2017 GPHG Mechanical Exception Category Finalist
With a compendium of cosmic complications Vacheron Constantin has created its most complex wristwatch to date with the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600.
Featuring no fewer than twenty-three integrated complications, and manufactured to the exacting standards of the Poinçon de Genève seal, the Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 by Vacheron Constantin is nothing short of spectacular, and is surely the forerunner for honours in the GPHG 2017 Mechanical Exception category.
The complications are displayed across both faces of the watch, with moonphase and tidal information, as well as the day, date, month, leap year cycle on the front. Civil time, solar time, solstices, equinoxes and the zodiac, and sunrise, sunset and length of daylight hours are all displayed in a fascinating frontal presentation.
On the rear, the Celestia Astronomical is given over to the sidereal time and a star plan which rotates every 24 hours. Using sapphire discs the mechanism shows the night sky as the earth moves through the calendar year, and it's a spellbinding thing to look at, and just like the great philosophers of millennia past as they stared up into the heavens, it instills a sense of wonder and the question of how it all works.
Inside, the extraordinary mechanical assemblage is breathtaking and spectacular, and a profound feat of micro-engineering. On top of its smorgasborg of technical astronomical features, there's also a tourbillon too, and driving it all there are six barrels configured in two stacks of three, which deliver energy for twenty-one days. What makes these already impressive numbers even more amazing is that the whole movement, and its 518 component parts, is only 8.7mm tall.
Throughout the watch, the standards of workmanship, finishing and attention to detail are uncompromising and meticulous, and so much so that it carries the Poinçon de Genève seal on its rear bezel.
I cannot see how, in the Mechanical Exception category, there can be any other winner. That's pretty unequivocal, considering the breadth of beauty, diversity and complexity on display among all six finalists, but it's also true that the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 is a truly remarkable creation, the likes of which is unlikely to be repeated, as this is a one-off piece (at the time of writing at least).
The Watch Press prediction
Yes. As a piéce unique it's one of a kind, but one might well be enough to walk away with the Aiguille for the Mechanical Exception category, and that might not be all by the end of the GPHG gala evening. It's remarkable.
CASE: White gold
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Hand winding mechanical. Power reserve: 504 h, 18'000 vph. Poinçon de Genève
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Date, Day, Month, Year, Moonphase, Power Reserve, Tourbillon, Perpetual Calendar, Equation of Time
SIZE: ø 45 mm
THICKNESS: 13.6 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: Est. c. CHF 1,000,000