HANDS-ON: The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is a salmon-dialled beautyBorna Bošnjak
While Vacheron Constantin’s contribution to the watch world has mostly been focused on the Overseas and the newly re-introduced 222, the Geneva-based maker has quietly refreshed a highly complicated model. First released in platinum in 2016, and then pink gold a year later, it’s been five years since we saw the last update to the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. For Watches and Wonders 2022, the Holy Trinity member introduced a platinum-cased and salmon-dialled iteration of the highly complicated piece, inspired by mid-century design cues and 18th century watchmaking, fitting right into the Traditionnelle collection.
Though complicated in nature, the dial retains a fair degree of legibility, which is a result of the contrast between the ingot-like indices and sharply faceted dauphine hands – both in white gold – and the opaline, salmon-tone dial. There’s plenty of depth, too. The subdials feature a 30-minute chronograph totaliser, date and moonphase, and running seconds, all recessed and with circular graining. The moonphase is particularly special, as its three-dimensional display is crafted out of a solid piece of platinum. Squeezing in between the pinion and Vacheron Constantin branding are the day and month apertures, while a leap year indicator sits in an unusual, off-centre position between 1 and 2 o’clock. The Vacheron Constantin logo itself is an exercise in finishing, with alternating polished and sandblasted finishes to the arms of the Maltese cross. The entire dial is circled by a tachymetre scale, suggesting that Vacheron Constantin intended to imbue it with a sporty spirit.
The case dimensions would suggest the same, measuring in at 43mm in diameter, though it remains fairly slim at just under 13mm. Like other special Vacheron Constantin models, the Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is cased in 950 platinum. The stepped bezel and long, straight lugs give it extra wrist presence, as do the large square chronograph pushers flanking a push-pull crown for 30 metres of water resistance.
Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback is the manually wound Calibre 1142 QP. Its architecture dates back to the 1940s, comprising 324 components – including a column wheel for the chronograph operation, beating at 3Hz for up to 48 hours. Decoration is extensive, as one may expect. There is circular graining on the baseplate, with Geneva striping on the many intricate bridges, straight-grained flanks and hand-polished bevels, making it worthy of the Poinçon de Genève.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph pricing and availability:
The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is available now from Vacheron Constantin. Price is on request.
|Model||Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph|
|Case Dimensions||43mm x 12.94mm x 22mm|
|Case Material||950 platinum|
|Water Resistance||30 metres|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire crystal on both sides|
|Dial||Salmon with 950 platinum moonphase disc and 18k white gold markers and hands|
|Strap||Dark blue alligator leather and inner shell, hand-stitched, 950 platinum clasp|
|Movement||1142 QP, in-house, manual-winding, perpetual calendar chronograph, 48-hour power reserve|