: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon
Text & Photos Francis Cheung

Vacheron Constantin has always delivered in terms of timepieces for women; from models in their Patrimony line to the Égérie collections, the brand has demonstrated great skill and experience in designing timepieces with precious stones and metals that capture the style, character, and essence of a 21st-century feminine figure. For those who seek more extravagance, there are also some flamboyant options offered with the Heures Créatives series that provide alternative ways to tell time from a luxurious approach.


In 2020, Vacheron Constantin expanded its vision into the original Traditionnelle Tourbillon, shrinking the size to 39mm, with the addition of precious stones and a special dial that speaks candidly to feminine audiences. In person, the watch in metal is visually powerful and self-explanatory, and even when photographed, it was effortless to capture its inherent charm. The composition of the case and dial, movement, and every diamond set component all harmonised in a tranquil and elegant state.


Whilst this watch is ever so sparkly at every angle, and it certainly attracts attention by being showy, but not excessively so, it maintains the much acquired elegance and manner found in every Vacheron Constantin timepiece. The diamond setting depicts a very thorough thought in creating a visual balance, with the 5N rose gold case that is decorated with a total of 208 round-cut diamonds, which sit around the bezel, lugs and the side of the case. A brilliant-cut diamond was also fitted in the crown thus making it protrude slightly more than usual, making it appear larger and quite similar to a vintage winding crown.


The dial, just as the original reference, appears in a simple orientation. But the material choice and the finishing create an ever-changing look to the watch according to the ambient lighting conditions. Starting from the obvious component, the mother-of-pearl dial reflects a particular iridescence that creates a different pattern from every viewing angle, and fills up the negative space of the dial. The baton hour markers are chamfered to give a better reflectivity, while the hour and minute hand were given two finishes: mirror polish on the left, a satin, sand-blasted-like finish on the right, the result is a clean and discrete line that visually separates two different shades of pink gold in one hand.


Another detail that cannot be missed is the 46 round-cut diamonds surrounding the Maltese cross tourbillon cage, which are set on a rose gold ring which is bevelled inwards. Different from earlier interpretations of the Traditionnelle tourbillon, this serves as a better visual transition from the dial to the escapement, without exposing the right angle edge of the perforation. If observed closely, there is an arrow mounted on the tourbillon cage, on one of the four ends that sweeps around the diamonds, serving as a second hand. As if there is not enough sparkle, there are another 36 round-cut diamonds on the folding clasp, totalling approximately 3.57 carats of precious stones.


At the back of the watch, the pure mechanical excellence becomes much more prominent as none of the glamorous glare from the front is applied. Of course, the finishing is at a level to meet anyone’s expectation: Côtes de Genève, hand-finished bridges and circular-graining baseplate, all from an in-house calibre manufactured under by of the most respected brands in the upper echelon of Swiss watchmaking. The calibre 2160 is a self-winding tourbillon movement that has an 80-hour power reserve. It also features a rather uncommon 22k gold peripheral rotor as the oscillating weight, consequently allowing the construction of the movement to be as thin as 5.65mm, and an overall thickness for the watch of 11.22mm.


The new Traditionnelle Tourbillon inherits the simple and rational layout from the original reference, and emphasises the combination of materials and balance of proportion to create a visually captivating watch. The use of mother-of-pearl, pink gold, diamonds, is a logical formula for a feminine audience, with an execution on this watch that is simply beautiful. On top of that, the implementation of a beautiful mechanical movement with a fascinating tourbillon will certainly provide a strong incentive to the female connoisseurs with an appreciation for the technical aspects of haute horlogerie.