back to top

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

For SIHH 2017, Vacheron Constantin have released one of their most complicated pieces ever, and most likely their most complicated wristwatch. Last year, we saw the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 Pocket Watch, aka the most complicated watch ever created, with 57 complications. The new one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 watch Ref. 9720C/000G-B281 looks to the stars with 23 complications, the vast majority of which are astronomical complications.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

Unlike the Reference 57260 pocket watch which measured 98mm wide, 131.7mm tall, and 50.55mm thick, the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 watch is 45mm wide and just 13.6mm thick. The caliber 3600 movement, composed of 514 components is 36mm wide and 8.7mm thick by itself. According to Vacheron Constantin, it took five years to develop and build the new Caliber 3600 movement which, in addition to successfully housing 23 complications, has six barrels providing 21 days (that’s three weeks) of power reserve. The manual-winding movement includes 64 jewels, as well.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

The watch itself is, as I previously mentioned, 45mm wide with an 18k white gold case. The case back reveals the Celestial Chart, with the words “Pièce unique” and “Les Cabinotiers” engraved on the sides. As for the front of the watch, the opaline slate gray dial is marked with 18k gold markers and hands. It’s easy to forget about things like the strap when you’ve got so much going on with the watch, but it comes on a Black Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with 18k white gold clasp.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

Defined here, “complication” is going to refer to anything beyond the hours, minutes, and seconds which make up simple timekeeping. Unless I am missing something (and given the SIHH schedule, I may very well be…), I do count 23 but with “3 weeks of power reserve (6 barrels” and “power reserve indicator” as two separate item lines. We’ll make sure to look into that and update you guys, but below is the full list of the complications. We’ll start with the complications you can see on the dial from the front:

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

Calendar & Moon Phase

Advertisement
  • Aperture-type day display is between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock
  • Pointer-type date display sits at 3 o’clock with a neat squiggle hand to break up the potential repetitive look with so many hands on the dial
  • Aperture-type month display
  • Aperture-type leap-year display sits just ahead of 2 o’clock
  • Perpetual calendar
  • Day/night indication is situated at 9 o’clock with a concentric circle that is visible through the moon phase disc
  • Precision moon phase disc
  • Age of the moon- the numerals and indices running up the day/night indicator track the lunar cycle as measured between 1 & 29.5 days

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

Solar Time

  • Equation of time is tracked by the gold minutes hand. Since the 24-hour day is determined by an average number, this hand monitors the “true” solar time which can range from a few seconds to over 16 minutes in how much it varies from the standard minutes hand.
  • Running equation of time- Vacheron Constantin has patented a “tropical gear train” simulating the 365.2421898 days of a tropical year where the previously mentioned solar hand is set.
  • Sunrise time- running on UTC+1, the gold subdial at 7 o’clock runs from 4:30am to 8:30am indicating sunrise.
  • Sunset time – functions same as above but goes from 4:30am to 8:30am, indicating the time of sunset.
  • Length of day – the aperture at 6 o’clock has a gauge measuring the number of daylight hours in gold
  • Length of night – functions like the above, but with black to indicate nighttime
  • Seasons, solstices, equinoxes and zodiacal signs – the subdial at 4 o’clock here indicates Solstices (when the sun is at its furthest or closest point from the equator) and Equinoxes (when night and day are equal length) as well as tracking Zodialogical signs through icons.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

Mareoscope

  • Tide level indicator- between 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock is a subdial indicating tide levels, whether the tide is ebbing or flowing, and high or low tide.
  • Sun-Earth-Moon conjunction, opposition and quadrature is essentially a 3D rendering of the sun, earth, and moon tracking their positioning which affects the tides.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

And once you turn it around to view the case back:

Celestial Chart

  • The Celestial Chart, to start, is the same thing as a star chart which tracks the movement of the stars, constellations, and other astronomical objects. Here, it’s created from two superimposed sapphire discs. The transparent disc in the foreground depicts the Milky Way and constellations as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, as well as the months of the year. This transparent disc also has two ellipses- one in red and one in white corresponding with the ecliptic and celestial equators, respectively. The second disc has display scales on the rims indicating Celestial time hours and minutes as well as well as a black ellipse revealing a view of the celestial chart.
  • Celestial time hours or “sidereal hours” measure earth’s rotation just like standard or “mean” time, but varies approximately 4 minutes per day.
  • Celestial time minutes

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

And the rest:

  • Tourbillon
  • 3 weeks of power reserve (6 barrels)
  • Power reserve indication

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch Watch Releases

The Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Watch looks absolutely stunning and marks another year of technical watchmaking accomplishment. Price is somewhere just around $1,000,000. vacheron-constantin.com

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 5466785632

  • Steve Kosovich

    All I can say is WOW!!

  • SwissMatic

    Looks like it would be a real pain in the butt to set. That said…LOVE IT!

    • Word Merchant

      Complex!? You should try setting the average Casio…

  • BrJean

    I don’t understand most of these complication but they look gorgeous! Truly impressive piece by Vacheron Constantin.

  • Ahad Avarideh

    wonderfull
    the best in the world in birthday human nature on the destruction hman nature
    surprising
    thanks for the Vacheron Constantin company
    thanks for the architect
    for the arteffect

  • Shinytoys

    VC has taken complications to a new level. What a beautiful watch !

  • Hydra

    have to say this is one beauiftul watch! goddamn!

  • Shirley Furby

    Does it actually exist? Most all of the pictures look like CG. Can we see it actually on someones wrist? It looks fantastic if it is real.

  • pkansa

    Visually impressive? Yeah, it is. But, visually, it’s also a mess. For all it’s being balanced and proportioned, there’s simply too much going on on the dial. The complications are great from a technical perspective, but some editing as to what actually made it into the watch really would make it more of a useful thing. Fortunately, with that price tag, this seems to be more of a “look what we can do” sort of an exercise – and in that regard, I can applaud them.

  • Daaaaaaaaamn! What a serious beast. Going to very much enjoy getting to know this movement.

    • Shinytoys

      this will keep you busy for awhile…?

    • DanW94

      Ryan, at least buy it dinner first : )

      • It has an instant horological-crush complication.

        • DanW94

          A flip of her hair-spring and you’re in love…..

  • SuperStrapper

    Holy moly. Impressive, and maybe a little intimidating? ‘Excuse me sir, what time is it?’ ‘Oh, let me just get that for yo- oh no I started a launch sequence!’.

    • DanW94

      It is a bit intimidating. I hear Stephen Hawking and Neil Degrasse Tyson took a look at it and walked away perplexed!! Well, Stephen rolled away but you get my point….

      • SuperStrapper

        … and right to the nearest strip club I’m sure.

        Nice reference for ND Tyson! Not many would get it I don’t think. I’m actually in the middle of re-watching his Cosmos redux on Netflix right now. I’ve seen it 4 times but it really is incredible. I hope he’s working on another season…

  • Word Merchant

    We’re seeing some mightily impressive renders at this year’s SIHH. Hopefully the new watches will be just as interesting.

  • JF Schnell

    Unique timepiece. The lucky buyer or someone who has money to throw out of the window will enoy such a wonderful watch. so far the most imprensive i have seem for SIHH17

  • David

    My Dream Watch…This might be my first purchase if I won the Mega Million lottery.

    • Kyle Mitchell

      That’s IF they allow you to even buy it! I’m not joking here either. If you approach the CEO (and you would likely interview with him if you’re a serious buyer) with a feeling of entitlement simply because you have the money, you’ll get passed over for someone else.

  • Shawn Lavigne

    wow. def don’t want to let this one run down.

  • There are statement products and statement products. This is the latter.

  • Joel Schumann

    I think they should run with this slogan: “You might in fact own this watch, but you’ll only actually get to hold it when it is not in for service.”

    Undeniably impressive. Not so pretty. I don’t want to think about have fragile that thing must be.

  • Chaz

    Why does THAT song from “Fiddler on the Roof” immediately come to mind when I see this dial???

    Vacheron trying too hard to be respected, IMO

  • Pete LeCren

    Unusually very nice for one of these ‘because we can’ type pieces. Fascinating to read about although not sure I would buy even with the lottery win – love the sun/moon/earth tide display though!

  • Hadži Dalibor Jerini?

    Damn!

  • Timestandsstill

    Considering the prices some manufactures are asking for really high end watches these days, often bejeweled or with lesser (less complicated) complications, this seems like a relatively good value. Stunning watch and it looks like VC are reestablishing themselves and reaffirming their place in the very top eshelons of haute horlogerie, if indeed this had been in question as of late to begin with.

  • SwissMatic

    Please make a watch with only the time and that tidal complication. I will certainly buy it.

  • Buy and Sold

    such a clean presentation for so much data. very nice.

  • Geo

    That is one masterpiece!! Hopefully will be able to afford that one day

  • JozefX

    Super impressive. Whatever the distinction between a mechanism, and a mechanical computer is, I feel this watch has firmly stepped into the latter category.

  • Grumpy Cat

    I would give my one and only tail for one of these.

  • AW

    I love that you can still easily tell time despite all those amazing complications.

  • IG

    Does this watch exist or just these CAD renderings?

  • funNactive

    That is one complicated piece of art!

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    It’s the modern Antikythera Mechanism – literally. Very impressive, which I suppose was the point.

  • daveyah2002

    Same price as that box of watch parts from Richard Mille RM -03. Only this is something you would want.

    • Kyle Mitchell

      “Box of watch parts” lol.

  • Now if they made this to weigh only one microgram by making it from an exotic but otherwise butt ugly carbon-nano-something material, they could charge $40 million for it. Especially if it only came with a red nanorubber strap…

    • Sarcasm aside this must be one of the classiest, most anal retentive, psychotic attention to details finished timepieces I’ve ever seen. Back or front this is just incredible looking.

  • BNABOD

    Damn, I mean whoa, holly crap this is impressive

  • Kashif Naseer

    Quite an impressive watch but I wonder how may people can afford to buy a multi million dollar watch?

  • Peter Weir

    Hmm,

    According to:

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/

    the Equation of Time (EoT) for Suday, September 17, 2017 should be 5.49 minutes — i.e. about 5 minutes and 30 seconds

    As can be seen on this graph:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Tijdvereffening-equation_of_time-en.jpg

    that value of EoT means that the Sun hand should be 5 minutes and 30 seconds forward of the minutes hand.

    Yet, on Vacheron’s picture, it appears that the Sun hand is about 6 minutes and 18 seconds — instead of 5 minutes and 30 seconds — in advance of the minutes hand.

    The error in the EoT indication is thus about 48 seconds! Tsk tsk tsk. For a million-dollar watch, I expect a bit better 😉

    Furthermore, the aforementioned NOAA web page — which happens to agree, by the way, with this one:

    http://www.meteoschweiz.admin.ch/home/wetter/prognosen/sonne-und-mond.html

    indicates that for Sep 17 2017, in Geneva (46°12‘N 6°9‘E), surise will be at 06:16 and sunset at 18:43.

    These times are in excellent agreement with the Vacheron’s indications. Whew !

    Note that Switzerland, like most of continental Europe (nearly 400 million people) observe daylight savings time from the last Sunday of March to the last Sunday of October — i.e. for about seven months in a 12-month year.

    For 2017, DST will be in effect for 217 days out of 365 — i.e. for about 60% of the year.

    Yet, Vacheron decided to choose UTC+1 for their sunrise and suset indications.

    This means that for about 60% of the days in a year, these sunrise and sunset indications will be incorrect (off by one hour) ! Strange and discutable choice by Vacheron… One wonders whether Vacheron’s staff actually /use/ the products they manufacture… 😉

    • Kyle Mitchell

      Silly, you’re a full year off.

      • Peter Weir

        It seems it hasn’t occurred to you that the VC Celestia:

        1) displays the day of the week. Furthermore, it seems it hasn’t even occurred to you that, say, “September 17” isn’t always a Sunday.

        2) like most mechanical watches with a “perpetual” calendar, the Celestia also displays where the current year falls in the four-year leap year cycle.

    • Kyle Mitchell

      If I’m wrong, just tell me plainly. The reply that you deleted comes off as pretentious, and it reeks of insecurity. If you didn’t notice my other two comments on this article and their playful tone, I could understand why you might have thought that my comment was rude. It was just an off the cuff remark that I made in fun after reading the first sentence of your post. I should have made my tone more obvious. In the future, you might want to restrain yourself and check your assumptions before writing a rude reply. It might be that you want to maintain some sort of reputation on Disqus since you deleted your reply, so just let me know if you would like me to delete mine so you can leave your analysis up without a squabble appearing below.

      • Peter Weir

        I didn’t delete my reply – the moderator of this site did. It apparently is too much to point out, on a horology site, to a commenter that he should display some awareness that the indications on the dial of a mechanical watch with a perpetual calendar must be fully consistent, including the day of the week, the date, the month and leap year cycle.
        Therefore. I think your comments add zero value to the discussion. In the spirit of keeping this thread clean and uncluttered with silly exchanges, I suggest you delete your first comment, and I’ll delete this one.

  • Jim Tallman

    I make sundials for a living and this watch fascinates me, but I am wondering about one thing. The time of sunrise and sunset for any position on earth varies according to the latitude, no matter which time zone is set. “Complicating” that issue even further, this watch’s sunrise function is stated as being set for GMT +1 time zone – but even with that zone set, the actual sunrise and sunset time would vary based on how far east or west the watch was from the reference longitude for that time zone. I wonder how those two factors could ever be compensated for without some kind of GPS sensing incorporated into the design?

  • Ulysses31

    Classy as hell, with a clean and highly-legible design. I love it.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.