By Kim Parker
Gold and diamonds. Chocolate and cherries. Some things are meant to be together. This week, the world got its latest ultra-luxury pairing when Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin revealed a one-of-a-kind tourbillon timepiece created exclusively for a Rolls Royce Amethyst Droptail coupe. It was crafted for a client who is an enthusiastic connoisseur of both luxury watches and motorcars.
Handcrafted with super rare materials and exquisite attention to detail – rather like a fine timepiece – the new Rolls Royce Droptail is custom-made to order (at an estimated cost of about $20 million) by the marque’s Coachbuild division, which is rather like the haute couture atelier of a fashion house. It provides endless options to clients who want more individual or experimental Rolls Royce models.
Created to fit perfectly within an entirely bespoke Droptail, the new one-off Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotier Armillary Tourbillon timepiece represented a fabulous challenge for the Swiss watchmaker, which was unfamiliar with fitting timepieces within motorcars. It is housed in a secure holder which was crafted by the watchmaker’s engineers to fit snugly within the fascia of the new car and is removable so the watch can be set and wound by hand. The watch also boasts finishing details made to perfectly match the car’s lavish interior, such as a sapphire dial with a mauve-coloured NAC galvanic coating to match the leather upholstery.
The timepiece features a bi-axial tourbillon, which is a subtle nod to the 18th century timepiece models of the celestial sphere, and double retrograde display, reminiscent of traditional automobile speedometers.
This isn’t the first time a luxury watchmaker has crafted a one-off timepiece for a Rolls Royce Droptail. The carmaker also recently unveiled La Rose Noire Droptail, a dramatic looking new two-door coupe in a dark pomegranate colour which boasted a one-off removable 43mm timepiece by Audemars Piguet.
So, will this one-off Vacheron Constantin be followed by any others? “It is obviously impossible to predict future requests from lovers of personalised watchmaking,” says Christian Selmoni, director of style and heritage at the brand. “We can however safely state that will be delighted to respond to any such commissions.” Watch this ultra-plush space.
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