взять займ

Review: Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Regatta
Previous
RANDOM
Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations to Start Your Collection with Independent Watchmakers
Next

Review: Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph C.3300

by Peter Chong on May 16, 2015

While most of the press wax lyrical over the ultra complicated Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra Thin Grand Complication Split Seconds Chronograph, we were quite taken by the quiet elegance and relative simplicity of the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph Caliber 3300. 

 

The Vacheron Constantin Single Button Chronograph. Elegant beyond, stylish. And remarkably well finished.

The Vacheron Constantin Single Button Chronograph. Elegant beyond, stylish. And remarkably well finished. Produced in a limited edition of 260 examples, this is the simplest of the chronographs announced for the VC 260th Anniversary collection of the new Harmony series.

 

The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph

What intrigues us? Especially when the VC Harmony collection comprises of two other chronographs viz the Ultra Thin Grand Complication Split Seconds Chronograph and the Tourbillon Chronograph? Indeed the other two are more complicated, and some would say more sexy…what with a tourbillon and a split seconds on the mix. But the more humble Single Button gets our pick. Well, we were fascinated with the pureness of the lines, with the simplicity of the design goal as well as the function. We love the way it is constructed, with the myriads of tiny details which make the watch a stunner. Discovering the background of the design also make us more attracted to the watch. And we adore the finishing. And finally, we like the the price too. At a reasonably value for money, relatively affordable S$105,600.

 

Design, art and finishing: beauty in the eyes of the beholder

Please also look at our article on the Harmony series as an example for good finishing here. See also the detailed specifications on our coverage of the Harmony Press Release here. We already covered our views of the case design, the dial design in some detail in that article, so we will not repeat except for additional photographs to showcase.

 

The dial of the Vacheron Constantin Single Button Chronograph. Functional, and clear. Some may be distracted by the additional markings of the pulsometer, but we feel that it is rather interesting, although would agree that removing it will de-clutter the dial quite a bit.

The dial of the Vacheron Constantin Single Button Chronograph. Functional, and clear. Some may be distracted by the additional markings of the pulsometer, but we feel that it is rather interesting, although would agree that removing it will de-clutter the dial quite a bit. However, we continue to admire the magnificent play of colour on the dial. A prestine white opaline base is a canvas for the blue Arabic hour markers, the black minute chapter plays with the red markings on the pulsometer. On this backdrop, the beautifully original timekeeping hands: the hour, minutes and continuous seconds hands are in gold flirts playfully with the blued steel chronograph hands: the chronograph seconds sweep seconds hand, and the minute counter as well as the power reserve hand.

 

 

The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph's case is a studied design from countless hours on the computer, refining, reshaping, defining the lines into a new language for cushion shaped cases.

The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph’s case is a studied design from countless hours on the computer, refining, reshaping, defining the lines into a new language for cushion shaped cases.

 

Chronograph works

The chronograph works demand some attention. Based on an old 1928 chronograph design, it turned out somewhat looking like the Lemania 2310. This is somewhat unfortunate because this leads pundits to speculate that the base movement is sourced from a Lemania ebauche. In a discussion with VC’s Artistic Director, Christian Selmoni, he revealed that this is not true. While VC continues to use Lemania ebauche movements in its (other) chronograph, the calibers 3300, 3400 and 3500 used in the Harmony series chronographs are all in-house developed from ground up. But the similarities with the bridge layout to the Lemania 2310 is more than merely a co-incidental. It was a design cue VC took as a nod to their past, and a tribute to the great chronographs of the 1930s when Lemania reigned supreme.

 

The VC Caliber 3300: in-house developed chronograph.

The VC Caliber 3300: in-house developed chronograph.
Massively beautiful in layout taking its cues from vintage chronographs from the 1930s. The final finishing of the movement also turned out to be quite spectacular. Design touches like the relief engraved Malteze Cross VC logo on as the cap for the column wheel is a case in point. As are the restrained, but beautiful flowery patterns used for the free hand engraved balance cock.

 

The choice of a single button chronograph is also a throwback to the heady days of the 1930s, and speaks of a certain elegance in the simplicity of not having multiple buttons on the case. For the uninitiated, a single button chronograph, coaxial to the crown is added complication, but to the skilled chronograph exponent, this is a small design choice which can be handled easily and reliably.

 

 

The chronograph works, showing the column wheel and the levers actuating the lateral clutch system of the chronograph.

The chronograph works, showing the column wheel and the levers actuating the lateral clutch system of the chronograph.

 

Also of interest is the use of a lateral clutch friction system for the chronograph. A more modern approach would be to use a vertical clutch system like the one in the rival Patek Philippe 5370. In the past Patek Philippe have also shared the same Lemania 2310 ebauche with VC, but now only uses their own movement with a vertical clutch.

Technically, the vertical clutch is perhaps a superior solution as it minimises the jump in the chronograph hand on activation. But the lateral clutch is more traditional, and classical. The VC caliber 3300 (and 3400, 3500 as well) uses the lateral clutch, a nod towards tradition and classical. However, it must be noted that a well tuned lateral clutch system can be very good. The jump is minimal, and the system is robust. Other notable lateral clutch chronograph are those from A. Lange & Söhne, the Datograph being prime example.

 

 

On the wrist, the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph is very comfortable, and sits nicely under the cuffs.

On the wrist, the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Single Button Chronograph is very comfortable, and sits nicely under the cuffs.

What's your reaction?
I Love It
0%
Cool
0%
It's OK
100%
What?
0%
I Hate It
0%
powered by gf