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Traditionnelle chronograph

The 15-piece boutique exclusive — inspired by the Maison’s mantra of ‘Classic with a Twist’ — is built around an extremely thin split-second movement, cased in the noble metal of platinum.

From the so-called ‘Cornes de Vache’ to the iconic Ref. 4072, it’s clear that Vacheron Constantin know a thing or two when it comes to the matter of ‘gentleman’s chronographs’. For this year’s Watches & Wonders presentation, the brand affirmed its dedication to aesthetically refined design and sophisticated mechanisms with this new Traditionnelle chronograph: a rather rare execution that combines an all-platinum case construction with Vacheron’s calibre 3500 (introduced half a decade prior in the similarly thin Harmony split-seconds).

Traditionnelle chronograph

As part of the Traditionnelle line-up — Vacheron’s exhaustive collection of heritage-inspired models, powered by complex in-house movements — this new chronograph looks every inch at home on the wrists of those who venerate the Swiss watchmaking heritage (or alternatively, on the bonnet of an ‘understated’ 4-door saloon).

Traditionnelle chronograph
Specialised machinery is used by the Maison to achieve the sandblasted, gunmetal look of this platinum dial.

The watch’s mouthful of a product description also makes clear that it’s a part of the ‘Collection Excellence Platine’: incorporating a litany of platinum into nearly every external element of the watch you can think of. The case is machined from PT950 platinum (i.e. alloyed with 5 percent ruthenium) as are the crown, dial, and folding clasp. Even the brand’s signature Mississippi alligator straps have been sewn using a combo of silk/platinum thread — the final flourish in Vacheron’s impressive, undoubtedly costly dedication to watchmaking’s rarest metal.

Traditionnelle chronograph
The new Traditionnelle’s 42mm diameter makes a serious impression on the wrist, without drawing undue attention to itself.

All dressed up in its external layers of platinum and alligator, the calibre 3500 measures up at impressive 10.72mm — thin, even by the standard of many contemporary time-only dress watches (though arguably, not quite ‘ultra-thin’). The watch itself falls neatly into the 42mm bracket: a popular size for larg-ish, classically styled chronographs of the modern era in the mould of the Patek Ref. 5070 or 1st generation Datograph.

Though the calibre 3500 made its debut over half a decade prior — at the time, to celebrate Vacheron’s 260th anniversary — it nevertheless remains a technically impressive take on a seminal complication. The alignment of the horizontal clutch and dual column wheels echoes Vacheron’s previous forays into high-end chronograph manufacturing; and provide ample scenery against which the manufacture has been able to level jaw-dropping amounts of anglage. Further hand-finished details (e.g. the peripheral rotor in 22K gold) contribute to the calibre 3500’s certification under the Geneva Seal — awarded exclusively to those movements made and assembled in the eponymous Swiss canton that satisfy the rigours of an independently administered 12-point test.

The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle split-seconds chronograph ultra-thin ‘Collection Excellence Platine’ is available in a limited edition of 15 pieces. Price available on request. To learn more, visit Vacheron Constantin online.

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