In conversation with Christian Selmoni - Artistic Director Vacheron Constantin
The most striking thing about Christian Selmoni is the simplicity with which he talks about the astronomic complications that the manufactory is able to come up with. The oldest watch manufacturing company in the world, Vacheron Constantin, has been crafting masterpieces non-stop for over 260 years and its Artistic Director is the man behind those strokes of genius that the company has been creating in recent years. This is a manufactory that could easily rest on its laurels but that has proven to have a creative boost in it instead. Before even meeting with Mr Selmoni, I had already thought and penned down that no other haute-horlogerie manufacturing company can get the old creative juices flowing like Vacheron Constantin. It seemed as if the company’s creativity had already reached its pinnacle when the 2015 super-complicated watch was released (objectively-speaking it had), but the brand managed to go even further by adding many of the complications that are already present within the most complicated watch in the world to its current collections.
It really transpires through Christian’s words, with whom I had the recent pleasure to speak, the manufacturing company’s will to never stop, to explore new sources of inspiration and to never consider the last super complicated watch as its point of arrival, but rather as its new starting point. In the eyes of many of us, over the last two years, the focus of the brand seems to have been on the Overseas, which you will find by clicking on this address; a timepiece that has rapidly climbed the rankings of my personal favorite sports watches, especially in its ultra-thin perpetual calendar version, a sports watch of rare technical craftiness and aesthetic balance that immediately made the outgoing Vacheron Constantin’s sports watches collection something from the past.
Time only wanted its own part and the necessary development for complicated watches similar to the one-off, like Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 (that required at least 5 years of development and testing) that was perfectly described by our Denis Fabbro in the days that followed its presentation at the SIHH (you can find it here). It was completed this year, together with the Copernicus; one of the reference points for all of the world of haute-horlogerie and a true testimony to the development skills of this brand.
Today, Vacheron Constantin boasts the most fascinating collection in the world when it comes to managing time in its ordinary version – the manner we all know and that looks quite extraordinary to us, but that is actually the right manner and the one that fully abides by the laws and regulations of astronomy that we are all subjected to. We could say that, today, Vacheron Constantin is able to offer the most romantic and elegant connection between solar and local time until 2100; the year when the leap years cycle will lose its natural pace and all the owners in the world of a perpetual calendar will have to manually adjust the time according to their reference time zone.
Obviously my curiosity could not avoid a question about the collections that we have been awaiting for the last six months and that we will see it at the SIHH 2018. Watch brands are defining their collections these last months before taking a break for the summer-time so I tried – unsuccessfully – to find out a bit more about what we could be awaiting next year. There was no way I could find any reliable source of information; you will have to wait. In the meantime, I can only say that this was a very interesting meeting, and it is even more interesting since it involves a haute-horlogerie manufacturing company that everybody seems to be extremely interested in and whose manufacturing and crafting skills and ideas behind every single piece seems to have reached an astronomical level already.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting by K.Vettorel)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®