Watches and Wonders 2014: Vacheron Constantin honors platinum
Celebrating a pure, rare and eternal material, the Collection Excellence Platine by Vacheron Constantin welcomes two new models that will delight all those with a taste for pure, understated dials, as well as keen long-distance travellers. This noble line of preciously attired watches highlights the full extent of the expertise cultivated by the Geneva-based Manufacture in the creation of mechanical movements ranging from the simplest to the most complex. Designed, developed and produced by the Vacheron Constantin Manufacture, the two calibres powering the Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve and Traditionnelle World Time watches thereby consolidate the brand’s range of useful complications.
The Collection Excellence Platine reinforces the unique character of the watches that have joined the ranks of this prestigious range since its creation in 2006. In developing this exclusive line of timepieces, Vacheron Constantin wished to highlight the distinctive qualities of platinum. The material was first used by the Geneva-based Manufacture in 1820 and has since been featured in a number of its creations. 95% pure as against 75% for 18-carat gold, platinum is sourced from an extremely limited number of deposits worldwide. Its purity and its rarity make it the ultimate material for the most exclusive timepieces. Its density and its weight explain its resistance that is far higher than that of other metals. The imperishable, high-performance properties of platinum render it synonymous with durability and ensure its enduring appeal among an elite circle of connoisseurs and collectors.
Through its elitist identity codes, the Collection Excellence Platine by Vacheron Constantin pays a marked tribute to the most prestigious of all metals. In addition to a case and crown in 950 platinum, each model belonging to this collection features a dial with a sandblasted finish bearing the discreet inscription “PT950” between 4 and 5 o’clock. Secured by a 950 platinum folding clasp, the strap in dark blue alligator leather is graced with a saddle-stitched finish, hand-sewn with silk and 950 platinum thread lending an ultimate touch of perfection. Each model is produced in individually numbered series never exceeding 150. The latest additions to this collection, the Traditionnelle Date-Day and Power Reserve and the Traditionnelle World Time, are no exception to the rule, since only 100 of each will be released. They naturally carry the same external tokens of distinction as the preceding models: a case, crown, dial and buckle in 950 platinum. Both stemming from the Traditionnelle collection, the two models equipped with useful complications draw upon the constantly enriched watchmaking heritage of Vacheron Constantin, while further strengthening a “medium complication” segment in which the Manufacture excels as much as in that of extremely sophisticated horological complications.
Traditionnelle Collection: timeless classicism and elegant understatement
The timeless classicism of the two Traditionnelle Date-Day and Power Reserve and Traditionnelle World Time models confirm their kinship with the horological traditions of the collection from which they have arisen. Inspired by the aesthetic codes that have distinguished some of Vacheron Constantin’s most beautiful historical models, this collection remains true to the fundamental values appreciated by genuine connoisseurs. A slender bezel, a knurled motif around the screw-down back fitted with a sapphire crystal, facetted trapeze-shaped hour-markers – double at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock – “dauphine” hands, a dial in various tones and a case middle with straight, clear-cut lines: the signature features of the Traditionnelle collection serve as a reminder that tradition and modernity rub shoulders quite naturally at Vacheron Constantin. Endowed with these clearly displayed qualities, Traditionnelle spans a watchmaking universe ranging from the simplest to the most complicated: it is indeed a perfect embodiment of the inventive nature of Vacheron Constantin and a tribute to two and a half centuries of uninterrupted history.
Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Collection Excellence Platine: Useful complications in daily life
The Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve model now joining the Collection Excellence Platine is entirely in keeping with the aesthetic codes of all the models that have found their place in this prestigious collection since 2006. In addition to a 39.5 mm-diameter case and crown in 950 platinum, this timepiece features an uncluttered 950 platinum dial with a finely grained sandblasted finish, discreetly bearing the inscription “Pt 950” between 4 and 5 o’clock. The face provides a central display of the hours, minutes and seconds, as well as providing pointer-type indications of the power reserve, the date and the day of the week. The strap in dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather is hand-sewn with silk and 950 platinum thread. This combination is made possible by the remarkable malleability of this precious metal, of which a single gram can be drawn out to form an almost two kilometre-long thread. The folding clasp is also made of 950 platinum.
At its heart beats a mechanical self-winding movement developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin – Calibre 2475 – graced with the kind of meticulous finishes that are the unmistakable signature of Fine Watchmaking: Côtes de Genève, bevelled and rhodiumed bridges and a circular-grained mainplate. The watch and movement bear the Hallmark of Geneva, an independent certification of origin, of craftsmanship, of durability and of expertise.
Traditionnelle World Time Collection Excellence Platine: Simultaneous reading of all world time zones
The Traditionnelle World Time watch embodies a complication inextricably bound up with the history of the Geneva-based Manufacture, since it was in 1932 that Vachercon Constantin made its first timepiece equipped with a world time mechanism enabling simultaneous reading of the time in 31 cities of the world. Ever since, it has consistently perfected this useful and ingenious mechanism also referred to as “universal” or “international” time. This mechanical self-winding movement developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin is distinguished by its ability to drive indications corresponding to the world’s 37 time zones – including those offset from Universal Coordinated Time (UCT) by a half-hour or a quarter hour – complete with a day/night display via a central globe, as well as by its simplified crown adjustment of all indications. A patent for this exclusive association has been duly filed by the Manufacture.
The display consists of three parts: a sapphire dial with day/night shading as well as an engraved and inked 24-hour indication; a 950 platinum dial with a “Lambert projector” type map; and a metal chapter ring. All indications are easily adjusted via the crown, thereby considerably simplifying the use of this highly technical watch.