The times when the tides are at their highest will coincide with the time when the Earth, Moon, and Sun are aligned, and the tiny 3D models will rotate to show just that. In other words, the mareoscope lets its owner very quickly see when high and low tide will occur, which is useful if you are into sea sports.
The front dial is only half the story, and there are loads more to see on the back of the watch. There’s an expansive piece of sapphire that lets you see a star map and the movement, but the first thing that caught my eye was the little engraving on the case that says “Piece Unique”. Yup, in case the owner ever forgets, the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication watch is the only one of its kind. Moving on, the back of the watch is actually a celestial chart that shows the night sky over the owner’s location. It is composed of two superimposed sapphire discs. The top disc is immobile and holds the stars, as well as two ovals in white and red which depict the celestial equator and the ecliptic equator respectively. The bottom disc is surrounded by a graduated scale that displays the sidereal time and four cardinal points. It also has a darkened ellipse that shows the constellations that are in view.
And if you look closer, there’s a gauge-style power reserve indicator that surrounds the celestial chart. Look past the sapphire discs and you can also see the hand beveled bridges and plates. And at 6 o’clock, you’ll even find a tourbillon. The back of the watch is just as impressive as the front, and that’s not often something you can say about most watches. But if I had to nitpick, I do wish the bridges could have more prominent finishing like Côtes de Genève, which would look more impressive. Presumably, the current matte finish is to ensure legibility of the sidereal time and celestial chart, but it looks a tad plain to me.
The movement is called the Caliber 3600 and it is a completely integrated movement, meaning to say that no modules were used. It is impressive not just because of the number of complications it supports, but also because it is relatively compact. Despite consisting of over 500 components, it measures just 8.7mm thick. And don’t forget, it has not one, not two, not three, but six, yes six, mainspring barrels. This gives the watch a power reserve of 3 weeks – that’s 21 days or 504 hours.
Clearly, the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication is one heck of a watch. Cramming so many complications into a wristwatch is already quite a feat, but to accomplish this with a movement that is a mere 8.7mm thick and in a case that is still highly wearable makes it even more impressive.
If you are a man or woman of means and a fan of astronomy, there are few watches that can rival the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication’s exclusivity (since there’s just one) and breadth of abilities. Again, the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication watch is priced at around $1,000,000. vacheron-constantin.com