by Kyle Stults on March 20, 2013
Inspired by the first pocket watch made by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755, Vacheron Constantin revisits its past by presenting a new pink gold pocket watch. The design contemporary yet timeless and understated in its design. A real dandy.
More looks, and other recent pocket watches featured here, on the click
1.64mm ultra-thin caliber 1003…
above photo: VC The Hour Lounge
For the opening of Vacheron Constantin’s new Paris flagship boutique in Paris, the brand revisited a distinct model from its past to create the 1972 Prestige. The new Prestige is part of the asymmetrical “1972″ collection and was inspired by the original from 1972. Though, this modern day version features the Geneva Seal and has the ultra-thin VC hand-wound caliber 1003 made of gold (same as in the Historiques 1955). It will be offered in two variations — including a 40-piece boutique-only edition, shown above. The Vacheron Constantin 1972 Prestige price is $40,000. Despite its asymmetry, it is actually a rather elegant watch (see wrist shot below).
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by Kyle Stults on October 26, 2012
In 2010 Vacheron Constantin created a unique timepiece called “The Chagall et l’Opera de Paris – Tribute to the Great Composers” whose enamel dial is a reproduction of the Paris Opera Garnier ceiling painted by Chagall in 1964. Vacheron Constantin decided to keep this watch in its private collection but to create 11 unique pieces each representing one of the composers depicted in Chagall’s original painting. Recently, a look the 5th piece of the series was released over at VC’s in-house forum, the Hour Lounge. The watch has already been purchased, but I thought I would show a few pics here because it is a unique and enticing piece. Even more so if you are interested in the opera and/or four famous composers represented on the dial.
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by Kyle Stults on October 01, 2012
41mm rose gold case, ultra-thin automatic Caliber 1120, stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva
Vacheron Constantin has announced the new Patrimony Traditionelle Self-Winding — in a 41mm case and with the legendary automatic ultra-thin Caliber 1120. The watch is classic and traditional, but at the same time its 41mm diameter lends it an undeniably contemporary dimension. I’ll walk through the particulars on this superb new reference from Vacheron, as well as a detailed look at the legendary Caliber 1120 and its origins (including its commonality with the AP Cal. 2120 and the Patek Cal 28-255), below.
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by Kyle Stults on September 11, 2012
A couple weeks ago I unveiled the spectacular Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calender in rose gold (Ref 49020/000R-9753), new for 2012. At the time I also mentioned the new blue-dialed chronograph, reference 49150/B01A-9745, which is what I am here to explore with you today. The distinctive and prestigious Overseas chronograph was first launched in 1996, with the current collection boasting a wide variety of references in a variety of case metals and dial choices, including models with added complications such as the aforementioned perpetual calendar. This model with lacquered blue dial and steel case and bracelet joins black and white-dialed models of the same mold. A version in rose gold/blue dial is also available. This is undeniably the most adventurous dial color choice yet — bold but by no means overbearing, culminating in a splendid new offering from Vacheron. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
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by Kyle Stults on August 30, 2012
Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest watch manufacturer in continuous operation (since 1755), announced two new models in its sporting and technical “Overseas” collection line. The first is a blue-dialed chronograph (which I will feature in a future post), and the Overseas Chronograph Perpetual Calendar model you see here. This is not the first Perpetual Calendar in the Overseas line — recall for example last year’s red, white and blue “New York” boutique exclusive — but I believe its pink gold case is the first such execution of its kind. So again, nothing super new here, but there’s many reasons that the VC Overseas is featured regularly here at Perpetuelle — let’s not overlook the many exemplary virtues of this watch — a beautifully arranged alliance between a chronograph and a perpetual calendar.
I’ve got lots of looks, on the jump>>>
by Kyle Stults on February 25, 2012
Remarkable Art + Time…
You may recall from last year that Vacheron Constantin created a phenomenal piece unique for Only Watch 2011, the M.C. Escher-inspired “Dove” watch. At SIHH 2012 last month, Vacheron went on to show off 3 more gorgeous new M.C. Escher-inspired watches in the same style — and I’m here with an in-depth look at each. These pieces are part of Vacheron’s Métiers d’Art collection, a marriage of graphic art and high-end watch decorating techniques such as etching, enameling, crimping and guilloche.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art: Infinite Universe Series
Dove | Fish | Starfish
Limited Edition 20 pieces each (unnumbered)
40mm white gold case (8.9mm thick), automatic mechanical manufacture caliber SC 2460, Geneva Seal (meeting the new, stricter criteria to receive such a seal)
demonstrating techniques of guilloché and cloisonne enameling
demonstrating techniques of engraving and champlevé enameling
demonstrating techniques of engraving, champlevé enameling, tucking and crimping
by Kyle Stults on January 19, 2012
As I mentioned in my opening preview of the 2012 Vacheron Constantin collection, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the brand’s first tonneau-shaped watch (1912), and to mark the occasionVacheron Constantin has decided to present the Malte 100th Anniversary Edition model, a hand-wound watch issued in a 100-piece limited series in a platinum case. This piece of course is molded in the redesigned Malte tonneau case, with a more curved middle section than the previous model — the side and front-angle photos below give a really good sense of the more dramatic shape of the new Malte case.
Vacheron Constantin Malte 100th Anniversary Edition
38mm x 48.24mm platinum case (12.7 thick), hand wound VC manufacture calibre 4400 (65 hrs power reserve), Geneva Seal, black alligator strap
by Kyle Stults on January 18, 2012
What a great start to SIHH Geneva 2012 it has been! Let’s move on to some of Vacheron Constantin’s pieces now, shall we. For me, the most interesting pieces for Vacheron in 2012 are in the Malta collection. 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the brand’s first tonneau-shaped watch (1912), and to mark the occasion Vacheron Constantin has revisited the tonneau shape of its Malte collection in a fairly big way. That is, VC has completely redesigned the shape of the Malte tonneau case and also developed a new tonneau-shaped movement to match, the Caliber 2795. The new case is a bit sharper and more angular in its form — the old case has very smooth arcing sides whereas the new case has the very, very faint resemblance of a V-shape to it. The new shape paves the way for the “new” Malte collection in the years ahead.
For 2012 four new models are presented, three of them approved in accordance with the new Hallmark of Geneva criteria. There is a tourbillon, a small seconds, a lady’s model, and a Malte 100th Anniversary edition. The first piece I am showing here is the Malte Tourbillon, featuring Vacheron’s new mechanical hand-wound Tourbillon movement, the Calibre 2795. I will be posting the other models soon, so stay tuned in.
Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon
38mm x 48.2mm pink gold case, manual wind mechanical VC Caliber 2795, alligator strap
by Kyle Stults on November 30, 2011
Here’s a look at the SIHH pre-release from Vacheron Constantin, the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14 Day Tourbillon. Don’t be fooled into taking this piece for a classical tourbillon — in fact this piece boasts a 14-day power reserve, powered the four barreled VC Calibre 2260 (we’re talking 2.2 meters of barrel spring, people!). As well, this is the first Vacheron Constantin timepiece to be approved according to the new Geneva Seal criteria (see “Did You Know?” below).
Perpetuelle SIHH 2012 Previews >>> Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 40th Anniversary Watch, Panerai PAM 422, Girard-Perregaux 1966 Small Second, Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Automatic, Cartier Cadran Lové Tourbillon,
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14 Day Tourbillon
42mm pink gold case (12.2mm thick), mechanical hand-wound VC Calibre 2260 (336 hours/14-day power reserve, 4 barrels), Geneva Seal, alligator strap with pink gold clasp, transparent back fitted with a sapphire crystal
In order to provide a full 14-day power reserve, the new Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2260 is equipped with four barrels mounted in coupled pairs. They are all connected and all unwind simultaneously, but naturally four times slower than a single barrel. The four barrel-springs amount to a total length of around 2.20 metres — now that’s a lot of spring! Comprising 231 parts and beating at a frequency of 18,800 vibrations/hour.
The architecture of this new Calibre 2260 features two large bridges (instead of the three appearing on the previous Vacheron Constantin tourbillons). The large surfaces thus available serve to highlight the finishes lavished on this movement, including the Côtes de Genève that are thus given full scope for expression. Having two extra bridges serves to enhance the precision in terms of assembly, but represents an additional difficulty for the watchmaker who thus has less easy access to the movement. The tourbillon carriage is inspired by the brand’s signature Maltese Cross and provides a splendid showcase for the exceptional level of finishing of each movement part, including a number of interior angles, all naturally hand-bevelled. The rounding off of the tourbillon bar alone takes over 11 hours of manual craftsmanship to achieve an optimal effect.
A slender bezel, a case middle with a fluted base, a screw-down case-back fitted with a sapphire crystal, facetted hour-markers (double at 12 o’clock), 5N pink gold dauphine hands and an historically inspired opaline silver-toned dial adorned with a variety of finishes make this an exquisite collectors piece.
Live pics via The Hour Lounge
Did You Know?
New Geneva Seal Criteria
As of 2012, the certification no longer concerns the movement alone, but instead the watch as a whole. Component production as well as verification of the entire set of operations leading to the finished watch are now the object of a systematic and more demanding monitoring procedure conducted by independent State-sworn agents. Once a movement has been officially approved in accordance with the Hallmark of Geneva requirements, periodic unannounced inspections will be made in the company in order to verify the compliance of production processes. The inspections will in particular serve to check that the assembly, adjustment and casing-up are indeed performed in Geneva, as well as to evaluate the quality of the components produced and the assembled movements.
Rather than just the movement, the entire watch is now stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva. The exterior of the timepiece is thus taken into account, and in particular the elements connecting the movement to the case, meaning the casing-up rings, the clamps and braces and the dog screws. All components must also comply with the production processes and finishes laid down by the Hallmark of Geneva.
The testing of the completed watch is now an integral part of the requirements of the quality label. This is true of the water resistance, of which the company’s internal controls are duly cross-checked by the Hallmark of Geneva authorities. The power reserve announced for a given movement is also periodically tested. Finally, the precision of the watch as proven by a wear simulation test becomes an essential element in awarding the label. The Hallmark of Geneva conducts precision measurements for a full seven days to ensure that the variation in rate does not exceed one minute per week.
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