Born of an intimate dialogue between aesthetic refinement and mechanical sophistication, the Traditionnelle collection is distinguished by a rich palette of watchmaking complications, enhanced this year by the in-house ultra-thin split-seconds chronograph movement. An avant-garde technical repertoire highlighted by eminently horological aesthetic codes, and timepieces honouring Geneva’s Haute Horlogerie traditions inherited from the 18th century. Mainly crafted from 950 platinum, this model produced in an individually numbered 15-piece limited series is powered by a self-winding calibre from a noble lineage. This new model, presented at Watches & Wonders 2021, is part of the theme of the Maison for 2021 : entitled Classic with a Twist, it highlights Vacheron Constantin’s creative energy, guided by an identity that celebrates a heritage and dares to deliver the unexpected.
Through its blend of elegant design and technical excellence, the Traditionnelle collection embodies the spirit of haute horlogerie cherished by Vacheron Constantin. Combining the refinement of its style, the prestige of platinum and the performance of in-house Calibre 3500, the new model Traditionnelle split-seconds chronograph ultra-thin Collection Excellence Platine immediately finds its natural place at the very pinnacle of this watch line.
Collection Excellence Platine
Highly appreciated by collectors, the Collection Excellence Platine is exclusively composed of limited editions crafted from 950 platinum: case, bezel, dial, crown and folding clasp are forged in this noble metal, right the way through to the alligator leather strap sewn using woven platinum and silk thread. The other elements of the watch, such as the 18K white gold hands and hour-markers, reflect the same refined universe.
While the 42.5 mm-diameter case ensures the watch radiates an assertive presence on the wrist, its pure lines and very sober dial lend it an aura of unmistakable distinction.
A prestigious calibre
To power this split-seconds chronograph, Vacheron Constantin has chosen Calibre 3500, a movement launched in 2015 to mark the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture. Comprising 473 elements and beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz), it has a 48-hour power reserve.
Its distinctive design makes this ultra-thin self-winding movement one of the thinnest for this type of complication (5.2 mm), enabling the watch to maintain a modest overall thickness of just 10.72 mm. The creation of an extremely thin non-spherical differential made it possible to retain the power-reserve indication without affecting the movement thickness.
This self-winding movement is also equipped with a 22K gold peripheral oscillating weight, adorned with motifs inspired by the Maltese cross. Mounted on ball bearings, this unusual construction provides a perfectly clear view of Caliber 3500, entirely hand decorated. This peripheral structure also serves to preserve its exceptional slimness.
This calibre pays tribute to the historic construction of Haute Horlogerie chronographs with its two column-wheels and its lateral clutch mechanism. This classic construction is further enriched by numerous technically advanced features, including the use of the "friction" technique for the lateral clutch mechanism. This patented improvement makes it possible to mitigate any potential jerking of the hands once the chronograph has begun running. This system thus enables smoother activation of the chronograph function and guarantees greater durability of the mechanism.
Finally, the dragging-display 60-minute counter reduces the loss of amplitude generally observed when the chronograph function is activated. When the chronograph function is stopped, this type of display also provides a more legible indication of the time.
The use of a split-seconds chronograph is ideal for measuring two different times. When the crown is pressed, the centre sweep-seconds hand and the split-seconds hand began running while remaining superimposed. Activating the push-piece at 2 o'clock makes the split-seconds stop, while the sweep-seconds hand continues running. A first time can thus be memorised. Another press on the 2 o’clock push-piece enables the split-seconds hand to catch up with and once again place it itself over the seconds hand. The operation may be repeated as many times as necessary to ensure several successive timings during the same event.
Classic with a Twist
Vacheron Constantin’s creativity has always remained closely attuned to its time while evoking its memories. This byword for elegance, adopted by each watchmaker, artisan and designer throughout the years and centuries, celebrates heritage and dares to explore the unexpected. Poised at the intersection between technical virtuosity and aesthetic refinement, the enduring allure of Vacheron Constantin timepieces makes its way unscathed through passing eras. Because timelessness cannot be achieved merely by complying with the canons of traditional watchmaking, each creation is tinged with a touch of boldness revealed in the smallest details. Special displays, offset indications, specific chamfering of all components, hand-crafted finishing and the complexity of a mechanism are just a few examples of this expertise. The result is a very personal field of expression where technique and style converge in a subtle harmony between the conventional and the atypical.
The Collection Excellence Platine concept welcomes a new model: the Traditionnelle split-seconds chronograph ultra-thin Collection Excellence Platine watch, produced in an individually numbered 15-piece limited edition. Mainly crafted from this prestigious material, it is fitted with a strap stitched with platinum and silk thread. Its 42.5 mm-diameter case with its elegantly understated design houses in-house self-winding 3500 calibre, developed to mark the 260th anniversary of Vacheron Constantin. This ultra-thin movement is notably distinguished by the “friction” technique used for the lateral clutch mechanism. A rare complication, the split-seconds chronograph function is controlled by a dedicated push-piece positioned at 2 o'clock.
Traditionnelle split-seconds chronograph ultra-thin
Collection Excellence Platine
Calibre 3500 Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Peripheral rotor in 22K
37.66 mm (16¾’’’) diameter, 5.2 mm thick
Approximately 48 hours of power reserve
3Hz (21,600 vibrations per hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Indications Hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Monopusher split-second chronograph (with 60-minute counter at 3
Power reserve at 6 o’clock
Case 950 platinum
42.5 mm diameter, 10.72 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
Dial 950 platinum, sand-blasted
“Pt950” hallmark between 4 and 5 o’clock
18K white gold applied hour-markers
Strap Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner
shell, hand-stitched with 950 platinum and silk, saddle-finish, large
Clasp 950 platinum folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
Limited edition of 15 individually numbered pieces, “N°XX/15” engraved on caseback.
Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques.