7 highlights from the Vacheron Constantin 2020 collectionNick Kenyon
Vacheron Constantin are a member of the horological holy trinity for very good reason. When it comes to technical innovation and craftsmanship, they are close to peerless in their capacity to not only create some of the most complex and interesting movements ever, but execute the design in an extremely well-thought-out wristwatch. They won the “Innovation” prize only last year at the GPHG with the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, and continue to leave jaws slack with some of their 2020 releases, with new offerings in the Overseas, Fiftysix and Traditionnelle families. And while all of these watches are remarkable examples of design and engineering in their own right, Vacheron Constantin have outdone themselves with a Grand Complication being offered this year. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most impressive watches that make up the Vacheron Constantin 2020 collection.
Vacheron Constantin “La Musique du Temps” Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-seconds chronograph
This year, Vacheron Constantin have flexed their watchmaking muscle, with the release of a unique double-sided watch with a total of 24 complications housed between the the two dials. Powered by their new in-house caliber 2756 that delivers an incredible 65 hours of power reserve, the movement is made up of a total of 1163 components, all contained within a pink gold case that measures 50mm in diameter and 21mm tall. If you can’t justify a larger case size with this degree of complication, you never will. And that complexity is expressed in the following functions that the watch possesses:
- Hours and minutes
- Minute repeater (hours, quarters and minutes on demand)
- A second time zone that is also a 24-hour time zone
- 30-minute counter chronograph
- Split-second chronograph
- Perpetual calendar (date, day, month and leap year)
- Regulator tourbillon
- Retrograde phase and age of the moon
- Running equation of time
- Sunrise and sunset time
- Duration of the day and the night
- Power reserve indication
- Solar time
Vacheron Constantin Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin
Getting (relatively) back down to earth, Vacheron Constantin have continued to develop their Overseas collection with this perpetual calendar in pink gold with an absolutely stunning blue lacquer dial. It lives up to its ultra-thin name with a case that measures only 8.1mm thick, and 41.5mm in diameter, an under-the-cuff profile that is achieved predominantly due to the svelte 1120 QP/1 caliber that is only 4.05mm thick. The case delivers the Overseas impression we know and love, with the eye-catching bezel and Maltese cross-inspired bracelet links.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin skeleton
Sticking with the Overseas family for a moment, Vacheron Constantin have also introduced the same ultra-thin perpetual calendar with a skeletonised dial. This delivers the same solid gold, high-autonomy punch of the solid dial, but offers a better look at the complex 1120 QP/1 caliber that contains a total of 276 components. I, for one, am happy about this leadlight-esque window into such a beautiful movement.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Lady Tourbillon
While these watches aren’t the most complex when it comes to the number of functions they offer, they make simply telling the time look very good. Available in 39mm pink and white gold cases, these two new members of the Traditionnelle collection are powered by the tourbillon caliber 2160/1 which features a peripheral rotor to self-wind. In the pink gold reference, we see a diamond-set bezel and lugs, as well as a pristine mother-of-pearl dial contrasting against the link gold hands and hour markers. In the white gold reference we see a radially arranged diamond dial, as well as a diamond-set bezel and lugs, which, all counted for, features 559 diamonds used throughout the watch. Ice, ice baby.
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix
The Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix collection has been a popular one in recent years, amidst the surge in retro-styled contemporary watches. This year the tone is more muted than previous, with a 40mm pink gold case and warm brown dial keeping the watch under the radar while still thoroughly charming. As we have come to expect in the Fiftysix collection, we are offered two different automatic winding executions this year, expressed in a complete calendar (or triple calendar) and a time-only reference.
Vacheron Constantin La Musique du Temps
Had it not been for the previously mentioned Grand Complication, this Vacheron Constantin La Musique du Temps might easily have been one of the most complicated watches released in 2020. Featuring 19 complications across another double-sided dial, the package is much more compact than its more complicated big brother, measuring a comparatively slender 45mm in diameter and 12.54mm thick. Relative to its size, the complications on offer are simply astounding, with its capacity to track: hours, minutes, Perpetual Calendar (day of the week, date, months and leap year), running equation of time, the moon phases and age of the moon, the sunrise and sunset time, length of the day and the night, a tropic and zodiac disc (seasons, equinox, solstices and zodiac signs), celestial hours and minutes and a sky chart of the northern hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, of the ecliptic and celestial equator. If that wasn’t enough, it is also a minute repeater. Vacheron Constantin aren’t messing around in their Complications Department this year.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon chronograph
Last but certainly not least is another tourbillon, also cased in pink gold but this time featuring a monopusher chronograph. Housing the in-house 3200 calibre, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon chronograph is by no means a small watch at 42.5mm in diameter and 11.7 mm thick, but certainly not uncomfortably large. The exposed tourbillon is visible at the 12 o’clock position, with a 45-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and a power reserve indicator sitting pretty at 6 o’clock. As with much of Vacheron Constantin’s collection this year, it isn’t a simple watch, however the dial has a deeply attractive balance to it, which offers a sense of calm in the face of its whirring tourbillon carriage. As you would expect from a brand that has been making watches for more than 200 years, there’s definitely an impression of refined simplicity to this watch.