Featuring one-of-a-kind designs that take years to develop and produce, Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers timepieces are usually commissioned by or offered to the brand’s top clients. The latest creation to emerge from this division is the Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus, a 16-complication, double-sided wristwatch that pays tribute to Bacchus, the god of wine in Roman mythology.

The tribute to Bacchus is clearly visible right there on the watch’s 47mm-wide and 19.1-mm thick case: Engraved foliage and leafy vines encircle the case, along with clusters of grapes formed from carefully set rubies. Taking turns to work on the case, the engraver and gem-setter took more than 300 hours to create the decoration on this timepiece.

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Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complicaton Bacchus

Several different engraving techniques were employed to create the tableau, including bas-relief engraving, intaglio engraving and chasing. Bas-relief engraving involves removing material shallowly with a burin in order to get the foliage to stand out. At this point, the engraver also had to create 113 spaces for the rubies, which come in five different sizes. Setting the rubies also presented its own challenges, requiring the use of a combination of prong and bezel setting.

The leafy vines, on the other hand, were created using intaglio engraving, where material is hollowed out to create the outlines before the finished pattern is polished. Helping the caseband design to stand out more, the base of the engraving was chased, where fine indentations are created using shaped punches and a hammer.

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Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complicaton Bacchus

Of course, there’s plenty going on on the inside of this watch as well. Powered by the 839-part, manual-winding Calibre 2755 GC16, the Bacchus timepiece features a minute repeater, a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, and a whole lot of astronomical functions.

With the astronomical functions, Vacheron Constantin also sought to pay tribute to 16th-century astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion. While the front of the dial is mostly dedicated to the perpetual calendar displays, there is an equation of time display between 10 to 11 o’clock. The equation of time shows the difference between the 24-hour day as we know it and the true solar day, which differ because the path of the Earth around the sun is elliptical, rather than circular.

The flip side of the watch features a sidereal time display, comprising a rotating disc that depicts the sky as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. This is accompanied by enough indications to keep any budding astronomer busy, ranging from the signs of the zodiac, the seasons and the solstices and equinoxes. An evocative blend of mythology and astronomy, not to mention horological and artistic know-how, this watch will certainly bring plenty of heady pleasure to its owner. Bacchus would approve.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complicaton Bacchus
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