Anyone who appreciates fine watches cannot be other than deeply impressed with this unique creation. Alex's terse summary is also excellent, and will probably strike a chord in most readers. But while it is undoubtedly true that top-class watchmaking is alive and kicking, and that this watch is a stunning reflection of that fact, I can't help but think about it in a somewhat different light.
A watch such as this can and does inspire dreams, but as a practical matter, of course, it is far, far beyond the means of all but a very small number of people. I bring this up because we are currently living through an absolutely extraordinary period of economic history. It is a period that will, I am quite confident, be long remembered as one of the greatest failed monetary experiments ever. The idea that the way to resolve the biggest debt crisis in modern history was to create many more trillions of Dollars (and Yen, etc.) of credit (i.e. debt) out of thin air, will eventually be understood by all to have been both ludicrous, and destined to fail spectacularly.
Without going too deeply into the nuts and bolts of how and why the current economic system is imploding around us, and is certain to collapse, I'd like to point out that the very same economic bifurcation that has accelerated dramatically in major countries around the world, by which I mean the rich becoming richer and the rest largely becoming poorer, has, and will continue to impact the trajectory and fortunes of the Swiss watch industry.
There will always be very wealthy people who can afford to own exceptional works of art, like the watch in question. Such remarkable pieces also serve valuable purposes in displaying the highest potential of the art of watchmaking, and bringing positive attention to the world of high-end horology, etc. But I believe that there is good reason to be concerned about what is likely to prove to be a contracting market for higher production watches, and what that may portend for manufactures, including V&C.
I am a solely vintage collector, and so that category is much easier for me to read and understand in this context. I don't know enough about the cost structures and marketing strategies connected to contemporary watches to be able to predict with any confidence how well various brands are prepared to deal with what I expect to be an extremely challenging sales environment over the next several years. Superficially, though, my guess is that V&C will fare better than some (if not most), as their contemporary offerings appear to my eye to be more classic and conservative in design, and less about chasing trends than the offerings of some other companies. Their quality, of course, is also of the highest level.
Having said that, I do worry about how the broader industry will navigate the storm that is rapidly approaching, as mechanical watches are, after all, a luxury in this day and age, and given a long, severe recession (which is what we can expect at a minimum, in my view), with stock and property markets crashing rather than levitating, the producers of such luxury items could well be hard hit.
Finally, though it may not sound like it, I am actually an optimistic person, and as such, believe that there will be many opportunities along with the difficulties that invariably arise during economic crises. So perhaps the outstanding creativity shown by V&C in producing this incredible machine will also serve the company well in the troubled waters that lie ahead.
I hope so.