Vacheron Constantin has presented its latest novelties at Watches and Wonders 2023, being held in Geneva. These include brand new models that stay true to the Maison’s watchmaking heritage while embracing a sense of modernity. Of the Vacheron Constantin new launches, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface combines a partially openworked dial with a retrograde display. The Overseas collection gets its first retrograde display timepiece with the Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date while the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date aligns with the brand’s heritage of combining platinum with salmon dials. Additionally, four new references have been added to the iconic Overseas collection: the self-winding models are thinner and slimmer and come with and without gems.
Let’s now take a deeper dive into the Vacheron Constantin new releases at Watches and Wonders 2023.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface: Merging Tradition with Modernity
Special retrograde displays first became popular at Vacheron Constantin in the 1920s, a period when the Maison decided to adopt a style inspired by Art Deco principles. The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface combines the retrograde display with another Vacheron signature since the early 20th century: the partially openworked dial. The timepiece, which took three years of work and dialogue between artisans and master watchmakers, highlights a meticulous attention to detail and an avant-garde aesthetic approach.
Ensconced in an 18 ct pink gold case with a 41 mm diameter, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface bears the characteristic attributes of the Traditionnelle collection, including a fluted caseback, a slim bezel, bi-faceted Dauphine hands and gold baton-type hour markers. The openworked sapphire dial has aguilloché segment and the tourbillon is set in a contemporary mainplate with a high-quality finish. It comes with a Grey Mississippiensis alligator leather strap. The idea behind the model, as shared by Christian Selmoni, Director of Style and Heritage at Vacheron Constantin, was to push the limits of technical complexity and horological beauty. Offering 30-metre water resistance, the timepiece is run by the mechanical, self-winding caliber 2162 R31 with a power reserve of 72 hours.
The first retrograde display in the Overseas collection, this timepiece, housed in a 41 mm steel case, combines a precision moon phase with a retrograde date in a sporty elegant case. Since 2016, Vacheron Constantin has established the Overseas watch as the symbol of sporty chic watchmaking and this new model, launched at Watches and Wonders 2023, continues that legacy with the added feature of the moon phase. The blue-tinted retrograde hand is effortlessly integrated with the sporty aesthetics of the watch, serving as a reminder that the Maison’s signature retrograde displays can be reinvented.
The moon phases are displayed through a 6 o'clock aperture graduated from 0 to 29½, thus serving to read off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon. Known as the age of the moon, this astronomical complication corresponds to the actual cycle of the moon and requires a one-day correction every 122 years. The retrograde date indication by the central hand occupies the upper part of the dial. The Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date retains the instantly recognisable attributes of the Overseas collection (a six-sided bezel evoking the Maltese Cross, a fluted crown, polished and satin-brushed finishes and a translucent lacquered dial) while also staying open to reinvention, as is evidenced by the introduction of the moon phase.
The watch is water-resistant to approximately 50 metres. It’s powered by the mechanical, self-winding caliber 2460 R31L/2 and comes with a power reserve of 40 hours. The movement can be admired through the sapphire caseback; there’s a 22 ct gold oscillating weight with a stylised compass rose that signifies the themes of travel and exploration. The piece comes with two additional straps in calfskin leather and blue rubber. Now, let’s look at the other Vacheron Constantin new launches.
Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date: Continuing the Tradition of Platinum Cases and Salmon Dials
With the release of the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date in 950 platinum with a salmon-coloured dial, Vacheron Constantin continues to focus on refinement of its watches while staying true to the Bauhaus principles that rely on the concept of “less is more”. The limited annual production timepiece, which has a minimalist design inspired by special retrograde displays from the 1920s and 1930s, aligns with the Maison’s heritage of combining platinum cases with salmon dials.
At the very first glance, the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date, with its 42.5mm diameter, reflects the aesthetic hallmarks of Vacheron Constantin. The emblem of the Maison, a Maltese Cross, sits beneath the 12 o'clock hour marker. Crafted in 18 ct 5N pink gold, it features facets that are sandblasted on one side and polished on the other, offering a new expression of the Vacheron Constantin symbol, specific to this signature platinum case and the salmon-coloured dial.
The two retrograde (day and date) indications are made with blued steel hands while the hours and minutes are displayed by 18 ct white gold hands that stay true to a classic 1950s style: subtly curved to match the shape of the domed dial with its intense reflections. The strap is crafted from dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather. The watch focuses on understated elegance and technical excellence. The water-resistance is approximately 30 metres. A mechanical, self-winding caliber (2460 R31R7/3) runs the timepiece.
Overseas Self-winding: Introducing a New Silhouette to the Overseas Collection
The latest additions to the Overseas line introduced at Watches and Wonders 2023 embrace an elegant new silhouette while staying true to the distinct sporty chic spirit of the collection. The four new references — in steel and 18 ct 5N pink gold — are available in gem-set versions (References 4605V/200R-B978 [blue dial], 4605V/200A-B971 [pink dial]) and non-set versions (References 4600V/200R-B979 [blue dial, 18 ct 5N pink gold case], 4600V/200A-B980 [blue dial, steel case]. The new 34.5 mm and 35 mm diameters make the timepieces slimmer and more ergonomic, giving them a slender appearance, corresponding to the growing demand for a smaller size. Thus, they are appropriate for both women's and men's wrists.
The two models in 18 ct 5N pink gold as well as the non-set steel timepiece adopt the collection's iconic blue dial; the steel watch, set with 90 diamonds, features a delicate shade of pink. These references, part of the Vacheron Constantin new releases, are fitted with integrated metal bracelets in 18 ct 5N gold or steel, depending on the model, secured by two additional interchangeable leather and rubber straps with pin buckles or folding clasps. The colours of the two additional straps correspond to those of the dials: blue on the non-set gold and steel versions, and gem-set beige-pink on the steel variant. The gem-set version comes with a total of 90 diamonds. The water resistance comes down to approximately 150 metres. All references have a power reserve of 40 hours and run on a mechanical, self-winding caliber 1088/1.
All Vacheron Constantin new launches are exclusively available in the Maison’s boutiques.