We live in a modern and robotic world. Where Cars drive themselves and ‘see’ pedestrians in the dark. Aircraft that fly themselves and even land themselves. And Timepieces – one of the last vestige of mechanical objects which besides time-telling, include features found in smart-phones such as SMS, GPS, fitness tracking and what not - all for one’s wrist. However, the analogue world of mechanical timepieces with its roots going back hundreds of years, is undergoing a renaissance, with progress and innovation within it. Sometimes though, there is no better alternative than the vintage charm of the past. Vacheron Constantin - the oldest continuous watchmaker in existence and one of the most prestigious, has launched such a model - Harmony Complete Calendar - that has its soul firmly etched in the past.
Unlike a Perpetual Calendar which accounts for months ending in 30 and 31 and leap year; and an Annual Calendar, which is the latter without the leap year function; a Complete Calendar has to be adjusted each month not ending in 31. Essentially five -times a year. While few reputed brands have introduced affordable perpetual calendars (as well as tourbillons), Vacheron takes a step-back and introduces a Complete Calendar. It is a bit like Rolls Royce with its plethora of sophisticated electronics to offer a manual-transmission version for the Ghost and expect the customer to gloat about it.
This is every-inch a modern watch with a state-of the-art automatic movement, the whole thing lovingly crafted by the artisans at Vacheron Constantin; albeit one with a vintage soul. Staring at its gorgeous dial, one reminisces of an era where beautiful creations such as the Supermarine Spitfire roamed the skies (well, it went to battle); Lockheed Constellaton with its tri-tail and four-propellers flew well-dressed travelers from North-America to Europe and onwards to Asia (never mind the reliability); RMS Queen Mary sailed the Atlantic; and the distinguished gentry and playboys of Europe drove the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and Ferrari 250 GT. This watch belongs to this era. It is a timepiece which Cary Grant’s character – Nickie Ferrante would wear in “An Affair to Remember”. And who wouldn’t want to be Nickie Ferrante aboard the SS Constitution in this epic Hollywood flick?
The Harmony Complete Calendar’s vintage details such as the bespoke black numerals, red date numerals, corresponding red lettering for day and month, the burgundy crescent on the tip of the black date-pointer, and the enchanting moon, almost like a miniature gold medallion – time-travels the fortunate owner to this bygone period in history and allows him or her to reminisce. It was a world with class. Where the pace of life was just perfect. Where chivalry was alive and men and women dressed for dinner. Where people lived a high quality of life without always being in such a constant hurry. By helping appreciate the past, this gorgeous timepiece has the ability to persuade a better tomorrow.
Photo Credit: Harmony Complete Calender - The Hour Lounge
Lockheed Constellation - the Internet
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember - the Internet