Paying homage to Charles Darwin and other naturalists who boarded the English ship the Beagle in the early 1830s, Vacheron Constantin created a new limited edition collection of four watches.
October 23, 2023: Inspired by the exciting adventures and discoveries of the people who traveled around the world for six years, watchmakers Vacheron Constantin has designed a unique assortment of four timepieces. The collection is also influenced by some of the previous Métier d’art creations.
A true masterpiece collection for watch enthusiasts and collectors, each timepiece embodies the brand’s essence, featuring inspiration from embellishments of birds and animals. The timepiece is powered by an automatic 1120 AT caliber. Running at a frequency of 2.75 Hz or 19,800 vibrations/hour, its power reserve is approximately 40 hours.
Derived from the ultra-slim JLC920, this timepiece incorporates a satellite module to control the drifting hour indication on the minute track, meeting the stringent criteria of the Geneva Seal. Its ornamentation features traditional elements such as Geneva stripes and perlage, and the 22k gold rotor bears an intricate compass rose engraving.
In Cape Verde, on the upper part of the dial, engraving and enamelling combine in tracing the majestic silhouette of the Beagle. Viewed from its stern, the finely engraved gold ship with its billowing sails glides across a miniature-painted ocean. The lower part displaying the hours and minutes is graced with a naturalist scene in which bouquets of flowers burst forth and blossom in the shade of luxuriant foliage.
On the Straits of Magellan, the colours have been carefully worked by the enamelling artisan over the course of several kiln firings to ensure the best possible match with the shade of pink gold from which the 41 mm case is sculpted. The upper part of the dial is graced with a fine white gold engraving depicting the Beagle sailing on blue-enamelled waves.
For Tierra del Fuego, Vacheron Constantin's artisans drew inspiration from a number of period engravings. Housed in a 41 mm white gold case, the upper dial features an engraving depicting a 3D butterfly and two birds standing out against a background adorned with miniature paintings. On the lower part of the dial, an ancient terrestrial map of Tierra del Fuego is reproduced in miniature enamel, along with a windrose as a nod to the world of travel.
In Cape of Good Hope, the watchmakers depict the passage used by The Beagle on its way back to Europe. It can be seen on the miniature enamel maritime scene presented on the lower part of the dial. On the upper part of the dial, the engraver and enameller create a landscape resembling a Garden of Eden, just as the naturalists observed when they stopped off at the Cape of Good Hope. The delicate plumage of the birds perched amid the foliage is matched by the languid silhouette of an iguana.
Each of the four timepieces are paired with Mississipiensis alligator straps and will be available in 10 pieces.
- By Pritha Debroy