Vacheron Constantin Perpetuates Copernicus in a Métiers d’Art

Vacheron Constantin has added a new model to its Métiers d’Art collection, the Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT. And not only that, there will be three different versions of this watch.
The Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT proves once more the artistic mastery of the Swiss watch manufacturer. With its original display and spectacular decoration, this new collection presented at SIHH 2017, pays tribute to one of humankind’s greatest discoveries: heliocentrism.

Nicolaus Copernicus revolutionized the world in 1543. His hypothesis challenged geocentrism by putting forward the theory of heliocentrism, demonstrating not only that the Earth spins on its axis and has a satellite, the Moon, but above all that it gravitates around the Sun. This new vision of space also had a considerable philosophical impact on the perception of humanity and it overturned all existing beliefs. this revolution was to have profound repercussions on all fields of thought. Vacheron Constantin pays homage to these emblematic discoveries that definitively changed the face of the world with the Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT.

Three different dials interpret this theme in three different ways. The decoration is inspired by the graphic depictions of Andreas Cellarius, a 17th century cartographer and author of the most important colorful sky map, the “Harmonia Macrocosmica”.
The dials comprise two distinct parts. The oval centre bears a Sun with a glowing hand-engraved pink gold face, while the outer disc is dedicated to three decorative craft variations. Between the two, a tiny elliptical groove provides space to display orbit performed by the Earth. The latter is represented by a tiny gold disc, slightly domed and measuring barely 6.8 mm diameter, featuring a polar view of the continents based on a Lambert conic map projection.

The first model in this trio gives pride of place to various enamelling techniques. The champlevé Grand Freu enamel Earth reveals the blue of the oceans and the geography of the continents. In the background, a map of the sky on a gold base is enamelled in pastel colours. It is punctuated by fine lines illustrating the orbit of the five planets shown. The outer part of the dial bears the 12 zodiac signs in polychrome enamel.

The second dial, graced with an even more baroque-inspired aesthetic, is hand-engraved. The 12 signs of the zodiac intertwine and overlap on a white gold disc. The engraver has provided a wealth of ramolayé details highlighting volumes in the material. On the Earth orbiting around a flaming golden Sun, the oceans are covered with microscope waves achieved by engraving effects, while the contrasting continents are polished to accentuate the luminosity of the gold.

The third dial is adorned with decorative techniques involving several novel aspects. The zodiac signs are complemented by a 3D-effect star-stubbed sky. The earth is hand-engraved ans picks up this contrast between the fine graining of the ocean waves and the glow of the continents. A hand-painted midnight blue underdial is overlaid with a transparent sapphire crystal engraved on its back. On the front, the constellations are laser-engraved and then highlighted with Super-LumiNova, so the immensity of the night sky is thus fully revealed in the semi-darkness.

All timepieces are driven by a mechanical self-winding Manufacture-made movement, the calibre 2460 RT it was entirely designed, developed and created by Vacheron Constantin.
The time is displayed by two triangular peripheral hands in gold – a cut-out one for the hours and a solid one for the minutes – that glide around the dial rim. The elliptical path of the Earth around the Sun is the key highlight of this watch, exuding a powerful presence and providing continuous information as the days go by. The second complication is the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun. The mechanism is so precise that it only requires a one-day correction only once in 8,000 years.
The calibre works with 28,800 vph and provides a 36-hour power reserve.

The Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT features a white gold case measuring 43 mm in diameter and 12.9 mm in height. It comes with a black leather bracelet.

Time For An Update: The Lange 1 Moon Phase of Lange & Söhne

Lange_und_Söhne_Lange1_MoonPhase_3

The Lange 1 Moon Phase by A. Lange & Söhne is around since 2002. The Lange 1 received an upgrade quite recently and now it’s the turn of the Lange 1 Moon Phase. The watch now comes with a new calibre and the moon phase has also changed: it now contains a day/night indicator as well.

The arrangement of the moon phase display is based on a new, particularly realistic concept. A separate solid-gold moon pursues its orbit in the foreground. Behind it, a celestial dis – also made of solid gold – performs one revolution every 24 hours. On the disc, the different times of day are represented by varying blue hues caused by interference effects. During the day, it shows a bright sky without stars, while at night it depicts a dark sky with prominently contrasting laser-cut stars.
The lunar cycle endures 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds on average. The Lange 1 Moon Phase displays it so accurately that it takes 122.6 years for the display to deviate from the true synodic period by just one day.

Lange_und_Söhne_Lange1_MoonPhase_2

The asymmetric solid-silver dial sets a harmonious stage for the luminous time and power-reserve indications complemented with an outsize date, the moon-phase display, and the day/night indicator. Hours and minutes are displayed on a big subdial at 9 o’clock, the power-reserve indicator lies below the date at 3 o’clock. And A. Lange & Söhne incorporated the small seconds in the moon-phase display.

The now 20th (!) Lange calibre with a moon-phase display is based on the Lange 1 movement introduced two years ago, and it has the same performance attributes. This includes the maximum power reserve of 72 hours and the precisely jumping outsize date display. It beats with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
The 70 parts for the moon-phase display were so integrated in the L121.3 manufacture calibre that it is only marginally larger than the calibre L121.1 inside the Lange 1.

The Lange 1 Moon Phase is available in white gold with a black dial (39.500€), in pink gold with an argenté dial (35.900€) and in platinum with a rhodié dial (52.000€).
Also, A. Lange & Söhne can now be found on Instagram. Apart from news and new models the manufacturer wants to offer exclusive looks behind the scenes.

Lange_und_Söhne_Lange1_MoonPhase_1

The 22nd Model for the 20th Anniversary: Patek Philippe Annual Calendar

In 2016, Patek Philippe’s Annual Calendar, which only needs to be corrected once a year, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, the manufacture has launched a new model of this complication. This watch (Ref. 5396) has been subtly reworked and refined and logically complements the 21 previous models that have been presented since 1996.

Patek_Philippe_Annual_Calendar_3

The new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar is available in white gold with a dark gray sunburst dial and in rose gold with a silvery white opaline dial. Both models look familiar yet at the same time appear to be totally new. Familiar because of the style elements that dominate the series for years, and new because these elements have never before been combined this way.
The round of the case merges gracefully with the strap lugs, and a smoothly polished bezel frames the dial. The sapphire-crystal glass is prominently cambered, endowing the watch with volume and a modern look. You can easily spot the Calatrava personality in this one, which is somewhat of the archetype of all classic round watches.

The dial features an in-line double aperture in the upper half that displays the day of the week on the left and the month on the right. The date display is positioned in a large aperture at 6 o’clock. Together with the double aperture, it frames the 24-hour subsidiary dial with the moon-phase display in the lower half of the dial to assure a visually balanced configuration.
This layout is reminiscent of Patek Philippe perpetual calendars from the 1940s and 50s. The main difference lies in the position of the analog date scale, which is occupied by the 24-hour dial, which doubles as a day/night indication in the Ref. 5396.
The time is indicated in classic fashion: A peripheral circle of small gold minute markers frames the Breguet numerals. They harmonize great with the Dauphine-style hour and minute hands as well as with the long, slender sweep seconds hand.

Patek_Philippe_Annual_Calendar_4

The heart of the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Ref. 5396 is a self-winding mechanical movement that correctly displays the calendar information for an entire year. Much of the finesse of the caliber 324 S QA LU 24H is visible through the sapphire-crystal case back.

And: good news for everyone who fell in love with this gorgeous timepiece: This anniversary edition is not a limited one.