The reference 57260 incorporates significant number of ingenious and important new mechanisms that have never been seen before in horology. Made of solid gold (18 carat white gold), polished with glazed bezels on each side, the elegant and well proportioned case has a three position winding crown with corresponding indication window on the case band to show the position of the crown during winding or setting. A coaxial button in the crown controls the start/stop and return to zero functions of the double retrograde chronograph and the push button in the case band at 11'o clock activates and restarts the rattrapante chronograph function. You can also notice a totally un -obstructive and new design of the concealed flush fit alarm winding crown located in the case band at the 4'o clock position.
The Hebraic perpetual calendar
Of the utmost technical and mathematical complexity, the Hebraic perpetual calendar truly is considered to be one of the greatest contributions to traditional watchmaking of recent times. Due to the long term changing cycles of the Hebraic calendar and its difference to the Gregorian calendar, the making of a complete functioning mechanical Hebraic perpetual calendar in a watch has been impossible until now. Highly complicated mathematical calculations combining both the lunar months and solar year were transcribed into not only an operational mechanism but a display that is elegant, logical and easy to read.
To keep the 12 month lunar year in pace with the solar year, a 13th leap month called an intercalary month has to be added seven times during the 19 year cycle. Ingeniously the watch not only allows for this addition but also show the user whether the current year is a 12 or 13-month year via an indicator hand and 12/13 display situated concentric with the chronograph minute register and counter hand in the 9'o clock position.
Double Retrograde Rattrapante Chronograph
Featuring a totally innovative design and construction, the Vacheron Constantin retrograde rattrapante chronograph is completely new to the world of watch making. This is the first watch ever to be made with a rattrapante chronograph with double retrograde function. This ingenious chronograph is read by the user exactly in the manner of a classic split seconds chronograph; uniquely however, whilst both hands still work in unison and from the same axis, unlike all other split seconds chronographs, the two hands never actually meet but operate on two separate scales on opposing sides of the dial. In this respect, the new chronograph can perhaps be the best described as a detached split seconds chronograph. To create this function, a new chronograph mechanism has been invented and made entirely in house at Vacheron Constantin especially for this timepiece.
The Westminster Chiming, Alarm and Night Silence Feature
Sectors can be seen on the dial to either side of the hour chapter ring, just above the chronograph registers. These sectors with their corresponding hands are indicators for the selection of the mode of chiming, mode of alarm striking and the alarm power reserve indicator.
- Striking: The watch chimes automatically at each passing quarter hour, in the same way as a clock. With five hammers striking five finely tuned steel gongs, the chiming sequence is that of Big Ben, the clock of the Palace of Westminster in London.
- Night silence: Chiming automatically disables from 22h to 8h
- Silence: Chiming switched off when it is not desired.
Night time silence : A unique and very user friendly new feature has been developed especially for the chiming system of this watch, that of the automatically activated Night Time Silence Mode. A special mechanism has been developed by Vacheron Constantin enables the watch for not chiming between the hours 22h-08h in order not to disturb its owner. This system is unique in being the first to be automatically activated without the need to manually set the chime or silence option.
Alarm: In addition to the chiming mechanism, this model houses an integrally connected alarm system with separate power reserve indication. This mechanism allows a choice between either a traditional alarm on an additional differently tuned single gong with single hammer or Westminster Carillion full chiming alarm in either Grande or Petite Sonnerie mode. The alarm is set via the winding crown which moves an additional alarm hand co-axial with the hour and moon's age hand. The flush fit winding button is situated in the band of the case.
The Second Dial
As well as the astronomical indications, several unique and major systems developed especially for this watch are presented here including a 12 hour second time zone governed by a digital world time display, a double perpetual calendar and a remarkable fully visible armillary sphere tourbillon.
Another world premier feature is the 12 hour second time zone dial with separates day and night indicator window located in the 10th clock position; the second time zone is used in conjunction with the digitally displayed world time function which gives a choice of 24 cities and countries and their respective time deviations from Greenwich Meantime. This thoroughly new and discreet 12 hour system of world time mechanism and display is the first new system to be developed since Louis Cottier's well known world time system with 24 hour indication invented about 1935 and is therefore of major significance.
The Dual Function Perpetual Calendar
The perpetual calendar systems invented and built by the watch makers of Vacheron Constantin are amongst the greatest achievements made during the construction of this watch. They represent Vacheron Constantin’s supreme mastery of both highly complex mathematical calculations and the ability of their watch making team to translate the calculations into mechanisms functioning in complete harmony in relation to the myriad other functions. Including the Hebraic perpetual calendar seen on the other dial, this watch has the ability to provide three entirely different perpetual calendar readings. The fundamental new departure is that two possible options are available for the reading of the Gregorian perpetual calendar displayed on this dial: either the traditional Gregorian calendar or the business calendar system known as ISO 8601, a numerical system which utilises 52 weeks and 7 days.
When the ISO 8601 mode is employed, the number of the week within the year and the number of the day within the week takes precedence over the traditional calendar month and traditional date, the number of the week is read from the dial concentric to the month indication and the number of the day within the week is indicated by a number between 1 (for Monday) and 7 (for Sunday) in a window directly above the week dial.
Another option in the mechanism of this ingenious system is that it can be switched from ISO mode to traditional calendar year model. A calendar year is the period beginning January 1 and ending on December 31. Its programming mode will therefore also on 1 January of the year put the number of days of the week in synchronization with the first day of the calendar year. If the annual calendar displays the first day of the year on Thursday, January 1, the calendar will display w1 on the week dial and 1 in the day window.
The Armillary Sphere Tourbillon
The mesmerising armillary tourbillon cage containing the watch's escapement is visible through the aperture beneath the sky chart. This supremely elegant mechanism displays a three dimensional constantly rotating sphere moving with the utmost delicacy simultaneously in three directions. Appropriately, the watch maker has also chosen to use a spherical balance spring which not only adds to the elegance of the mechanism, its special properties contribute to the accuracy of the watch.
Reference: 57260/000G -B046
Hallmark of Geneva Certified timepiece
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical manual winding
72 mm (31''1/2) diameter, 36 mm thick
Approximately 60 hours of power reserve
Frequency: 2.5 Hz(18,000 vph)
More than 2800 components
Plate 150: chronograph
Plate 250: Gregorian perpetual calendar
Plate 350: chronograph and Hebraic perpetual calendar
Plate 550: astronomic calendar
Time functions (6)
Perpetual calendar functions: Gregorian and Hebraic (15)
Astronomic calendar functions (9)
Lunar calendar functions (1)
Religious calendar functions (1)
Chronograph (3 column wheels) functions (4)
Alarm functions (6)
Westminster Carillion striking functions (8)
Further functions (7)
18k white gold
98 mm diameter, 50.55 mm thick
Not water resistant
Number of hands: front 19/back : 12
Delivered with a corrector pen and magnifying glass
Unique piece crafted on demand
Total weight: 960 gm