With the Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT, the Manufacture seals its position as a master of decorative crafts on watches.
The Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT is inspired by Nicolas Copernicus and the history of the great astronomical discoveries. A simple white gold case is a canvas for an exceptional scene of the astronomical world according to Nicolas Copernicus. This concept pays tribute to heliocentrism, a theory propounded by Copernicus.
In this book, Copernicus put 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. Several decades later, this theory was to be completed by incorporating the elliptical trajectories of the heavenly bodies. This new vision of space had a considerable philosophical impact on the perception of humanity. It overturned all existing beliefs and ushered humankind from a closed world into an infinite universe. This revolution was to have profound repercussions on all fields of thought.
How does this find expression on the watch through bespoke decorative crafts? Vacheron Constantin master-artisans present three dials as three different interpretations of the same theme. The oval center 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 art of Grand Feu enamel is expressed in the first model. The enameller has drawn inspiration from the astronomical map of the Copernican system as drawn by Andreas Cellarius, a 17th century Dutch-German cartographer, author of the most important colourful sky map, Harmonia Macrocosmica.
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 third dial is adorned with decorative techniques where laser engraving meets hand-engraving on sapphire crystal. The Earth is hand-engraved A hand-painted midnight blue underdial is overlaid with a transparent sapphire crystal engraved on its back. Vacheron Constantin has used the innovative laser technique to sculpt the symbols. The engraver then works them over entirely by hand so as to accentuate the raised motifs and play with the opalescent effects of sapphire. On the front, the constellations are laser-engraved and then highlighted with Super-Luminova. The captivating sight of the sky chart echoing the immensity of the night sky is thus fully revealed in the semi-darkness.
The mechanical self-winding Manufacture- made movement, calibre 2460 RT beats in the timepiece. The elliptical path of the Earth around the Sun provides continuous information as the days go by. The first complication takes the form of the Earth that spins on its axis in a 24-hour rotation period, corresponding to a mean solar day. The second complication achieved by means of a ‘tropical’ gear train is the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun in 365.2421898 days, meaning one tropical year. An extremely precise mechanism, since the device operating this realistic motion of the Earth requires a one-day correction only once in 8,000 years – an eternity! No wonder, the watch is as much a technical feat!
Twelve stylised zodiac signs are engraved around the rim of the 43 mm-diameter bezel. The three models are fitted with a Mississippiensis alligator leather strap secured by a gold buckle.
When it comes to decorative crafts or technical accomplishments, Vacheron Constantin has the unique gift of stirring emotions producing exceptional pieces of beauty!