by Kyle Stults on July 28, 2014
Vacheron Consantin’s Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time watch was first unveiled in 2011, cased in rose gold. It is now available in platinum, as part of Vacheron’s “Collection Excellence Platine“. Whatever the case metal, the Patrimony Traditionelle World Time is an incredible timepiece, among the best of the best when it comes to world time watches. For starters, it is a single-crown world timer — no pushers on this case (!) — and on top of this it displays every single timezone on the planet, including the half and quarter hour timezones. That’s 37 timezones in total, people! And now, as part of the “Collection Excellence Platine” (platine = platinum), the Patrimony Tradionelle World Time is taken to an all new level of superiority.
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by Kyle Stults on July 15, 2014
This is a one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Calibre 2253, with tourbillon and perpetual calendar. In platinum and with an atypical black dial. It is one of four new special models that Vacheron has unveiled to commemorate the opening of its boutique in Moscow, Vacheron’s first in the city. Unlike their regular production versions which typically have light colored dials, each of these Moscow Boutique editions have black or dark grey dials. And to top it off, each piece comes with a pair of white gold cufflinks with a finish that matches the watch dial (as you can see below).
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by Kyle Stults on May 11, 2014
A few months ago I was fortunate to receive a copy of a new book titled Vacheron Constantin CALIBRE 1731. Having had a chance to read it a couples times now, I am here to recommend it to Perpetuelle readers, and in particular Vacheron Constantin collectors. The 108-page book is focused around Vacheron Constantin’s new caliber 1731 which was introduced in early 2014. Named for the birth year of its founder Jean-Marc Vacheron, the Calibre 1731 measures only 3.90 mm and bears the prestigious Geneva Seal. It was unveiled as part of the new Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731, itself a svelte 8.09 mm thick, making it the thinnest minute repeater in production today.
Perpetuelle presents the breathtaking new Vacheron Constantin lineup. Note these are the new models only; Vacheron also is introducing 6 openworked editions of models already in the collection…those are not featured here. Also below the listing of new models I have provided more detail on the 2014 theme for Vacheron Constantin: Openworking (aka Skeletonizing).
Click any heading or image below for our full report with specs, images and more details.
On the occasion of the SIHH 2014, the Manufacture is enriching its range of openworked watches and presenting its new men’s and women’s models, offering a masterful demonstration of its expertise. Discover now the 3 phases of openworking, as described by Vacheron Constantin.
The All-Important Initial Touch of the Watchmaker
The creation of an openworked watch begins with a lengthy consideration of the movement that is to be openworked as much as possible so as to reveal its inner beauty. This calls upon the experience of the finest master-watchmakers in hollowing out as much of the material as possible, while ensuring that the calibre remains perfectly functional. The conceptualisation, design and modelisation phases alone take several hundred hours, a figure that increases in step with the level of sophistication of the calibre, particularly in terms of complications.
Enter the Artisans Chamfering and Hand-Drawing
The artisans take over from the watchmaking and begin a long period of patient, accurate and rigorously disciplined endeavours. The mainplate, bridges, barrel and other mechanical parts that have been previously drilled and cut out occupy their nimble fingers for dozens of hours. Working by hand with each component in turn, the artisans create subtle contrasts between the finished polish of the chamfering that will catch the light, and the matt effect of the hand-drawing that will accentuate the radiance. While this is in itself a demanding task, it is rendered even more complex by the curved openings and interior angles – some narrower than 45° – favoured by Vacheron Constantin in its openworked watches, and which no machine could possible reproduce.
Hand Engraving – Exalting the Final Result
The chamfering and hand-drawing are followed by the engraving itself. For around one full week for each calibre, the engraver incises and sculpts the material with meticulous strokes of the burin in order to create the original motifs imagined by Vacheron Constantin, giving them their delightfully rounded relief. Each gesture is highly accurate – in some cases to the nearest tenth of a millimetre – and the aesthetic sensitivity of the artist-watchmaker is finely attuned to instilling each component with unique character.