SIHH 2017: Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Copernicus Celestial Spheres ref. 7600U. Hands-on Live Pictures & Pricing.

A new collection inspired by Copernicus and cosmos, the new Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Copernicus Celestial Spheres include three impressive watches that put the cosmos right on your wrist. Through the creation of pieces of art that happen to tell time, the skills at Vacheron Constantin continue to be perpetuated with the release of impressive timepieces of this nature. The three new watches from left to right on the picture below are as follows: Copernicus Grand Feu Enamel ref. 7600U/000G-B212,  Copernicus Sapphire ref. 7600U/000G-B226 and Copernicus Hand-Engraving ref. 7600U/000G-B211

All three new Métiers d’Art Copernicus Celestial Spheres watches are fitted with 18K white gold cases measuring 43 mm in diameter and 12.9 mm in thickness, they all indicate the time via peripheral hands and all are fitted with a highly polished bezel with engraved zodiac signs. The two triangular peripheral hands are made of 4N gold with a cut-out one for the hours and a solid one for the minutes.

Along with telling time, the Copernicus Celestial Spheres also feature two amazing complications. 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. Therefore, the earth orbits around the sun in real time with a rotation in one day and a full revolution around the sun in one year. The hours, the minutes, as well as the two motions performed by the Earth are adjusted via the crown.

Vacheron Constantin Copernicus Grand Feu Enamel with Champlevé Grand Feu Enamel Earth ref. 7600U/000G-B212

The decoration of this particular piece is inspired by the graphic depictions of Andreas Cellarius, a 17th century Dutch-German cartographer, author of the most important colorful sky map, Harmonia Macrocosmica, with its splendidly baroque style. The dials of the collection comprise two distinct parts. 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 champlevé Grand Feu enamel Earth reveals the blue of the oceans and the geography of the continents, an authentic technical feat when portrayed on such a scale. In the background, a map of the sky on a gold base is enamelled in pastel colors. It is punctuated by fine lines illustrating the orbit of the five planets shown. Each of these heavenly bodies, represented by a star, is mentioned by its Latin name, as are the two solstices.

The outer part of the dial bears the 12 zodiac signs in polychrome enamel. The signs are formed using stencils, finished with a quill pen and filled using a fine brush. This dial resulting from patient, meticulous and perilous craftsmanship required more than a month’s work and numerous firings until 850°C before being smoothed with an abrasive stone, lapped and polished. The very same operations that have for centuries contributed to the excellence of the Geneva watchmaking tradition.

Sticker Price $129,600 USD. For more info on Vacheron Constantin click here.

Vacheron Constantin Copernicus Hand-Engraving ref. 7600U/000G-B211

Graced with an more baroque-inspired aesthetic, is hand-engraved. The 12 signs of the zodiac intertwine and overlap on an 18K white gold disc. The engraver has provided a wealth of ramolayé —pounced ornament— details, highlighting volumes in the material carved out by
hand and lit up by the subtle interplay of slanting and depth effects. The bulging muscles of
Sagittarius or the flowing mane of Capricorn are outstandingly realistic when viewed under a
magnifying glass.

On the Earth orbiting around a flaming gold Sun, the finesse of details has been pushed to extremes: the oceans are covered with microscope waves achieved by engraving effects, while the contrasting continents are polished to accentuate the luminosity of the gold. An expression of truly exceptional craftsmanship. Without a doubt, this one right here is our favorite of all three new watches.

Sticker Price $98,500 USD. For more info on Vacheron Constantin click here.

Vacheron Constantin Copernicus Sapphire ref. 7600U/000G-B226

The third timepiece in this new collections features two sapphire discs that have been laser engraved and hand-engraved. Adorned with decorative techniques involving several novel aspects, the earth, sun and zodiac signs are complemented by a 3D-effect star-studded sky.
The Earth is hand-engraved and picks up this contrast between the fine graining of the ocean
waves and the brilliant glow of the continents.

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 superluminova. The captivating sight of the sky chart echoing the immensity of the night sky is thus fully revealed in the semi-darkness.

Sticker Price $88,100 USD. For more info on Vacheron Constantin click here.

The Movement

All three new Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Copernicus Celestial Spheres ref. 7600U are powered by the new in-house automatic movement calibre 2460 RT. Entirely designed, developed and created by Vacheron Constantin, it took three years to reproduce the heliocentric system. The elliptical path of the Earth around the Sun is a key highlight of this watch, exuding a powerful presence and providing continuous information as the days go by. 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. The gold oscillating weight appearing on the back of the watch and protected by a sapphire crystal features an engraving on the same celestial them with a radiant sun surrounded by ellipses. The 352-part automatic movement provides a power reserve of 36 hours when fully wound.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Copernicus Celestial Spheres ref. 7600U wear true to their 43 mm size and with the most fascinating wrist presence. If you are fascinated by the cosmos and all the secrets it holds, these three watches are a must have. The three watches are fitted with black alligator straps with half-Maltese cross pin buckles in 18K white gold and delivered in a precious wood presentation box containing a special magnifying glass to admire these creations a little bit closer.

Sticker Price $129,600 USD for Copernicus Grand Feu Enamel, $98,500 USD for Copernicus Hand-Engraving and $88,100 USD for Copernicus Sapphire. For more info on Vacheron Constantin click here.