Originally set up by Vacheron Constantin to build custom or bespoke watches upon client commission – like this minimalist grand complication – Les Cabinotiers has undergone a subtle evolution since chief executive Louis Ferla took over in 2017. Les Cabinotiers now creates a small collection of one-off timepieces each year. Most are marketed to the firm’s top clients, typically at a luxe but low-key annual event, but a selection is launched at SIHH.
This year’s Les Cabinotiers presentation is now taking place in Singapore, and amongst the watches unveiled is the graceful Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Ultra-Thin ‘Romantic Note’.
The watch has a largish 41mm pink gold case in the style of the Traditionelle line, which means straight, simple lines, giving it a fairly modern look. But the dial is eminently classical: eggshell-coloured fired enamel with all the markings, namely the railway minute track and numerals, done in black enamel, matched with Breguet-style hands.
Reminiscent of the asymmetrical Historiques 1921, the dial is unusual in its typography – the numerals look like Breguet numerals but are not quite, instead they are slightly more italicised, with less line variation, and heavier in weight.
The movement inside is the cal. 1731, the slim, hand-wound movement that’s also found in the regular-production Patrimony minute repeater. It features a centrifugal governor for the repeater.
Key facts and price
Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Ultra-Thin ‘Romantic Note’
Material: 18k pink gold
Water-resistance: Not water-resistant
Movement: Cal. 1731
Functions: Hour, minutes, and minute repeater
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle
Limited edition: Unique piece
Availability: Only at Vacheron Constantin boutiques
Price: Upon request (as a reference, the standard Patrimony repeater is priced at about US$350,000)
For more information, visit Vacheron-constantin.com.
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