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New: A. Lange & Söhne novelties for 2020. With Editorial commentary.
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New: Vacheron Constantin Novelties for 2020 with Editorial commentary

by Frank Chuo on April 25, 2020

Vacheron Constantin Novelties for 2020

For 2020, Vacheron Constantin highlights iconic creations and its watchmaking savoir-faire with new additions to the Traditionnelle and Fiftysix collection, rare crafts and one-of-a-kind creations from the Les Cabinotiers collection, and displaying sporty elegance with extreme technical feats from the Overseas collection.

Traditionelle Tourbillon & Traditionelle Tourbillon Jewellery

Vacheron Constantin presents its first ladies’ self-winding tourbillon watch. It features the delightfully thin Calibre 2160, which first debuted in 2018. The watch, with its 39 mm case, comes in two models; the first has an 18 carat 5N pink gold case set with round-cut diamonds and a mother of pearl dial, the second, an 18 carat white gold case set with 559 round and baguette-cut diamonds on both case and dial. The diamond-paved variant is a boutique-only piece.

The release of the new Traditionelle Tourbillon and its high jewellery variation is yet another step towards greater inclusivity of female watch enthusiasts and collectors. Women’s watches haven’t exactly been the most technically exciting. And while the reasons are obvious, it is great, nevertheless, to have Vacheron Constantin introduce such a technical tour de force to its already impressive collection of women’s watches.

Traditionelle Tourbillon Chronograph

In this novelty, Vacheron Constantin unites two coveted technical complications under the Traditionelle banner: the monopusher chronograph, and the tourbillon. Driving the Traditionelle Tourbillon Chronograph is the 292-part Calibre 3200. The movement operates at a stately 2.5 Hz frequency, allowing its steady beating to be followed easily. The chronograph mechanism of the Calibre 3200 feature an all-or-nothing activation system which prevents the chronograph mechanism from engaging when insufficient pressure is exerted onto the pusher.

It is worth noting that this isn’t a brand new movement. The Calibre 3200 debuted five years ago with the Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph in celebration of the Manufacture’s 260th anniversary. Nevertheless, the implementation of the Calibre 3200 in a more traditional casing is a sensible move, as the cushion-shaped case of the Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph remains an acquired taste for most.

Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Skeleton

The Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar now receives an eye-catching new look in the form of the new Skeleton variant. Available in an 18K 5N all-gold execution, the 41.5 mm case of the watch houses the prestigious Caliber 1120 QPSQ which has been pared down by openworking techniques. The ultra-thin, NAC-treated anthracite grey movement is visible through a transparent sapphire dial bearing 18K 5N pink gold hour markers.

As we see it, this is currently the boldest and most visually striking execution of Vacheron Constantin’s 3rd generation sports line. Legibility may be an issue, but it more than makes up for it with visual splendour.

Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar

If openworked movements and sapphire crystal dials isn’t one’s cup of tea, there always the classical iteration to fall back on. For 2020, Vacheron Constantin introduces another stunning version of the Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar. The watch now comes in an all-gold execution with an electrifying blue lacquered dial. Perfect for casual chic.

Les Cabinotiers – The Singing Birds

The Singing Birds are four one-of-a-kind timepieces paying symbolic tribute to the range from Les Cabinotiers named “La Musique du Temps”. Artistic crafts play a unique role through the enameling work done using champleve technique on each of the dials. To give life to the bird motifs, the master artisan utilised no less than 10 colours and their subtly graded shades. The ultra-thin Calibre 1120 AT was chosen for the four watches since it enables an off-centred display of the time, providing broad scope for the master artisan to express his artistry. The four creations depict a hummingbird, a blue jay, a blue tit, and a robin, while the right hand side is adorned with a finely executed guilloche pattern. This area is dedicated to time indications on a 120 degree sector bearing applied minutes. The satellite hours are thus of the dragging variety, with three hands each carrying a four-digit rotating disk, taking turns along the minute scale.

While The Singing Birds may be the least complicated of this year’s Les Cabinotiers debutants, it is by far and wide the most artistically magnificent. Vacheron Constantin reminds us once again that they are indeed the best in the business when it comes to watchmaking art.

Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication – Ode to Music

As part of the range of exceptional chiming watches named “La Musique du Temps”, the new, one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication is based first and foremost on a minute repeater which determined construction of the entire movement. The starting point for the work was the famous manufacture Calibre 1731, due to its extreme thinness. Redesigned to accommodate a range of astronomical functions, the new Calibre 1731 M820 is thus equipped with no less than 19 complications, notably displaying civil, solar, and sidereal time – each with its own gear train in addition to the minute repeater. Impressively, its 600 components are housed in a calibre less than 8 mm thick.

If the the watch looks familiar to you, it’s because it is (almost) a spitting image of the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication from 2017. The Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication combines the best parts of the Celestia with the supreme chiming musicality of the Calibre 1731. The outcome is one of the most poetic (and complicated) wristwatches to grace the watch market today.

Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph – Tempo

The Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph – Tempo is yet another one-of-a-kind model grouped under the “La Musique du Temps” theme. It boasts 24 complications orchestrated by the 1,163-part, in-house Calibre 2756. The special double-sided model displays the time and chronograph split-seconds measurements on the front, along with a perpetual calendar. The back is devoted to astronomical functions, including solar time, equation of time, sunrise and sunset times, duration of day and night, age and phases of the moon. The watch also features a tourbillon regulator and is equipped with a minute repeater.

The Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph is hands down the most technical-looking piece to come out of the Les Cabinotiers department in 2020. With its many sub-dials, hands, and indicators, it could easily be mistaken as a scientific measuring tool were it not for the precious metal case and the minute repeater slide. A truly stunning showpiece.

Fiftysix

Vacheron Constantin’s retro-contemporary collection adopts a new sepia brown-toned dial colour. Available on the Fiftysix Complete Calendar and Fiftysix Self-Winding models, the dignified shade perfectly complements the warm hues of the 18K 5N pink gold case, as well as the brown calfskin strap. Other aspects of the watches remain unchanged.

This, in our opinion, is perhaps the best looking iteration of the Fiftysix as yet. The calfskin strap appears to pair better with the unique case of the Fiftysix than alligator leather. A steel case variant with calfskin strap in the future would indeed be the icing on the Fiftysix cake.

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