Precision in platinum: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Ultra-thin split-seconds chronograph | WatchTime
Vacheron Constantin this year launched its 2021 novelties with new versions of familiar faces: the renewed American 1921 Historiques in a white gold case, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the release of the original, as well as a trio of Overseas models expanding the range popular with new materials and complications. Along with these launches, the House had a few more notable watches up its sleeve, like the one we’re focusing on today, the Ultra-thin traditional split-seconds chronograph, which joins the ultra-exclusive Excéllence Platine collection from Vacheron.
The new limited edition is the last to house the brand manufacturing Caliber 3500, an ultra-thin split-seconds chronograph movement developed for the 2015 Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication chronograph, in which it made its debut. The rebirth of the movement by Vacheron Constantin is part of an effort to reinforce the “Classic with a Twist” theme that it has adopted for this year’s launches, that is to say to highlight “ the creative energy ”of the venerable watchmaker while celebrating its long history.
The 42.5mm case of the watch is 950 platinum and features mirror-grade polish, sharp ridges on its otherwise curved lugs, and a flattened bezel topping it. The watch measures only 10.72mm thick, which justifies its nickname “Ultra-Thin”, and features rectangular and crown-set pushers for its chronograph functions on the right side. It is secured to the wrist by a blue alligator leather strap, with platinum and silk stitching and a platinum buckle in the shape of a familiar mid-Maltese cross.
The dial beneath the sapphire crystal hosts a traditionally inspired chronograph configuration, one likely derived from the wartime and post-war split-second chronographs produced by Vacheron; Unlike the 1921 Heritage American, however, the brand does not call for any particular heritage model as a source of inspiration in this case. The dial, like the case, is platinum, although it opts for a rather polished sandblasted finish, all the better to contrast with the black and polished accents on its surface.
Along the outer edge of the dial is a printed tachymeter scale which provides an outline for the applied indexes in white gold. A step closer to its center are two recessed parallel sub-dials for the running seconds and for the elapsed 60 minutes of the chronograph, another small sub-dial at 6 o’clock for the power reserve indication and a Maltese cross applied, above the classic Vacheron Constantin logo at 12 o’clock. In the center of the dial, two fine Dauphine hands determine the hours and minutes, while two blued hands for the split-seconds chronograph are ready to be activated.
For the unknown, a split-seconds chronograph is a rare mechanical complication used to measure two different time periods. In the case of this model, when the crown is pressed, the seconds hand in the center and the split-seconds hand start their measurement simultaneously while remaining superimposed. When the second pusher at 2 o’clock is activated, the split-seconds hand stops, while the sweeping seconds hand continues to operate, allowing the first interval to be recorded without the chronograph stopping completely. Today, if you really have a need to measure split-second times, you’ll probably have a rugged digital quartz chronograph to help you out, but the allure of mechanical luxury looms large in the market, and many collectors. will find this piece complex. very attractive haute horlogerie.
The aforementioned Vacheron Constant 3500 caliber makes this fraction-of-a-second complication possible, a highly decorated and magnificent movement visible through a sapphire exposure window in the platinum caseback with knurled edges. The automatic caliber, wound by a peripheral rotor in 22 carat yellow gold, is incredibly thin at just 5.2 mm, rotates at a frequency of 21,600 vph and has a power reserve of 48 hours. Like all movements developed by Vacheron, the 3500 bears the prestigious Poinçon de Genève stamp from its region of origin.
As mentioned above, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin is part of the brand’s Excellence Platinum Collection, a collection entirely composed of timepieces whose cases, dials and buckles are all forged in platinum. 950. As a result, the watch will be extremely limited, to 10 editions in total, and priced at $ 288,000.
To find out more, visit Vacheron Constantin here.