Vacheron Constantin 1972 Asymmetric, Ref. 37010, White Gold

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A delightful watch that gives the impression of being an optical illusion, this Vacheron Constantin Asymmetric ref. 37010 takes inspiration from the 70s interest in unusual case shapes and designs, experimenting with newer forms. With its subtly asymmetric case and highly stylised numerals, the watch takes on a distinctly modern aesthetic.

The science of symmetry

While symmetry is often associated with the soft, somewhat intangible pursuits in design, art and beauty in general, it's a concept rooted in hard mathematics and physics. In these pursuits, it has specific functions and meanings. A symmetrical object is typically an invariant one when subjected to rotation, reflection and other transformations. Without digging too deeply into the research, the fact is that people are attracted to the symmetrical. From the petals of a flower to the face of a supermodel, it has a powerful pull. A pull rooted in the fact that it is familiar.

On the opposite side of the coin, the asymmetrical can have an appeal all of its own. Take, for example, Fukinsei – one of the principles of the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi, that describes the appeal of the irregular. Or the practice of including deliberate breaks in Islamic geometric art. In both these examples, the asymmetric or the irregular design elements still harmonise with the overall design. The same is true of watch dials.