Vacheron Constantin adds a new white gold, slate grey dial Complete Calendar to their classically inspired Traditionelle collection. We had a hands-on session to examine the watch as well as to photograph it last week, and bring you this review.
The release is the VC Traditionelle Complete Calendar Ref. 4010T/000G-B740 is in a new case material and dial colour. The current catalog already has two models in this line. One in a platinum case, and a platinum dial in the Collection Platine Ref. 4010T/000P-B345. And another in pink gold, with an off-white dial Ref. 4010T/000R-B344.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Complete Calendar
Retail price for the new WG/Slate Gray dial Ref. 4010T/000G-B740 is SGD 59,500 inclusive of GST, and is the same as the RG version. The Collection Platin version retails for SGD 103,000.
From now till 3 December 2021, this timepiece is exclusively available for purchase via E-boutique (Phone Sales) in Singapore. [Call: +65 800 852 3656]
The key highlights on this release are:
• A velvet-finish slate grey dial framed by an 18K white gold case.
• Calibre 2460 QCL/1 powering a complete calendar display (day of the week, date, month), along with a precision moon phase and the age of the moon.
The case, dial and hands
The case is the classical VC Traditionelle design – a three part case is in a high polish. The bezel, case middle, lugs and rear bezel are all executed in a high polish. The front bezel is slightly raised from the case middle, showing a small but pronounced step, and the back bezel features a fluted outer edge, which looks like beads around its periphery, both adding some dimensionality to the case. The slate grey dial offers a monochromatic look to the watch face, a colour palate (or lack thereof) which we find is particularly pleasing. The hour markers are faceted white gold appliqué have just enough contrast to make legibility excellent.
The date is displayed on the outer perimeter of the dial, in a section which is in a darker shade of grey than the rest of the dial. This darkened portion is marked in 31 days in white transfer printed Arabic numerals. This way to shows today’s date in relationship relative to the entire month. Inward of this perimeter is a railway track marked in minutes/seconds. The day of the week and month are shown in two chamfered rectangular apertures on the dial, just above the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock markers. Interestingly, even though the base movement caliber is rather small, the calendar module is properly sized for the 41mm case, and the apertures are closer to the edge than the center. Good attention to detail…at least if one must use the base movement to power the complication. The moon phase is displayed in a cutout above 6 o’clock, and marked with transfer printed indications in white for the age of the moon.
The hour and minute hands are double faceted Dauphine hands which are long and slender. A long, sleek seconds hand and a crescent tipped date hand, both pivoted at the center of the dial complete the dial description. Pin pushers are provided at the case middle for quick adjustment of the day of the week, the month and the moon phase. The time and date is set via the crown.
The overall look is somewhat a blend of contemporary with the classical. And the styling is quite pure and elegant. And thought the dial indicates some horological complications over the simple three hand watch, it is highly legible. The contrast is good between the hues chosen, monochromatic as they may be. But the display elements have their own space, and is easily read.
The movement: Caliber 2460 QCL/1
The movement installed is the VC in-house caliber 2460 QCL/1. This is the same movement as that is used in the other two RG and Platine versions, as well as the FiftySix Complete Calendar. The movement has a Poinçon de Genève certification.
The triple display calendar is one which is an integral part of VC’s heritage, and the caliber 2460 is an evolution of the 2450, which the manufacture’s first in-house self-winding movement. The movement is equipped with a hacking seconds system, and beats at a rate of 28,800 bph. Power reserve is a classical 40 hours. The triple calendar display is also served with a precision moon phase display, requiring only one correction every 122 years. This moon phase precision is typical in perpetual calendars, though less common in complete calendars which tend to have lower precision moon phase displays.
Movement finishing is as is usual for VC, which is to say that is is superbly well done. All the traditional haute horlogerie elements are well executed at the highest levels. The base plate feature perlage, and the bridges have nicely executed anglage, with Côtes de Genève on the surface. The movement layout and bridge design aesthetics are very pleasing, and the movement draws one in to luxuriate in its beauty and refinement. The rotor deserves special mention. the 22k openworked oscilating weight incorporates the maison’s Maltese Cross emblem in high polish, and is beautifully finished with a straight grained brush finish, anglaged on the edges and a textured middle which is particularly attractive.
If there is one nitpick, we do find the caliber 2460’s 29mm diameter to be a bit small in the 41mm case, necessitating a rather large movement ring. From the caseback, this is visible as a large rear bezel. However, as mentioned above, the saving grace is that the calendar module has a larger diameter, so the indicators are not squashed in the middle of the dial, but have proper space.
The competitive landscape
Interestingly Vacheron Constantin is perhaps the only one of the top tier manufacturers who offer a triple calendar watch. Neither Patek Philippe nor Audemars Piguet, or even A. Lange & Söhne has one on their catalog.
Patek Philippe‘s closest offering is perhaps the Ref. 5212A, which is somewhat more complicated, as it features a weekly calendar, a semi-integrated mechanism displaying the current week number, in addition to the day and date. But the 5212 lacks a moon phase display. Further up the complications tree, Patek offers the more complicated Annual Calendars. Audemars Piguet does not offer a triple calendar either. Their Code 11.59 starts the calendar complication at the perpetual calendar.
Among the usual suspects, only Jaeger-LeCoultre offers a triple complete calendar in their Master Control series. One in pink gold retailing at SGD 37,700 and one in stainless steel at SGD 17,100. The JLC Caliber 866AA used in the Complete Calendars is an accomplished movement, well tested and tried in the field with reports that it is very reliable and accurate.
Perhaps the Traditionelle Complete Calendar’s most fierce competition comes from within VC. The FiftySix collection offers 4 models with the same movement, but in the FiftySix case. Two in stainless steel at SGD 34,400, and two in pink gold with different dial options for SGD 58,500 – about SGD 1k less than the Traditionelle.
The VC Traditionelle Complete Calendar is certainly a very beautiful timepiece. One to be admired. And worn. The complication is simple, well executed, and is very practical. As mentioned, legibility of all the display elements is excellent. The watch is understated with its monochromatic theme, but at the same time, is able to stand out in its almost perfect proportions. The term shouting quietly comes to mind as perhaps an apt description.
The VC Traditionelle Complete Calendar will make a superb dress watch most eminently suitable for formal business. Its true natural habitat, we think, will be under the cuffs of a bespoke shirt worn with a well cut suit. But it would be equally easily could be worn dressed down in casual wear, even with jeans and a sports jacket. Or, alternatively, dressed up in a black tie. Very versatile.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Complete Calendar Specifications
Calibre 2460 QCL/1
Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
29 mm (11¼’’’) diameter, 5.40 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Indications Hours, minutes, central seconds
Complete calendar (day of the week, date, month)
Precision moon phase
Age of the moon
Case 18K white gold
41 mm diameter, 10.7 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)
Dial Velvet-finish slate grey
18K white gold applied hour-markers and Maltese cross
18K white gold moons
Strap Black Mississippiensis alligator leather with calf inner shell, tone-on-tone stitching, square scales
Buckle 18K white gold buckle, Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
The VC Traditionelle Complete Calendar was photographed in the VC Boutique in Ion Orchard, Singapore. The slate grey dial presented challenges in making the photographs, as the reflections of the soft box employed to soften the strobe light was caught in the glass. This is typical for black or grey dials, and additional care needed to be taken to ensure that the reflections are not distracting. Photographed with the Fujifilm GFX 50S II with Hasselblad HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 with H26 Extension Tube via H Adapter. Profoto strobes.