With almost 270 years of watchmaking expertise under its belt, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest uninterrupted Manufacture that’s still in operation, and it’s continuously pushed boundaries to astound the horological world with its advancements in watchmaking.
For Watches & Wonders 2022, the brand continued to showcase its flair for haute horlogerie by putting its time-tested techniques to the test, creating not one but three perpetual calendar watches for the year ahead, including one for the ladies.
For the uninitiated, the perpetual calendar is one of watchmaking’s most prestigious and classical complications for its ability to keep track of not only the day, date, month, and time, but also the moon phase and leap year. This means that it doesn’t require corrections every month and every four years like most watches do, making it a mechanical wonder in its own right.
Below, we highlight the three new perpetual calendar timepieces by Vacheron Constantin that you can look forward to this year:
Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
There’s a new salmon platinum perpetual calendar chronograph in town, this time courtesy of Vacheron Constantin, who played up its forte in classic aesthetics to create this latest novelty. Here, the salmon-hued opaline dial sets the perfect backdrop for the thoughtfully designed timepiece, which combines two of the most prestigious horological complications. Here, you’ll see traditional details such as blue chronograph hands, white gold hands for the time, and a 950 platinum moon phase disc that matches the case.
At its heart is the manual-winding calibre 1142 QP, another work of art that deserves just as much time in the spotlight as its snazzy looking dial. The 324-component chronograph movement is complemented by a perpetual calendar, and sees a historic architecture that dates back to the 1940s. Several adaptations have since been implemented over the decades to meet the strict criteria by the Hallmark of Geneva, but the result is nothing short of spectacular. Today, it sports details such as a circular-grained mainplate, Côtes de Genève motif on the bridges, and hand-bevelled components. A sharp dark blue, hand-finished alligator leather strap completes the look.
Traditionnelle perpetual calendar ultra-thin
It’s not often that ladies get the same attention to mechanical detail as men when it comes to watches, and they often have to settle for timepieces that are beautiful on the outside, but simple on the inside. Vacheron Constantin has been challenging this status quo since the 1970s when it first experimented with new shapes for women, before moving on to more technically sophisticated watches to cater to ladies who wanted more than —quite literally — a pretty face.
Its latest ladies’ timepiece checks the boxes for both form and function. Inside, an in-house Calibre 1120 QP is responsible for the perpetual calendar complication — one of the most sought-after and mechanically complicated movements around. The beautiful calendar display is matched by a moon phase indicator at six o’clock. While most perpetual calendar watches have a tendency to be heftier, the manufacture has managed to keep this one slim on the wrist at only 4.05mm thick, thanks to its expertise in ultra-thin movements.
Inspired by Vacheron Constantin models from the first half and of the last century, this timepiece is available in 18K white gold and 18K 5N pink gold versions, both of which sport features such as stepped lugs and case, a fluted caseback, as well as Dauphine-type hands which sweep around a railway minutes track that’s punctuated by baton-type hour-markers. A blue-grey tinted mother-of-pearl dial comes with the white gold model, whilst the pink gold model sees a white mother-of-pearl dial.
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
Another perpetual calendar worth noting is Vacheron Constantin’s fresh interpretation of the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, a magnificent gilded piece that’s now more contemporary for the discerning gentleman.
Swathed in 18k 5N pink gold and matched with a rich blue dial, this 41.5mm skeletonised timepiece isn’t stranger to worldwide recognition; the same model did, after all, win the Calendar and Astronomy Watch prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2020. This year, the timepiece is just as impressive, having been equipped with the self-winding Calibre 1120 that measures a mere 2.45mm thick. With the perpetual calendar module, the total thickness of the mechanism is only 4.05mm thick, making it sleek and lightweight enough for everyday use. Of course, the movement’s beauty and ingenuity is on full display in this skeletonised watch.
To add to its versatility, an interchangeable bracelet and strap system has been implemented here so you can take your timepiece anywhere, whether it’s to a black tie event or casual brunch on Sunday. The matching 18K 5N pink gold bracelet here comes accompanied by two calfskin and rubber straps, each bearing an 18K 5N pink gold pin buckle.
(All images: Vacheron Constantin)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore