenting its first ever grande sonnerie wristwatch: an extremely rare occurrence in the sphere of Haute Horlogerie.
This innovative interpretation of the ultimate horological complication is a paragon of user-friendliness and pure, uncluttered lines. Protected from any inadvertent handling by several ingenious security devices, its 727-part movement striking the hours and quarters in passing features a strike-mode selector (for the grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie) operated via the bezel and is associated with a minute repeater activated by a crown-fitted push-piece. A magnificent example of how Vacheron Constantin expresses extreme complexity through the art of simplicity.
Its ultra-complex and sophisticated bi-directional manual-winding movement brand-new Manufacture Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1860, which required 10 years of development is equipped with innovative security systems. The latter protect its striking mechanisms, controlled by the bezel and a crown-fitted push-piece, from any detrimental mutual interference. After 500 hours of assembly performed by a single master-watchmaker, its 727 finely adjusted components interact perfectly to provide an extremely rare and sought-after combination of complications: grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie and minute repeater. Arrayed in white gold, this masterpiece of miniaturisation that can also be customised features a beautifully pure design. Its original construction means that the striking mechanism, generally placed beneath the dial, is in this instance visible on the caseback side. This creation bearing the Hallmark of Geneva continues along the trail blazed by the remarkable Reference 57260 unveiled in 2015: the world’s most complicated Vacheron Constantin replica watch with its 57 complications and a vivid emblem of excellence according to Vacheron Constantin.
The grande sonnerie due to its incredible scale of miniaturisation, its technical and acoustic complexity as well as the considerable amount of energy required by its mechanism is widely regarded as the supreme complication. It calls for several hundred components and drives the mastery of energy and mechanical complexity to the uttermost heights and all this within a wristwatch. A ‘sizeable’ challenge, since a grande sonnerie must at all times have enough energy to strike the required number of chimes (up to 96 activations in 24 hours, meaning 912 chimes) while ensuring impeccably high-quality sound.
Admirably demonstrating a blend of demanding expertise and technical virtuosity, along with a discerning musical ear, this prestigious category comprises minute repeaters striking the hours, quarters and minutes on demand; as well as grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie mechanisms automatically striking the hours and quarters in passing or only the hours.
Whereas Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers replica watch is the first grande sonnerie wristwatch to be produced by Vacheron Constantin, the expertise acquired by the Manufacture in this demanding discipline dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, with pocket watches endowed with grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie mechanisms (1827) or with a grande sonnerie and a minute repeater (1908). From the mid-19th century onwards, Vacheron Constantin distinguished itself in this field by associating striking mechanisms with other complications such as chronograph or astronomical functions. In the 20th century, which saw the birth and rise to supremacy of the wristwatch, Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers 1860 copy watch applied its historical expertise to wristwatch formats, such as with the ultra-thin minute repeater Caliber 1755 in 1991, the world’s most complicated double- sided watch combining a minute repeater with 15 other complications presented in 2005 for its 250th anniversary, as well as the famous world’s thinnest minute-repeater Caliber 1731 introduced in 2013.
The ultimate grande sonnerie complication is based on empirical expertise acquired through years of study, development and fine-tuning. Since the birth of the first grande sonnerie wristwatch in 1992, only a handful of independent manufacturers and independent watchmakers can claim to have reached such a pinnacle of technical refinement and miniaturisation. With this new creation, Vacheron Constantin brilliantly rises to the challenge of housing grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie and minute repeater mechanisms within a space measuring 37 mm in diameter and a mere 9.1 mm thick. An authentic horological work of art.
Within the Hall of Fame of technical sophistication and mechanical poetry, striking Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860 copy watches represent one of the rarest and most sought-after horological complication families.