SIHH 2015: Harmony Chronograph

On the occasion of the 260th anniversary of its founding, the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin unveils the seven first models of a new collection called Harmony. Issued in limited editions, these eminently contemporary timepieces feature a new cushion shape and a design inspired by one of the brand’s first wristwatch chronographs introduced in 1928.

All Harmony models launched for the 260th anniversary of Vacheron Constantin are limited editions with certain components engraved with an arabesque motif inspired by the motifs found on the balance cock of Jean-Marc Vacheron's first watch from 1755.

Regular production models will follow without this engraving and with different design elements

A contemporary incarnation of a 1928 Vacheron Constantin chronograph, the new Chronograph in the Harmony collection clearly displays its kinship with the original model and pays it an eloquent tribute. Its generous pink gold cushion-shaped case (42 mm x 52 mm, 12.81 mm thick) reinterprets formal artistry firmly dedicated to technical refinement, since its three-dimensional construction houses the new hand-wound Caliber 3300 developed by Vacheron Constantin.

 Endowed with a substantial 65-hour power reserve, this monopusher chronograph movement adopts the classic architecture of the new chronograph movements presented by the Manufacture to mark its 260th anniversary, while benefiting from modern production technologies.

 For the anniversary edition, this model is issued in a limited, individually numbered edition of 260. It displays the hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock, along with a monopusher chronograph function, pulsometric scale and power-reserve indication. In tribute to the 1928 model and to historical medical watches, it bears a pulsometric graduation painted in deep red around the rim of the dial and intended to calculate the pulse on a 30-beat scale.

 Moreover, the balance-cock is hand-engraved with an original décor forming delicate scrolling patterns. Specially created by the brand designers to distinguish the exclusive series dedicated to the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture, this original motif also known as “fleurisanne engraving”, is inspired by the arabesques that adorned the world’s oldest pocket watch belonging to the Maison and signed by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755.

Development work on Caliber 3300 began in 2008, based on the same fundamental determination to develop a traditional chronograph architecture equipped with a column wheel and a lateral coupling clutch, while endowing it with all the technical and aesthetic attributes of contemporary technology. Among the major evolutions enriching this new chronograph movement equipped with a dragging 45-minute counter – rather than the traditional 30-minute type – is an uncompromisingly dynamic chronograph-activation system devised by the development team. On traditional constructions, the mechanism is sometimes activated but does not actually start if the pusher is not pressed firmly enough. With this “all or nothing” system, the gears and cams cannot be set into motion without actually starting the mechanism, thereby considerably optimising the durability and reliability of the movement.

Moreover, thanks to a new “friction” technique for the lateral coupling clutch, the chronograph seconds hand avoids the little jerk that tends to occur when the chronograph is activated. In addition, the sliding-type lateral pusher ensures improved control of the chronograph functions. With the aim of substantially enhancing the precision of the operational sequences, the chronograph uses two hammers instead of one for the start, stop and reset functions. Each exercises pressure on the heart-shaped cams, which turn in clockwise or counter-clockwise directions. The hands are thus brought back to zero. The hammers also return to their original place when the blocking-levers resume their initial position.

 It is worth noting that the cone-shaped gear between winding pinion and the crown wheel enables extremely smooth, gentle winding, while the spherical differential (also fitted with a cone-shaped gear) serving to indicate the power reserve also prolongs the movement’s life cycle. In another significant breakthrough, contemporary production methods proved useful in designing the chronograph wheels and the friction system, by making it possible to produce an extremely precise wheel profile guaranteeing that clearance between the gears is kept to an absolute minimum thanks to teeth separated by a mere 0.03 mm!

Whether visible or hidden from sight, these refined details embody the art of watchmaking upheld by Vacheron Constantin, also showcased in the chronograph gears hollowed in the brand-signature Maltese Cross shape, as well as the column-wheel screw adorned with the same emblem.

 Harmony Chronograph

 Harmony Chronograph

 Harmony Chronograph

 Harmony Chronograph

 Harmony Chronograph

Re: SIHH 2015: Harmony Chronograph
01/19/2015 - 02:09

Absolutely stunning. Just don't see enough pulsation dial chronos.

I am very impressed with all the 2015 novelties!
01/19/2015 - 02:44

Thanks for sharing them here Alex. :)

VC is celebrating its 260th anniversary in style indeed!

I especially like this harmony chrono! :)

 

Cheers

robin

I am in love with this piece. This is drop dead gorgeous. Why only 260?
01/19/2015 - 07:55

I am sure VC will continue 'regular' production with a different dial and colour pattern.  This is truly awesome and beautiful.

Finally here it is !
01/19/2015 - 14:11

As I wrote for the Grande Complication, the Harmony is a bold and lovely move, love the complex cushion shape, love the charming dial, very romantic. As for the american 1921, it won't be everyone taste but those who will be caught won't get it out of their minds. A strong watch, kudos. The caliber is wonderful, these maltese cross details are amazing as is the engraving. Lot of inside angle.

My only concern is the size, on the Grande Complication 42mm is a a remarkable achievement (especially with that thickness). On a "normal" chronograph, it is very generous in such a shape. And seeing the caliber filing well that watch, I understang that there won't be any smaller chronograph in the future. Too bad for small wrists. :)

Big year for VC.

This chronograph is easy to love...
01/19/2015 - 19:38

Thank you for the overview Alex. So, was this chronograph movement held back a year or two in order to celebrate the 260th anniversary in style? The result is a stunning, from dial to case to movement.

I'm reminded of the Medicus chronograph (47150), minus all the reservations I have with that model. The case is more voluptuous, the writing on the dial less superfluous, the colour scheme richer and the movement is a technical and artistic upgrade.

From the photos, it looks like the balance is free-sprung, with four larger adjustment screws along the periphary. Is this the case? I like how Vacheron stuck with the small screws along the balance, even if it's for aesthetic reasons. The Maltese cross on the column wheel, it is a successful branding exercise. Some macro shots of the finishing of the column wheel would be very interesting. 

Can't wait to see some more photographs.

My new favourite 'affordable' chronograph
01/20/2015 - 03:16

If money was no object, I'd go for the ultra thin grande complication chrono... But this is such a lovely watch, I would love to add it to my collection.

I hope I will offend anyone when I say that the Harmony Chrono reminds me of the VC Medicus, albeit 1,000,000 better wink: smoother case, more elegant dial, and much, much better movement!!

 

Cheers,

 

Francois

 

 

Medicus indeed, Francois. Only this time Vacheron got it right ;-) (nt)
01/24/2015 - 06:44

wink

Indeed, indeed! :-) (nt).
01/27/2015 - 16:18

.

Gorgeous
01/20/2015 - 14:14

I needed to look at this for a few days to really come to terms with it.  I have always favored a round watch, I am not really sure why.  I am also pretty scientifically minded, so the "dark arts" of what makes something beautiful often escape me.  However, as has been said many times about art, I know it when I see it.

There is really something magical happening here with this watch.  Apart from the stunning movement, which is a technical masterpiece and beautilful to behold as well, there is something about the dial on this watch.  You can look at it and imagine it (with very little adjustment) in an OS or a Patrimony or just about any other VC collection. There is a classic and timeless character to it, despite it not being overly simplistic looking.  Whatever it is, it is beautiful.  I love that it is a monopusher movement.  It allows it to maintain a classic beauty without ostentation.  While the cushion shape (beautful as it is) would need to grow on me, I love this piece.  I will have to see it in the metal, then I am certain I will fall in love with it.

Alex! is this entirely a new movement?
01/22/2015 - 15:33
Yes!
01/23/2015 - 10:16

.