With its new Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph, the haute horlogerie specialists at Vacheron Constantin unite two of watchmaking’s most sophisticated mechanisms — a tourbillon and a monopusher chronograph — in a distinctly elegant package. The watch will be among the highlights from 24 presenting watch brands at the all-virtual WatchTime Live event on October 22-24. Here is a sneak preview.
Instantly eye-catching at 12 o’clock on the watch’s silvered opaline dial is the tourbillon, with its hallmark Maltese cross-inspired carriage. The movement mode for this carriage, rather than being driven by the pinion of the fourth wheel as in most tourbillons, is set in motion by an intermediate wheel of the running seconds display. This configuration enables an extremely wide opening on the upper plate and thus an uncommonly large aperture on the dial. Sharing space on the dial are a 45-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and an indicator for its 65-hour power reserve at 6 o’clock. The chronograph mechanism — operated by a monopusher embedded in the fluted crown for stop, start, and restart — is equipped with an “all-or-nothing” activation system that prevents accidental activation by applying insufficient pressure to the pusher. Bordering the dial are a railway track minute ring and a tachymeter scale; sweeping over it are gold Dauphine hands.
Behind the sapphire exhibition back of the 42.5-mm rose gold case is Caliber 3200, a manual-wound manufacture movement that was introduced on the occasion of Vacheron Constantin’s 260th anniversary. Seven years in the R&D stage, and comprised of 292 pieces, it incorporates a number of technologically advanced features to heighten precision and reliability and enhance user friendliness — like the “dragging-display” 45-minute chronograph counter, which replaces a more conventional 30-minute counter on the dial, and the lower 2.5 Hz balance frequency, which allows for a better view of the tourbillon’s rotations. The chronograph device incorporates a column wheel with a lateral clutch to ensure smooth activation and reduce long-term wear. The bar of the tourbillon cage is entirely hand-finished, and the movement boasts a number of high-horology finishes, including chamfering, circular graining, and côtes de Genève.
The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph is mounted on a dark brown Mississippi alligator leather strap with a saddle finish and large square scales; it attached to the wrist with an 18k rose gold folding clasp that also evokes the imagery of the Maltese cross.