Vacheron Constantin chronographs from the Harmony collection: the hour of the purist
To commemorate its 260th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin launched "Harmony," a new collection of timepieces each bearing the Geneva Seal, each with a coussin case, and all inspired by a chronograph dating back to 1928.
The manufactory, founded in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron, has never ceased operations. Now, it has come out with a new collection of models whose common denominator is an ample case inspired by those used for the first wrist-borne chronographs made by the brand in 1928.
There are seven models all told. They each come in a limited edition to celebrate the 260th anniversary of the maison. They will expand and by the same token round off the existing portfolio of the brand's classic collections. Of these pieces, we will concentrate on just four chronographs that are in the ancestral line of the original one used as a model and allow one to measure those particularly intense moments in life.
The coussin, or cushion, form is seductive indeed.Its lines combine the right angle and the arc and create a wealth of volumes that are liable to catch the eye of the aficionado. The graceful construction involves a square bezel carrying a circular sapphire crystal to produce a unique shape that fits perfectly on the wrist. But the original and lovely architecture of these pieces also reveals the majestic calibers of the maison, whose mechanical designs are both innovative and traditional and geared to thrill the alert connoisseur.
A collection with rich complications
Establishing some sort of hierarchy is not important. Suffice to say, of the four timepieces selected from this new collection, three are monopusher chronographs. The first is limited to twenty-six pieces and is regulated by a magnificent tourbillon, whose cage is in the form of the Maltese Cross. It is driven by the Vacheron Constantin Caliber 3200, a beating heart bearing the Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève) that was first launched in 2008. It has all the attributes of a traditional engine, a column wheel, a lateral clutch and also an innovative and discreet power reserve.
The dial sports a 45-minute totalizer and allows a glimpse of the tourbillon via a large opening at 12 o'clock. The transparent case back reveals a manually wound caliber of 14 ½ lines and made up of 292 components ensuring, all in all, 65 hours of power. Made of platinum, this 42 x 52-millimeter chronograph comes on an alligator strap with a platinum folding clasp. The second model that will undoubtedly attract the eye of the purist is the platinum version with an all-too-rare complication, the split seconds, or rattrapante.It comes in a limited edition of ten numbered pieces and is exclusively sold in Vacheron Constantin boutiques. Inside is an automatic caliber of the latest generation (3500), hand-engraved and with decorations dedicated to the company's 260th birthdayThis superb piece lets one look at all the details of the timepiece's mechanical heart, whose exceptional finishings have earned it the right of placing the rare and coveted Geneva Seal on one of its bridges.
At the core of this outstanding movement, the connoisseurs will note the especially delicate mechanical parts that allow the rattrapante or split seconds function to be engaged by way of the column wheel and a dedicated clamp. The third monopusher of the family, for its part, comes in a rose gold case and is equipped with the manually wound caliber 3300, which started being built in 2008. Both modern and traditional, it allows the user to measure short bursts of time with a simple start, stop and reset sequence. The construction of this piece is imposing and classical at the same time, this particular reference features a silvery opaline dial with two subdials (small seconds and minute totalizer), a power reserve indicator at 6 o'clock and a pulsometric scale applied in red on the case's flange.
Finally, in this rich collection of watches with outstanding mechanics, the brand has included a model with a smaller diameter conceived more for women.It comes in rose gold with a bezel set with diamonds. Inside the 37 x 46.6-millimeter case is a manually wound caliber of 12 lines and made up of 164 components.
The silvery opaline dial features two subdials. This chronograph, worn on a taupe-colored alligator strap closed by a folding clasp, embodies all the traditional brand values that ensure that it will age gracefully and without ever developing a wrinkle.