The present watch was named 'Vladimir' by its owner, who custom ordered it from Vacheron Constantin's Arterlier Cabinotiers. This Slavic first name is derived from the ancient term Volodimir, which literally means “domination by peace” or “peace to all.” This watch one of the world’s most complicated timepieces. That is what its owner wanted, and Vacheron Constantin’s Atelier Cabinotiers gathered the resources to meet this ambitious goal. As it began this adventure and accepted this mechanical challenge, Vacheron Constantin knew it could count on its expertise garnered over an uninterrupted span of more than 250 years in business. The Genevese Manufacture had demonstrated this during its quarter-millennial celebration in 2005 by designing and producing in its own workshops what was at the time the world’s most complicated wristwatch, the famous Tour de l’Ile. Yet the Vladimir model is even more complicated than that model of 2005. The hand-wound mechanical movement of this unique Vladimir watch drives no less than 17 complications. This exceptional movement, bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, has some 891 components, all hand-finished or hand-decorated at Vacheron Constantin. It is both a technical and aesthetic triumph that took Atelier Cabinotiers and its top-flight watchmakers four years to develop.
This exceptional mechanical watch bearing the Hallmark of Geneva has a setting to match. The Vladimir’s case is itself a work of art, epitomising the legendary expertise and nimble fingers of Atelier Cabinotiers’ artistic craftsmen. On the sides of this unique and imposing piece, which is 47 mm in diameter, the signs of the Chinese zodiac appear in bas-relief. The motifs and the bas-relief technique (which is extremely rare in watchmaking) used here were both done by request of the owner. Before getting to the heart of the matter with regard to the subject and materials, the designers showed the purchaser many sketches. The decision was then made to depict the signs of the zodiac on both sides of the case, which itself is made of 18-carat pink gold. In the end, the twelve figures – from the dragon through the rabbit and the rooster to the snake – were made to stand out slightly from the main body of 18-carat pink gold.
Vacheron Constantin caliber 2750 features an array of complications, in addition to the usual display of hours and minutes. To begin with the refined 60-second tourbillon mechanism stands out at 6 o’clock, while next to it at 3 o’clock appears the moon phase on a blue sky with a precision moon in gold, smiling or serious depending on the phase and hand-engraved by Atelier Cabinotiers craftsmen. To its right, a smaller counter with a small blued hand indicates the striking mechanism torque, i.e., whether the minute repeater mechanism is engaged. In addition to the hour and minute hands – one-of-a-kind pieces made especially for this watch –that travel around the slightly off-centre minute markers, the front side of the main dial provides a second time zone with day/night indicator at 11 o’clock. The power reserve indicator is located in the 9 o’clock sector, also enhanced by a 52-week indicator.
|Time:||Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Additional 24 Hour Hand (adjustable)|
|Date:||Day, Month, Perpetual Calendar, Leap Year, Week Indicator|
|Astronomical:||Equation of time, Sky chart, Sun position / rising time|
|Additionals:||Power Reserve Indicator, Tourbillon Escapement|
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