When Vacheron Constantin pays tribute to Nicolaus Copernicus with the Copernicus Celestial Spheres 2460 RT from the Métiers d’Art collection, it does more than craft three gorgeous dials. It also creates a new mechanical self-winding Manufacture movement – the calibre 2460 RT — so that, on those dials, we can watch the Earth spin on its axis once every 24 hours and orbit around the Sun in exactly 365.2421898 days. And because this is Vacheron Constantin, the device that operates this motion will need to be corrected only once every…8,000 years.
Why Copernicus? The heliocentric theory of this Renaissance mathematician and astronomer was published in 1543, just before his death. It represented a lifetime of observations and calculations that concluded it is the Sun that is the centre of the solar system, and not the Earth. Copernicus further proposed that the Earth rotates on its axis, has a satellite of its own — the Moon, and gravitates around the Sun, providing the basis for a whole new way of contemplating humanity, from finite to infinite.
Inspired by illustrations of the Copernican system made by 17th century cartographer Andreas Cellarius, this tribute collection consists of three dials with three different executions of the same theme. Each dial is made of two parts. With a hand-engraved pink gold sun on each oval centre, outer discs show off powerful interpretations of zodiac signs with three different decorative crafts: Grand Feu enamel, hand engraving, or hand-engraving with laser engraving on sapphire crystal over a midnight blue underdial. Between the centre and outer disc, a tiny elliptical groove welcomes a 6.8 mm slightly domed hand-crafted gold Earth as it rotates upon itself while orbiting around the Sun.
Twelve stylized zodiac signs are engraved around the rim of the bezel. Hours and minutes are indicated by 4N gold peripheral hands. Each case measuring 43 mm in diameter is in 18K white gold with a transparent case back to admire the theme-engraved gold oscillating weight. These timepieces, Hallmark of Geneva certified, are complemented with a black alligator leather strap that closes with a half Maltese cross-shaped 18K white gold buckle. Each timepiece is delivered in a luxury box with a magnifying glass to further appreciate the incredible details of the Métiers d’Art.
Available at Vacheron Constantin boutiques only, from May 2017, in limited editions:
7600U/000G-B212 (Grand Feu Enamel) : EUR150 000 – 10 pieces
7600U/000G-B211 (Hand Engraving) : EUR114 000 – 10 pieces
7600U/000G-B226 (Laser Engraving on Sapphire crystal) : EUR102 000 euros – 20 pieces