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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

One of the most captivating models of the digital Watches and Wonders 2020 has come from Vacheron Constantin’s Grandes Complications workshops. Let’s get to know the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph from the official visuals until we can hold it in our hands.

The Traditionnelle line of Vacheron Constantin intends to create a link between the roots of the brand and its present. Timepieces in this collection are characterised by features like a stepped round case, a fine bezel and fluted case back, a railway minute-track, applied ’Geneva baton’ hour markers and dauphine-shaped hands. 

The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph has a dynamic and elegant character. The tourbillon with the 2.5Hz golden balance wheel and the signature Maltese cross carriage is visible through a large aperture at 12 o’clock. The chronograph has a 45 minutes counter at 3 o’clock while the seconds sweep over the whole dial. The remainder of the 65-hour power reserve can be followed on the smallest sub-dial. The dial is silvered opaline with 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers just like the case itself, which is 42.5 mm in diameter and 11.7 mm in thickness.

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Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph

The new-born in this family received the Calibre 3200 mono-pusher chronograph Vacheron Constantin introduced at their 260th anniversary in 2015 in the cushion-shaped Harmony collection. The movement was inspired by the ‘medical chronographs’ of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that allowed measuring short time intervals with high precision. The manufacture created its first pocket chronograph in 1873 and the first wristwatch chronograph in 1917. When designing the Calibre 3200, engineers wanted to pay tribute to the Manufacture’s chronographs in the 1920s and 1930s, which had a single pusher to activate all functions: start, stop and reset of the chronograph. Furthermore, they aimed for a traditional column wheel and a lateral coupling clutch with ‘friction’ technique in order to reduce and even eliminate the tiny jump of the seconds hand when activating the chronograph.

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Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph, back side

The finishing on the movement is remarkable, playing with patterns of circular-graining and Côtes de Genève. Edges are chamfered. The large sapphire case-back provides an undisturbed view to the mechanism.

The new Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph unites technical mastery and the brand’s particular attention to decoration and hand finishing. I just can’t wait to try it on my wrist.

Photo credits: Vacheron Constantin
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