A unique dashboard watch, Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon, was specially crafted for a singular automobile. In response to a request from a premium car and luxury watch collector, Vacheron Constantin custom-designed an instrument panel watch for a Rolls-Royce Coachbuild car.
In close collaboration with the designers and artisans of the British luxury car manufacturer, Vacheron Constantin’s teams created Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon watch, a one-of-a-kind edition, which was mounted on a removable and secure base to fit the dashboard of the Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail. A case was also created, made from the same wood and mauve leather used for the car’s upholstery, to house the watch and its base after it is removed from the car’s cabin.
As for the movement, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers chose the in-house caliber 1990, primarily for its dual retrograde hour and minute display, reminiscent of traditional car speedometers, as well as its biaxial tourbillon known as the armillary, alluding to 18th-century celestial sphere models, which performs a remarkable mechanical ballet.
Vacheron Constantin’s specialized department in crafting bespoke watches tailored to customer desires was particularly honored and excited by the opportunity to fulfill this request. Although Vacheron Constantin’s archives reveal that a car watch had been commissioned in 1928, the current project, designed to be seamlessly integrated into a very special request from Rolls-Royce Coachbuild, represents a debut in the modern history of the brand.
This masterpiece of haute horlogerie posed an extraordinary technical challenge. Vacheron Constantin’s master watchmakers worked closely with the Rolls-Royce Coachbuild design team to ensure that the shapes, materials, and colors of the watch harmonized perfectly with its surroundings, all in line with Vacheron Constantin’s perpetual pursuit of excellence.
“Both centennial brands share a quest for perfection that constantly pushes the boundaries of what’s possible,” says Christian Selmoni, Director of Style and Heritage at Vacheron Constantin. “This philosophy is an excellent catalyst for innovation and good taste, both technically and aesthetically.”
Thanks to a client passionate about watchmaking and automobiles, two leading brands, Rolls-Royce and Vacheron Constantin, had the opportunity to collaborate for the first time on a unique and personalized design project. A celebration of the passion for precision, the obsession with details, and the craftsmanship shared by the two iconic houses in the world of luxury.