Excellency is a definitory attribute for the Traditionelle line of the Maison of Connoisseur. But there is nothing more desirable than a beautiful surprise – Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface combines an avant-garde aesthetic with mechanical sophistication in a multi-depth watch face with a tourbillon as the show’s highlight.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface
Launched during the Watches & Wonders 2023, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface is a statement of the Maison expertise: multilayered mechanics intertwined with sapphire to create an haute horlogerie climax.
The Traditionelle detailed case
The watch comes with a 41 mm pink gold case with an “etagé” case and lugs, raising for a shy 11.7 mm. The case back received the fluted decoration familiar from the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph that adds a more interesting note to the lateral view of the case. These case “complications” raise the complexity level not only visually but also from the manufacturing point of view. The stepped case is mirror polished. The lugs have a nice construction with dramatic lines that contribute to a nice look on the wrist but also to a certain comfort. The case is covered with a slightly raised sapphire crystal. It adds an extra depth to the open-faced dial.
The right side finds the crown at the classic three o’clock position. The crown presents the brand’s Maltese cross embossed and has dimensions that are well-balanced with the overall design. The screwed-in caseback features a large sapphire crystal to reveal as much as possible from the gorgeous movement.
With these proportional dimensions, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface makes a good impression on the wrist. The weight is not so dramatic – although much heavier than a dress piece, this set of complications is well in the range of comfortable watches. The feel of the crown and time set is, as always, a pleasant experience.
A play of depths and finishes
The dial is a beautifully executed open-face style revealing just a limited side of the movement. More precisely, the dial is a combo of sapphire and metal where the watchmaker’s side (the face of the movement reserved for view only to the watchmaker and usually hidden under the dial) presents beautiful decorations and only some moving parts.
The time is classically indicated using faceted dauphine hour and minute hands. The time indication uses volumetric baton indexes dispersed around the dial. On the upper side of the dial, the indexes are buried in the retrograde date scale, while on the lower side are “floating” – fixed in the sapphire dial.
The date is present on a half-circle scale above the sapphire crystal dial. It uses a pointed arrow the reach the half-size of the printed numerals and point indexes. The legibility is good. The upper side of the dial displays part of the date mechanism, and it is a nice oportunity to study the finishes and the way the movement works.
The eye-catcher still remains the tourbillon, well visible at 6 o’clock. The Maltese cross cage is the definitory and highly recognisable detail of the Maison. The superb hand-rounded and polished top bridge is just an introduction. The cross features hand-chamfered and polished edges. The gold balance wheel is filled with twelve timing gold screws. On the crystal above, a printed rail track serves as a running seconds indication.
The name and logo of Vacheron Constantin were printed behind the case crystal. The sapphire underneath is an excellent surface to create a lovely reflection against the grey NAC surface treatment. The combination of pink gold and NAC-treated surfaces is a beautiful and elegant contrast. The metal visible under the dial is vertically brushed on the upper side of the dial and vertically engraved on the lower side, creating two distinct zones that highlight each complication. Detail painstakingly executed by hand on a late machine. Lovely!
Calibre 2162 R31 – superb contrasts
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface is powered by the Calibre 2162 R31. This NAC-treated beauty presents all the nice detail specific to the grand Maison. The automatic movement has a peripheral gold rotor weight that does not obstruct the view of the lovely Geneva waves. Gilded engravings and jewels in polished sinks interrupt from place to place the bridges’ decorations. It is interesting to see the shapes of the bridges – revealing just a part of the movement but offering a generous estate for the decorations techniques.
The movement is a slow 3 Hz beater but offers an impressive power reserve – 72 hours. The 242 components of which 30 are jewels. It displays small seconds on tourbillon carriage, retrograde hand-type date, hours, minutes and tourbillon. As its reputation stays in place, Vacheron Constantin can proudly display the Hallmark Of Geneva seal.
Destined to greatness
The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface continues one of the gorgeous lines in the whole watchmaking theatre. Vacheron Constantin knows how to keep the interest high and impress old and new collectors with exceptional pieces. The lovely contrast of greys and gold highlights the good selection of complications. It is one of the few watches that catches my eye more from the front view than from the back. Not that the movement is not beautiful, but the depths and details of the dial make it … almost magic.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface Technical Specifications
- Calibre 2162 R31
- Number of parts: 242
- Number of jewels: 30
- Power reserve: 72 hours
- Frequency: 18000 vph (3 Hz)
- Indications: small seconds on tourbillon carriage, retrograde hand-type date, hours, minutes, tourbillon
- Hallmark Of Geneva
- Pink gold
- Diameter: 41 mm
- Thickness: 11.07
- Water resistance: 3 bar
- Weight 115 grams
- Alligator (Grey) leather
- Maltese cross pink gold buckle
About Vacheron Constantin
Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest watch Manufacture in continuous production for over 265 years, faithfully perpetuating a proud heritage of watchmaking excellence and stylistic sophistication through generations of master craftsmen.
At the pinnacle of Haute Horlogerie and understated elegance, the Maison creates timepieces with unique technical and aesthetic signatures, and an extremely high level of finishing touches.
Vacheron Constantin brings to life unparalleled heritage and a spirit of innovation through its collections: Patrimony, Traditionnelle, Métiers d’Art, Overseas, Fiftysix, Historiques and Égérie. It also offers its discerning clientele of connoisseurs the rare opportunity to acquire unique and bespoke timepieces by means of its “Les Cabinotiers“ department.