The Maison’s first sports watch with an integrated retrograde display, and achieving the art of equilibrium through a minimalist design that meets watchmaking elegance. These are just two of the four exciting novelties presented by Vacheron Constantin at the 2023 edition of Watches & Wonders 2023 that kicked off on March 27 in Geneva.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface
Tradition meet modernity through the expression of an avant-garde aesthetic, the demand for mechanical sophistication, and the desire to share creative expertise – all of which are at the heart of the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface watch. The opening onto the architecture of the 2162 R31 movement – with its slate grey shade achieved by an NAC surface treatment – perfectly visible on both sides of the watch, highlights its mechanical power. The latter is notably highlighted by hand-crafted finishes such as vertical hand-brushing on the upper part of the retrograde mechanism plate and guilloché work on the lower part. The retrograde date display, complemented by a tourbillon, takes on added depth in a functional and contemporary style.
Heir to the References 47245 and 47247 from the early Noughties, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Date Retrograde Openface combines its retrograde display with a partially open-worked dial, another signature of the Maison since the early 20th century. Open-face dials highlight the technical nature and the meticulous and consistent attention to detail through an avant-garde aesthetic approach. Housed in an 18-karat pink gold case measuring 41mm in diameter and only 11.07mm thick, this new timepiece is fitted with a grey alligator strap secured by a pink gold folding clasp.
The openworked sapphire dial, which also has a guilloché segment, reveals the in-house Calibre 2162 R31, whose retrograde mechanism plate is highlighted by a slate grey surface treatment, achieved by a succession of thin galvanic layers. It is further enhanced by vertical hand-brushing on the upper part, its surface having been smoothed with a dedicated abrasive serving to create subtle light effects, as well as a hand-guilloché lower part. The retrograde date display, complemented by a tourbillon, thus gains added depth in an ultra-contemporary yet very watchmaking style.
Stylised in the shape of a hollowed-out Maltese Cross, the tourbillon features a set of refined and complex finishes: the inside of its carriage is hand-bevelled, its cone-shaped transversal bar is hand-polished to give it a mirror-like gleam close to perfection.
Proudly bearing the Hallmark of Geneva, the Traditionnelle tourbillon retrograde date openface watch is driven by a 242-component in-house movement. Calibre 2162 R31 revisits beats at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour and measures just 6.25mm thick.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date
The first Vacheron Constantin sport watch with a retrograde display, the new Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date is at the crossroads between technical sophistication and the pursuit of aesthetic principles. The timepiece succeeds in incorporating an astronomical complication by combining it with a retrograde date display, a true signature of the Maison – all within a sporty-elegant case. Equipped with an in-house, 5.4mm-thick Calibre 2460 R31L/2, this timepiece reflects the grand watchmaking traditions in the inherently modern and contemporary spirit of the Overseas collection.
The new model keeps the collection’s iconic attributes immediately recognisable: a six-sided bezel evoking the Maltese cross, fluted crown, polished and satin-brushed finishes, translucent lacquered dial, luminescent hour-markers and hands, by combining them with a retrograde date and a precision moon-phase.
Several months of aesthetic research were required to combine a precision moon phase and a retrograde date, while ensuring extreme legibility and perfect balance. Achieving this complex pairing involved first integrating a retrograde date – a classic signature of the Maison – into a sports-inspired watch. This challenge was successfully met, notably thanks to the work on the blue-tinted retrograde hand. Next came the task of considering how to display moon phases without losing the sporty feel of the timepiece.
This timepiece is driven by in-house self-winding Calibre 2460 R31L/2 with a 40-hour power reserve. The 275-component movement can be admired through the sapphire caseback, notably the circular-grained surface of its mainplate and its 22-karat gold oscillating weight adorned with a stylised compass rose recalling the themes travel and exploration. The moon phases are displayed through a 6 o’clock aperture graduated from 0 to 291⁄2 and thus serving to read off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon.
This complication, known as the age of the moon, corresponds to the actual cycle of this heavenly body which completes one full rotation around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The precision moon-phase mechanism requires a one-day correction only every 122 years. The retrograde date indication by central hand occupies the upper part of the dial.
Because an active lifestyle also involves countless surprises, the Overseas watch adapts to all situations by opting for versatile elegance. Its simple and practical strap/bracelet interchangeability system enables it to be delivered with a steel bracelet accompanied by two additional straps in calfskin leather and in blue rubber.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding
The Overseas collection has been designed to reflect the spirit of long-distance travel – a journey that begins with a watch on the wrist. With its brand new silhouette, the latest iteration of Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Self-Winding combines elegance with robustness, attention to detail underscores essentials, and aesthetics adapt to every circumstance. True to these principles, the brand is introducing four new models in pink gold and steel, featuring a 35mm diameter of the gemset versions and 34.5mm for the non-set models.
These new diameters prompted the in-house designers to rethink the silhouette of the models, which are now slimmer and more ergonomic, giving them a slender appearance. “These new watches correspond to an aesthetic trend dictated by more classical standards. It is characterised by a reduction in the size of the watches, which are equally suited to both men’s and women’s wrists,” explains Christian Selmoni, Director of Style and Heritage at Vacheron Constantin.
Each piece is loyal to the collection’s emblematic codes found on the larger-diameter models. The hours and minutes indications are accompanied by central seconds and a date display at 3 o’clock. The minutes track, placed around the rim in a single row, features a velvety finish creating harmonious light effects with the sunburst satin-brushed decoration of the lacquered dial.
The two models in 18-karat 5N pink gold as well as the non-set steel timepiece adopt the collection’s iconic blue dial, while that of the steel watch set with 90 diamonds feature a delicate shade of pink. To ensure excellent legibility at night, the hours and minutes hands as well as the hour-markers in pink or white gold – depending on the version – feature Super-LumiNova inlays.
Thanks to its strap interchangeability system that is as simple as it is practical, the Overseas self-winding watch can be adapted to any situation. Each reference comes with three bracelet/straps: an integrated metal bracelet (in 18-karat 5N pink gold or steel, depending on the case), and two straps in rubber and calfskin. Another new feature is that the calfskin and rubber straps are now all equipped with an interchangeable clasp/buckle – thanks to a folding clasp on the steel models and a pin buckle for the gold versions.
Calibre 1088/1 has been chosen to set the pace for these new timepieces and drives the hours, minutes, seconds as well as the 40-hour power reserve. This 144-component movement with a 4 Hz rhythm is equipped with a stop-seconds mechanism, enabling precise adjustment of the timekeeping functions. Featuring rear bridges bearing the ‘Côtes de Genève’ motif, it is fitted with the collection’s emblematic rotor in 22K gold, adorned with a compass rose and visible through the sapphire crystal on the caseback.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date
Minimalist design meets watchmaking elegance – the art of equilibrium – in Vacheron Constantin’s new 42.5mm-diameter Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date in 950 platinum with a salmon-coloured dial. With its rare combination of retrograde complications evoking the iconoclastic displays of the 1920s and 1930s, this timepiece excels in its field. Heir to the grand stylistic and technical tradition of the Maison, this limited annual production timepiece reveals meticulous attention to detail.
Every detail is designed to reflect the aesthetic characteristics of Vacheron Constantin. Beneath the 12 o’clock hour-marker sits a facetted Maltese cross in relief, the emblem of the Maison. Crafted in 18-karat 5N pink gold, it features facets that are sandblasted on one side and polished on the other, offering a new expression of the Vacheron Constantin symbol specific to this signature platinum case and salmon-coloured dial.
The two retrograde (day and date) indications are made with blued steel hands (in keeping with tradition), while the hours and minutes are displayed by 18-karat white gold hands. In classic 1950s style, the latter are subtly curved to match the shape of the domed dial with its intense reflections. The circular-grained peripheral minutes track is also inspired by this era in a revisited version.
The Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date is driven by in-house self-winding calibre 2460 R31R7/3 operating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. It is fitted with a 22-karat gold open-worked oscillating weight with a design inspired by the Maltese cross emblem, and has an approximately 40-hour power reserve. In the grand tradition of in-house calibres, the bridges are finished with hand-polished angles. Straight-graining, which consists of perfectly smoothing the component flanks, is also performed by hand, while the screws are meticulously polished. The mainplate is circular-grained on both sides, while the bridges are adorned on the back with the Côtes de Genève motif.