HANDS-ON: The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface HANDS-ON: The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface

HANDS-ON: The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface

Zach Blass

Back in 2019, Vacheron Constantin made horological headlines with a perpetual calendar Traditionnelle watch with a never before seen functionality. Perpetual calendars can be notoriously tricky for their owners. With such an intricate calendar mechanism, their owners’ lives are made much easier if the watch is kept wound – a perfect example of a watch that should be kept on a winder when off the wrist. But the 2019 Traditionnelle Openworked Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar provided an innovative solution, a manually wound perpetual calendar movement that could run at 5Hz or 1.2Hz at the discretion of the owner. On the wrist, it makes sense to let the watch run at 5Hz. Off the wrist, however, to let it run at that rate would deplete the power reserve of the mechanism more quickly. By running it at 1.2Hz while not worn, on full wind the movement would run for an astounding 65 days off the wrist. Two days of power reserve is pretty standard, over two months unheard of. While the watch was lauded for its innovative mechanism, the openworked aesthetic caught the eye of horology lovers around the world as well. And this is where its less complicated, yet still highly sophisticated sequel comes into play: the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface.

The case

The Traditonnelle collection is typically associated with modern pieces that evoke timeless sensibilities. But, to be frank, nothing about this watch is traditional aside from the watchmaking methods utilised in its modern-looking design. A 41mm case for a dressier watch is on the larger side for sure, but even with its elongated lugs, the lug-to-lug measurement of its entirely polished white-gold case is 48.6mm across the wrist – so very manageable for the average wrist. In line with a dress watch, the case is 30 metres water-resistant, so I would personally not recommend taking it for a swim, and it is relatively slender coming in at just under 11mm (10.7mm to be exact).

The dial

Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface

As its name suggests, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface follows the footsteps of the Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar with a semi-openworked dial that reveals many of the front-facing movement components (attractively brushed, chamfered and anthracite NAC treated). The outermost solid surface of the dial contains both indications for the calendar date and minutes around its perimeter. A blackened gold hand, tipped with a white crescent moon, corresponds to the Arabic numerals that denote calendar date (1-31). The white gold dauphine central minutes hand corresponds to a printed railroad minutes track, the central hours hand to the applied white-gold hour indices that hang of the inner perimeter of the solid grey disc.

Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface

At 12′, you will find the typical Vacheron Constantin branding, with the name of the manufacture and their Maltese cross logo, but it is actually printed on the sapphire crystal instead of the grey guilloche textured surface beneath it. Right below, you will then notice two sapphire discs, with the left having the 12 months printed on it and on the right the seven days of the week. As they rotate into position, a white border beneath serves as the backdrop to bring the black text of the current month and day into legible and clear view. At 6′ you have a moonphase complication, the crescent covering normally hiding the second image of the moon semi-transparent.

The strap

Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface

The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is appropriately affixed to a grey alligator leather strap that perfectly matches the tone of the dial, and is secured to the wrist via a deployant clasp in case-matching white gold. Considering the muted nature of the dial colour, I think the watch looks best on the matching strap – but there is definitely also room to explore aftermarket or other factory strap options in Vacheron’s arsenal as well.

The movement

Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface

The star of any holy trinity watch, as expected the in-house automatic calibre 2460 QCL/2 is adorned with exquisite finishes. Beneath the 22K gold openworked Maltese cross-winding rotor, you’ll find top-notch chamfers, brushing, striping, and circular graining befitting of the Geneva Hallmark standard. In terms of its power reserve, the 28,800 vph calibre will last 40 hours off the wrist on a full wind.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface pricing and availability:

The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is available now for inquires. Price: $47,300 USD