Editor’s Note: Just need a quick watch fix? This preview of the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) review with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. For our actual hands-on reviews, please head to the dedicated section here. Now let’s get to the point.
What Is It
Four complications — triple calendar (indicates the date, day and month) and moon phase requiring only one correction every 122 years — adorn the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface available in two distinctive variants: ref. 4020T/000G-B655 in 18K white gold and ref. 4020T/000R-B654 in 18K 5N pink gold
Because Vacheron Constantin has a knack for taking historically rich 18th century Haute Horlogerie traditions and presenting them for the modern watch connoisseur
When released: 17 December 2021
Where: Both retail for 68’000 AUD, and your can contact Vacheron Constantin on +61 1800 796 452
Who is it for
It’s for those who understand the brand’s horological prowess within the Swiss watchmaking industry. There is a reason why Vacheron Constantin is considered a part of the ‘Holy Trinity’, and the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is an unabashed display of this horological might.
Like bee to honey, any ‘true’ watch collector or enthusiast who is in the market for a rather distinctive and handsome triple calendar timepiece will find himself paused in time, his gaze transfixed at the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface.
How Does It Do
When the news first broke of this, my reaction was that this would be one of those unattainable timepieces. But when I looked at the RRP of the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface, I literally had my jaw drop.
68’000 AUD is pretty penny no doubt, but compared to what’s available in the non-sports watch market from the top tier brands like A. Lange & Sohne, AP, Breguet, Patek, this in my opinion is a steal.
Yes, there are JLC — this hits closer to home given both VC and JLC are owned by Richemont — and Blancpain watches for substantially lower pricing, but then you can also find an open-worked Christopher Ward for 5k (albeit without the same complications). On the other hand you have the beautiful Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 ref. 5000H/000A-B582 in the ‘precious material’ of stainless steel retailing for a very similar 62’500 AUD. Next to this is the GPHG Horological Revelation Prize 2021 winner the Furlan Marri, MR. Grey Ref. 1041-A, that retailed for peanuts compared to this VC. Add to this thought process elements like materials used, Geneva Seals or other certifications, brand name cache, movements used, finishings on the movement, and the cost reasoning begins to unravel.
If you are really in the mood for questioning, why does the Rolex Daytona sell for what it does in the secondary market is one question, and should it sell for that is another? Of course at retail it’s as good as chronos can get.
In my opinion, the concept of ‘is this highly priced compared to others’ is irrelevant for the most part when it comes to pieces like these.
And truth be told, until I go hands-on with this, and perhaps do a comparison review with a JLC, Patek or Blancpain piece, I can’t really say why. But to reiterate my stance, yes, I still think it its steal for what it offers, and how it offers.
Both the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface feature the calibre 2460 QCL/2. This movement is based on the brand’s first self-winding movement entirely designed and developed by them, the calibre 2450. Comprising 312 components, beating at 4Hz frequency, it features a stop-seconds mechanism and provides 40 hours of power reserve.
The 29 x 5.45mm calibre 2460 QCL/2 is exquisite decorated featuring a circular-grained mainplate, chamfered bridges and Côtes de Genève motif and is encased inside a 41mm diameter and 10.7mm thick case that is water-resistant to 30m. The main plate and bridges are further highlighted by anthracite NAC treatment, lending it a distinct aura.
That’s All Folks!
Sapphire dials are tricky to execute. Based on media pictures, the execution thanks to the added use of an anthracite grey colour achieved by NAC galvanic surface treatment lends to it a much of elegance, and a decent deal of depth. I reckon this would work wonders when touched by natural light, but that’s something that’s still to be seen.
I do particularly appreciate the execution of a slightly stepped round case with not-so-long-that-your-wrist-will-succumb lugs. The fluted case-back is rather different, and the railway minute-track is very Richemont-esque. And the bi-facetted Dauphine-type hands and the gold baton-style hour-markers are welcome as they seem to bring decent amount of legibility.
As an architect, I like any timepiece that’s got a decent amount of depth to the dial; I am not someone who particularly enjoys flat dials with printed numerals and no embellishments. So for me a big draw card for the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is the three-parts dial: slate grey guilloche upper part, slate grey opaline flange, and the presence of sapphire crystal with 18K gold hour-markers.
My favourite part of the dial is of course the upper part of the sapphire crystal dial that features a slate grey guilloché. It somehow beautifully marries the worlds of intricate dial finishings with an open-worked aesthetic.
I reckon the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is one of the best offerings out there with this complication. It’s avant-garde quirkiness blended with contemporary elegance. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder after all.
Objectively, it’s a standout for what it is (though it does look a bit busy on the dial). Until the hands-on review…
To find out more about the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface and other VC watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy ©2021 Vacheron Constantin All right reserved.