By Nancy Olson
Vacheron Constantin celebrates its roots with timepieces in pillar collections that feature retrograde displays—a part of the company’s métier since the early twentieth century. This year, the brand opted to unveil three new timepieces all boasting the beloved retrograde complication.
Essentially, the retrograde is an indicator on a watch or clock that does not make a complete turn around the dial. Instead, the hand or indicator goes to a certain point and then jumps back to its starting point to begin the cycle again. They are a beautiful and alluring complication and one that Vacheron Constantin has been making for years.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon Date Retrograde Openface
A particularly distinguished example, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Date Retrograde Openface, features generous architecture and a new movement that was three years in the making.
The 41mm watch has a pink gold stepped case with a slim bezel and a transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The partially open worked dial, which consists of four parts, reveals the self-winding Caliber 2162 R31, whose functions include hours, minutes, small seconds, and a retrograde date display, complemented by a tourbillon. The all-new caliber features a seconds indication on the tourbillon and beats at 18,000 vph and measures just 6.25 mm thick. Parts of the movement boasts a slate gray color that was accomplished using a NAC surface treatment – exuding a sophisticated elegance.
Because of the thinness of the movement, the overall finished watch measures a scant 11.07mm in thickness. Crafted in 18-karat pink gold the 41mm watch features applied indices for the hours, with 18-karat pink gold hours and minutes hands traversing the slate-gray dial. The date hand is blackened 18-karat gold.
The timepiece’s components are exquisitely finished, and the construction of the watch allows each to be rightfully admired. So, too, the melding of contemporary design and watchmaking heritage showcases Vacheron Constantin’s expertise in this finely tuned art.
The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Date Retrograde Openface is fitted with a hand-stitched gray alligator leather strap with an 18-karat pink gold folding clasp.
Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date
This 41mm steel timepiece with a sapphire crystal caseback includes the well-known hallmarks of the Overseas collection, here incorporating a retrograde date display for the first time. The sporty-chic watch is driven by the self-winding, 275-component Caliber 2460 R31L/2 with a precision moon phase (“age of the moon”), and about 40 hours of power reserve. This in-house caliber beats at 28,800 vph and is fitted with a 22-karat gold oscillating weight.
The watch has a translucent blue lacquered dial set with 18-karat white gold hour markers; the hours, minutes and date hands are highlighted with Super-LumiNova®. Remarkably, the precision moon-phase mechanism at 6 o’clock requires a one-day correction every 122 years. All adjustments are done via the crown: winding, correction of the date and moon phases, as well as setting the time.
Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date
The new 42.5mm Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date is crafted in platinum, paired with a striking salmon-colored dial whose refined understatement is worthy of the Patrimony line. The two retrograde (day and date) indications are fitted with blued steel hands, while the hours and minutes hands are in 18-karat white gold.
The watch is driven by the beautifully decorated in-house self-winding Caliber 2460 R31R7/3, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour; it is visible through the transparent caseback. The movement is fitted with a 22-karat gold oscillating weight and offers about 40 hours of power reserve. The mainplate is circular-grained on both sides, while the bridges are adorned with the Côtes de Genève motif.
Each of the watches shown here is available exclusively at Vacheron Constantin boutiques.