Vacheron Constantin has been the talk of SIHH 2019 releasing a slew of timepieces with unique technical and aesthetic signatures. After having witnessed the very best of what the maison has to offer this year, we’ve put together our top 3 releases… Take a look…
If we had 3 words to sum up the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, it would be ‘INNOVATION WITH MEANING’… and you’ll see exactly why. This beast of a watch has everyone talking and validates the Vacheron Constantin’s 264 years of horological excellence; defining the future of fine mechanical watchmaking. Fitted with an in-house developed calibre 3610 QP, the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar allows the wearer to switch between two modes, via a pusher at 8 o clock; depending on their needs. When the watch is on the wrist, the wearer will get the most out of it by keeping it in ‘Active mode’, which features a 5Hz (36,000vph) balance and 4 days of power reserve. When the watch is not being worn, it can be slowed down to a frequency of 1.2Hz (i.e, switched to ‘Standby Mode’) in order to guarantee an extended power reserve of at least 65 days. When switched to Standby mode the watch runs on a second balance without interrupting the ability of the movement to keep time. At any point during the Standby mode running time, the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar can be switched back to Active mode and reworn, with all its calendar indications perfectly up to date.
Vacheron Constantin has integrated a patent-pending mechanical system that allows the wearer to switch between the two modes without interrupting the ability of the movement to keep time. The mode selector that operates on an all-or-nothing principle, allows only one balance to oscillate at a time. Both the Active (5Hz, 36,000vph) and Standby (1.2Hz, 8,640vph) balances are driven by the same mainspring barrel, which is the most efficient way of distributing energy and the only way to have a single power-reserve indication.
The other side of the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar’s optimised energy consumption is its 1.2Hz (8,640vph) Standby mode, which steps in during long periods of stasis when the watch is laid flat and a high-frequency balance would only drain the mainspring with no added advantage.
The Perpetual Calendar
Watch enthusiasts would agree that today most Perpetual Calendar watches have to be manually set if they’ve not used for a while… and Vacheron Constantin recognises this which is why two gear trains, two oscillators beating at different frequencies and a mainspring barrel has been integrated into the perpetual calendar.
The Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar features a 42mm case crafted in 950 platinum. On the dial, the very 18th-century art of engine turning and frosted finish are transmuted into clean radial guillochage and sand-blasted surfaces. In order to perfectly achieve this union of tradition and modernity, the dial is made in two main segments in a multi-stage process. A gold dial segment is decorated with hand-guillochage, and then fitted within an outer segment of sapphire crystal. Gold hour indexes are then set into the sapphire-crystal dial segment, which is further laser-engraved and ink-filled for a sleek, seamless appearance.
The movement plates and bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève and then treated with NAC, a dark coating that offers superior resistance and durability compared with other similar-looking treatments.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Steel Tourbillon
Presented in a stainless steel case, Vacheron Constantin welcomes its first ever tourbillon model in the Overseas collection. This path-breaking piece is fitted with an ultra-thin 188-part Calibre 2160 which sits within a soft iron casing ring ensuring anti-magnetic protection. At just 5.65 mm thick, it is one of the slimmest tourbillon movements out there.
In addition to the elegance of an openworked carriage shaped like the Manufacture’s Maltese Cross emblem, the ultra-thin 188-part Calibre 2160 – first presented in 2018 and measuring just 5.65 mm thick – opts for a 22K gold peripheral rotor. This choice ensures a clear view of the mechanism beating at the stately frequency of 2.5 Hz, visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. It also reveals the exceptional level of traditional finishing. The bar of the tourbillon carriage is entirely hand-bevelled, a task requiring around 12 hours for this component alone. The new Overseas Tourbillon features central hours and minutes, a tourbillon with seconds indication at 6 o’clock, displayed on a blue-lacquered sunburst satin-finished dial enlivened by hands and hour-markers enhanced with Super-LumiNova®.
No need for any tools, since one smooth move is enough. Thanks to the simple and reliable interchangeability concept developed by Vacheron Constantin, the Overseas Tourbillon watch opts for modularity by offering the possibility of being worn on a steel bracelet or a blue leather or rubber strap, thus enabling the wearer to play with varying styles.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin
We can all agree that Vacheron Constantin is among those luxury watch brands that have aced the art of watch complications. Presented in two different versions… a pink gold case, blue dial and blue strap and a pink gold case, silver-toned dial and pink gold bracelet, the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin strikes the right balance between aesthetics and function.
A six-sided bezel evoking Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese Cross emblem; a translucent lacquered dial with facetted and luminescent gold hands and hour-markers; Manufacture movements designed to facilitate everyday use; a 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a windrose; tool-free interchangeability of the bracelet/straps: Overseas epitomises the essence of contemporary living.
The beautifully crafted 41.5mm, 18K 5N pink gold case houses the iconic Vacheron Constantin 1120 QP calibre, an ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement completed with perpetual calendar and moon-phase functions. Representing a true feat of miniaturisation, this mechanism comprising 276 components housed within a space barely 4.05 mm thick copes with calendar irregularities and requires no related adjustments until the year 2100. Beating at the frequency of 2.75 Hz while enjoying a 40-hour power reserve, it drives indications of the hours and minutes, perpetual calendar – day of the week, date, month and leap year on a 48-hour counter – along with moon phases.
The translucent silver-toned or blue lacquered dial depending on the versions are punctuated by 18K gold hands and hour-markers enhanced with luminescent material, while the sapphire crystal caseback reveals a 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose. The blue-dial version is fitted with a blue leather or rubber strap, while the version graced with a silver-toned dial flows into an 18K 5N pink gold bracelet taking sophistication to a whole new level.