As we get closer to January’s SIHH watch salon in Geneva, we continue to offer sneak peeks at several of the new timepieces making their world debut there. Today, we take a look at the first new models from Vacheron Constantin — three versions of the luxuriously sporty Overseas Dual Time and a limited-edition Traditionnelle Complete Calendar from the Genevan manufacture’s Collection Excellence Platine.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time is the latest addition to the brand’s relaunched Overseas collection, which debuted to great fanfare at SIHH 2016 with a three-hand, chronograph, and perpetual calendar model and added a world-time watch later that year. Like those models, the new Dual Time is distinguished by a six-sided bezel inspired by Vacheron’s Maltese cross emblem; an in-house-made, mechanical self-winding movement whose 22k gold rotor is embellished with a wind rose; and a patented easy-adjust/easy-replace strap and bracelet system. In tribute to the Overseas model’s sporty origins, the movement is also secured against the deleterious effects of magnetic fields by a soft iron inner casing ring.
The Overseas Dual Time — available in three versions, stainless steel with blue dial, stainless steel with silver-tone dial, or 18k rose gold with silver-toned dial — has a 41-mm case water-resistant to 150 meters thanks in part to a screwed-down crown. Its translucent lacquered dial features faceted, gold hands and hour indices treated with Super-LumiNova and is enhanced with a sunburst satin finish for its base and a velvet finish on the flange.
The watch is powered by manufacture Caliber 5110 DT, an all-new movement that is the result, Vacheron says, of several years of development. Its signature function is the simultaneous reading of two time zones on co-axial hands. The main hour hand indicates the wearer’s local time in his current location, while the red-triangular-arrow-tipped GMT hand points to the home time or “reference time” on the 12-hour scale, which is linked to the “AM/PM” indicator at 9 o’clock, allowing a traveler wearing the watch to determine at a glance if it’s daytime or nighttime back home. The crown’s first position adjusts the local time in independent, jumping hour increments; the second position sets the home time with dragging adjustments of both time zone hours and minutes. In the 6 o’clock subdial, a pointer-type date indication, synchronized with the local time, is adjusted via the screw-locked pusher at 4 o’clock.
The movement, visible through a clear sapphire window in the caeback, is made up of 234 components and stores a respectable 60-hour power reserve in its twin mainspring barrels while oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz). The rose-gold Overseas Dual Time comes on a hand-stitched, brown alligator leather strap with black nubuck lining and is delivered with an additional strap in brown rubber. The steel models are both mounted on a stainless steel bracelet with half-Maltese-cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links, along with two additional, easily changeable straps, one in alligator leather, the other in rubber, in blue or black depending on the model. All straps and bracelets are secured to the wrist with triple-blade folding clasps. Vacheron has already announced the U.S. prices for the new Overseas models: $24,700 for both the watches in steel cases and $39,500 for the rose-gold-cased watch.
Limited to 100 pieces, the Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Collection Excellence Platine joins Vacheron’s haute-de-gamme series of timepieces notable for their use of platinum — the most prestigious of horology’s precious metals — for everything from the case to the dial to the buckle, and even the topstitching on the leather straps. The 41-mm case is constructed of 950 platinum, with a sapphire crystal covering the sand-blasted dial made of the same material, and identified as such by the subtle “Pt950” inscription between 4 and 5 o’clock, a hallmark of all the pieces in Vacheron’s “Platinum Excellence” collection. Like other models in the brand’s classically designed Traditionnelle series, its case and lugs are in the “Etage” style and the caseback, fitted with a sapphire window to view the movement, has a fluted edge. Other telltale elements of the collection are on the dial, including the railway-type minute track, dauphine hour and minute hands, and “bâtons de Genève” hour markers. The hands and hour appliqués are double faceted and made of 18k white gold.
The dial makes judicious use of dark blue for its calendar indications — blue Arabic numerals for the date and month (in twin apertures directly across from each other opposite edges of the dial), a blue center-mounted, crescent-moon-tipped pointer hand for the date, which is displayed on a 1-to-31 scale with blue Arabic numerals on the dial’s periphery. The moon-phase indication, in an aperture at 6 o’clock, features a platinum moon disk and has been engineered to be highly precise — requiring just one adjustment every 122 years as compared to simpler moon-phase complications, which require adjustments every three years. The “age of the moon” is calculated on a 1-to-29 1/2-day scale encircling the aperture.
All of these functions are powered by Vacheron Constantin’s manufacture Caliber 2460 QCL, a 308-piece self-winding movement that features a 22k gold rotor adorned with a barleycorn motif and a host of other haute horlogerie finishes. Fully wound, the 28,800-vph movement stores a 40-hour power reserve. Like all Vacheron Constantin movements, this caliber is stamped with the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, attesting to its technical excellence and high level of hand finishing.
The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Collection Excellence Platine — whose dark blue alligator leather strap continues the platinum motif with actual platinum threads used for the contrast stitching — will be priced at $68,500.
I like the rose gold watch but with four hands it will be confusing to tell the time at first glance