80250/000R-9145, 80250000R9145, 80250
18k Rose Gold
2 dials, both silvered 18k Gold guilloche
Caliber 2750 (18,000 vph, 38 rubies)
Hours, Minutes, Subsidiary Seconds, Repetition (qtr, mins), Tourbillon, Power Res., 2nd Time, Moonphase, Moon Age, Striking Torque, Perpetual Calendar, Equation of Time, Sunrise, Sunset, Sky Chart
Sapphire Crystal, glareproof
Sapphire Crystal, Snap-in
Only 7 pieces will ever be made, the last few of which are still being manufactured. However, all pieces, including this one which may be purchased from Gemnation, have been spoken for.
This is the world's most complicated and spectacular wristwatch. The watch consists of 834 individual parts and took over 10,000 hours of design work. The Tour d'Ille won the L'Aiguille d'Or, top honors at the 2005 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve. The watch also bears the Geneva quality hallmark. It is named for an historical site of Vacheron Constantin located next to the current Maison Vacheron Constantin on the Quai de l'Ile.
The watch bears a secret Signature at 12 o'clock (1755 - 2005). The winding stem has 2 positions. The second time-zone & moon-phase are adjusted using 2 correctors housed along the case. The perpetual calendar is adjusted using 3 correctors housed along the case. The sidereal disc is adjusted using a lockable push-button and crown.
This piece features a one-of-a-kind hand-guilloché motif on the back dial, guaranteeing its authenticity and uniqueness - none of the 7 pieces have the same guilloche pattern.
The bezel is equipped with 2 catches that are used to activate the striking
mechanism by rotating to the right. The sky chart correction system is operated by rotating the crown. The caseback features a snap-in design and is of sapphire crystal, glareproofed on the inner face and mounted on a joint. The case is hand polished with fine fluting on the sides of the bezel and case-back. The soldered lugs are unique to the '250th anniversary' collection of wristwatches. The front dial features 18k gold roman numerals and applied hour-markers. The dial also features an 18k gold applied Poinçon de Genève logo. The hour and minute hands are inspired by a 1926 vintage Vacheron & Constantin model. The seconds hand is in 18k pink gold, baton-shaped, and mounted on the tourbillon carriage. The counters are in blued steel. The strap is hand-sewn alligator leather with a silky satin finish and large square scales with a pin buckle in 18k pink gold.
One is immediately aware of the off-center hour and minute hands. These hands complete their revolutions around an inner circle that has its origin at the 12 o'clock position. Instead of a 45-minute marking inside this circle, Vacheron have engraved '250', in deference to the manufactory's historic anniversary in 2005. The complications on the watch are nothing short of spectacular. The tourbillon, front and bottom center strikes the viewer immediately - not only for its unique Maltese cross design, but for its rather oversized presence. Yet it takes nothing away from the majestic and rather elegant dial configuration. The moonphase disc, situated inside an aperture at 3 o'clock, is on a blued disc and hand engraved. The engraving process takes over two weeks to complete. The minute repeater's winding torque is indicated via a blued hand on a circular dial at 1 o'clock. A 24 hour second time zone dial is located at 11 o'clock, and a power reserve crescent dial is located at 9 o'clock. The two repeater sliders are located on either side of the bezel.
The rear dial (in its unique guilloche design) features additional complications. Top and center are the months of the year in a circular dial. To its bottom left, the days-of-the-week subdial. To its bottom right, the date subdial. A tiny aperture at 1 o'clock displays leap-year status. The center dial display illustrates the equation of time. The time for sunrise and sunset are just below at 4 and 8 o'clock. The gorgeous sky chart emanates from a blue dial in an aperture at 6 o'clock. This dial also displays sidereal time as it occurs every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds.
Words fail the observer when viewing such a masterpiece of horological engineering excellence. Never before have so many complications gone into the manufacture of a single wristwatch. One is left speechless by the audacity of the Vacheron Constantin master watchmakers to have even attempted such a feat. When one hears the quarters and minutes sounded off from the majestically sonorous repeaters, one is forgiven for mistaking the sound for the voice of angels - for a watch as sublime as this surely belongs in the angelic realm.