Openworking, however, allows a rare glimpse of the beating heart of a watch. Only a few watchmakers have mastered the art, including not least Vacheron Constantin.

The Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day tourbillon openworked, launched earlier this Spring, lays bare the 2260 SQ movement, with its remarkable two-week power reserve and tourbillon. Engravers used a motif designed to accentuate the different layers of the 2260 SQ calibre, a process that adds an additional 50 hours to the completion of the base movement.

The brand has a rich history in the art; Jean-Marc Vacheron’s first watch, made in 1755, had an engraved and openworked balance cock. Although skeletonisation is implicitly ornate, the Patrimony is certainly not an effeminate watch – the clue is in the name.

£284,050; for more information visit