Watches and Wonders has in just two short years set its self as Asia’s prominent haute horlogerie fair with most of the brands exhibiting at SIHH not only also exhibiting there but also reserving this opportunity for the launch/presentation of new models.
This year the fair was held between Sept 30 and Oct 5 and one-if not the only-event where Vacheron Constantin’s 57 complications Ref 57260 was exhibited.
However other watches for us mortals were also shown and lest start with my favorite
One of the most iconic chronographs from Vacheron Constantin, the Ref 6087 from the 50s and made in extremely low numbers is being released in the Historiques collection and the first chronograph since the rebirth of the Historiques in 2007.
The platinum case has been beefed up compared to the original model but remaining in a very conservative 38.5mm dimension. The caliber used can now also be considered as a historical one (since the release of the new Cal 3300 chronograph movement earlier this year) using Cal 1142 now with the Geneva Seal.
Surprisingly this is one of the rare watches where I prefer the new over the vintage which says alot so needless to say that this model is very high if not 1st on my want list!!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Malte models when originally launched in 2012 but I’ve come to like them more and more with each new version and the new slate grey dial versions really make it for me. They add a dash of modern elegance to these pieces. The 36.7 x 47.6 mm cases are either white gold or pink and house the manual wind cal 4400.
The silver dial models remain within the collection.
The Traditionnelle WorldTime is dead, long live the Traditionnelle WorldTime (to paraphrase a French phrase announcing the passing away of a monarch!).
The Traditionnelle WorldTime with its colored dial is being replaced by two new models, including the long awaited white gold version.
The main features, such as the 37 time zone indication (including zones offset by 30mins or 45 mins such as Tehran, Nepal or Caracas) as well as the central Lambert projection world map and rotating day/night disc have been maintained.
The big difference is the monochrome dial in pink gold for the pink gold model and white gold for the white gold version. The 42.5 mm case houses cal 2460WT.
I personally really like the WG model, and need to spend more time with the rose gold even though I am more a fan of the rose gold cases the fact the dial is also rose gold makes it a bit too much for me. But tastes change so let's wait and see.
A lovely 33 mm Traditionnelle housing the manual wind cal 1400 and paved with a total of 608 round-cut diamonds, for a total weight of approx. 3.3 carats
Vacheron Constantin is not the most famous name when it comes to ladies watches…but things are about to change!!
The Heures Creatives is a new collection dedicated to the fairer sex and encompassing three emblematic artistic periods: Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the 1970s. The Heure Romantique, Heure Discrète and Heure Audacieuse timepieces form a stunning trilogy dedicated to three women with very different appearances, yet all drawn to the same vision of elegance and all inspired by a timepiece from that era.
Inspired by the Art Nouveau movement of the early 20th century. A movement advocating a return to nature, with undulating shapes, organic swirls and effusive arabesques. This was art in all its voluptuousness, marked by a profusion of decoration.
The Heure Romantique model is inspired by this delicate trend. Crafted in 18-carat white gold and adorned with 104 round-cut diamonds (approximately 2.5 cts), its bezel undulates around a mother-of-pearl dial. Four gem set lugs deliciously accentuate the smooth contours of a slightly curved case punctuated by a winding crown enhanced with a diamond.
Inspired by a model highly emblematic of the Belle Epoque and dating from 1916, this reinterpretation is devoid of all superfluity and retains only its quintessential elegant roundness. This exceptional timepiece is worn on a black satin strap, secured by a white gold gem set folding clasp.
Certainly one of the most beautiful women’s watches I have seen!
Inspired by Art Deco and the Roaring Twenties the Heures Discrète is shaped like a fan dressed in 286 diamonds. The fan is carved in white gold, fashioned like guipure lace and then carpeted with a crescendo of precious stones to emphasize the geometry. When pivoted, it reveals a small white mother-of-pearl window with finely textured stripes and swept over by two hands.
The 1970s were a period of audacity and freedom and this watch perfectly reflects this! This avant-garde model diverted the belt from its customary use by turning it into a precious cuff watch! The buckle that serves as a case glows with the effect of snow-set round-cut diamonds – a distinctive setting technique that achieves a subtle sparkling effect by juxtaposing diamonds of different sizes.
The Heure Audacieuse model is also available in a precious version with 172 invisibly set baguette-cut diamonds totaling 11.30 carats
Many were waiting for a white metal version of the Patrimony Cal 1731 and here it is in 2 elegant versions, both in a 41mm platinum case with a silver opaline dial or a slate grey one.
Platinum being a dense metal normally muffles the chimes but not in this case as the sound is crisp and clear. Cal 1731 also features Vacheron Constantin’s Centripetal governor which unlike classic lever-type governors is entirely silent.
The role of the governor is to steady the rate at which the hammers strike the gongs. Without such a governor (also known as a regulator), this musical sequence would play at the speed of the striking barrel-spring and would thus produce a series of indiscernible notes. The device developed by Vacheron Constantin comprises two inertia-blocks or weights designed to act as a brake on the rotating shaft of the governor and thus evening out the energy supplied by the barrel spring. It achieves this by making use of opposing centrifugal and centripetal forces. When the governor spins, centrifugal force pushes one end of the inertia-blocks outwards, while the other end presses on the shaft to slow it down and stabilize the rotation speed in order to ensure a steady cadence.
Needless to say that Calibre 1731 is also one of the thinnest repeating movements in the world: only 3.90mm thick!
The Maitre Cabinotier is a collection (even though this term doesn’t really make sense here) of unique timepieces representing Vacheron Constantin’s expertise in the realm of artistic crafts (Métiers d’Art) and complications.
This year sees the presentation of 6 models
This pair of timepieces (a ladies’ model with a 39 mm-diameter case and a 42 mm men’s model) represent a swan in white gold and set with round-cut diamonds spreading its wings on a finely guilloché, enamelled stretch of water (The guilloché motifs are coated with a translucent grand feu enamel, sky blue for the ladies’ version and night blue for the men’s model)
The white gold cases are each set with 76 baguette cut diamonds and house the automatic caliber 2460 G4 with the hours and minutes being read via the apertures on the top and day and date via the apertures on the bottom.
What a beautiful watch. In general regulator type displays are not to my liking but with this unique piece everything is in the right place, it is a perfect example of equilibrium.
The gold dial adorned with a very original opaline brown finish and a hand-guilloché motif (very hard to capture in my photos). Complementing the regulator-type display of the hours and minutes, the perpetual calendar and the moon phases appear on a snailed counter at 6 o’clock, while the pink gold moon and silver dust stars are sprinkled across this gently spiraling finish. The pink gold-rimmed day of the week and month apertures appear on either side of the offset hours counter at 12 o’clock.
The 42mm pink gold case houses a new automatic caliber the 2460 QPR.
I find the "Eloges de la Nautre" astonishing. The Zebra and the Magpie especially.
Very creative work for lady's, especially the "Baguette" "heure audacieuse", beautiful, very modern, it's an awesome lady's watch.
I am less convinced by the Regulateur, but I will certainly one of the few, the dial looks fantastic though.
The Corne de Vache in platinum looks to be an absolute killer, what a beautiful watch.
In the end well that platinum minute repeater... dreamt by many, it finally comes, and it defines perfection imhoThanks for sharing, fantastic 260th anniversary for VC.
a pleasure to meet Dan.
I will post my own VC experience at Watches and Wonders soon.
and I'm also warmed by the playfulness of the Heures Creatives models . Nothing yet to replace the Tivoli as my screensaver however .
Thank you, Alex for a great report and some excellent photos.
Vacheron has clearly gone all-out in covering the various watch design types and has resurrected its beautiful watches as jewellery concepts in a most magnificent fashion.
A veritable cornucopia of designs!
Thank you Alex for the excellent copy and photographs.
Intrigued to note that the VC 57 Complication (Ref: 57260) Watch will make an appearance at W&W.
It appears that this event is finding a significant place on the calendar.
For those of us that were unable to attend, thank you for letting us know what we've missed...
With kind regards
I'm really fond of this kind of creativity, driving its modernity from the marvellous history of the maison.
I notice that someone in the comments speak about eloge of nature watches around zebra and magpie. Where are the pics of these beauties?