Vacheron Constantin unveils the crowning glory of its new collection of one-of-a-kind chiming pieces.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Back angled view 

Vacheron Constantin

Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph “Tempo” 

What it is: Making one-off pieces upon request or that are offered especially to its VVIPs, Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers has been in existence for a long time, albeit in relative silence. In recent years, however, the division has come out of the high horology shadows by showcasing incredible works such as the Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph “Tempo”. The unique double-sided timepiece features an incredible 24 complications and is the crowning glory of the Les Cabinotiers collection of chiming watches launched last year, called La Musique du Temps (French for the music of time). 

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Front angled view 

How it looks: Considering the number of complications, it is impressively legible – not that we expect its owner to use this pink-gold powerhouse to time how long it takes to boil pasta. This double-faced watch can be worn on either side, thanks to its perfectly symmetrical case. Wear it on the front to access the split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar functions or just to admire the tourbillon. Switch it around if you’re feeling poetic and need to know when the sun will rise and set or want to view other astronomical indications such as apparent solar time (the actual time according to where the sun is in the sky), equation of time (the difference between solar time and the civil time we keep), day and night durations, and the age and phase of the moon. And of course – not that anyone could forget – the Tempo, powered by the new 1,163-part calibre 2756, also houses a minute repeater.

How it wears: Unfortunately, we were not able to view the Tempo in the metal this year because of the pandemic-related cancellation of watch events. But if you have seen, worn or own – we’ve only reached the second step – Patek Philippe’s 20-complication Grandmaster Chime, you will know that such super-complications are very hefty, to say the least. Measuring 50mm in diameter and 21mm in thickness, the Tempo is bigger than the Grandmaster Chime. That said, compared to Vacheron Constantin’s record-breaking 57-complication Reference 57260 – which seems more like a small clock than a watch with its diameter of 98mm and thickness of 50.55mm – the Tempo seems positively svelte. 

Movement Manually wound movement with 65-hour power reserve

Case 50mm (diameter), 21mm (thickness); pink gold

Price Price upon request 

Text  Lynette Koh