There is something charmingly on the nose to luxury products with amusingly long names, and the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Collection Excellence Platine — I kid you not — is a perfect case in point. If you were to get one of this horological equivalent of heavy artillery, you might as well memorize its reference number which is 5100T/000P-H041, because, of course, it is.

You could argue that the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph watch is what it says on the tin, and you’d be right, but there are some nuances worth exploring. Unlike some other, relatively more plebeian tourbillon-equipped chronographs that operate with a small tourbillon cage and smaller still balance wheel, Vacheron Constantin appears to have brought out the big guns with its typical Maltese cross-shaped cage and beautiful balance wheel with variable moment of inertia screws set into its periphery. According to the brand, the cage and its bar require 11 hours of work to mirror-polish and round off. Vacheron Constantin even mentions that this process provides enhanced corrosion resistance, which does not sound like an issue to have affected too many ultra-high-end tourbillons ever.

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As a trade-off, its Vacheron Constantin Calibre 3200 runs at a leisurely 2.5Hz (18,800 semi-oscillations per hour), a considerable reduction from today’s 4Hz and 5Hz-paced modern chronograph calibers. This low frequency is more “traditionelle,” sure, but it also allows the movement to nudge this massive and heavy assembly along over the course of an extended 65-hour power reserve. Speaking of which, there is a handy power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock, right next to the discreet “Pt950” boasting implying that not only the case but also the dial itself is crafted from the precious metal.

From both front and back, the Vacheron Constantin Calibre 3200 is a thing of beauty, it is what horological dreams are made of — again, thanks, in no small part, to old-school, traditional executions. Take, for example, the lateral clutch with the familiar layout of three roughly identically sized brass wheels and a smaller driving wheel coupled and decoupled from the one in the center as the chronograph is started, or stopped. These also help put the size of the tourbillon assembly into perspective. Gorgeous.

The case is a rather un-traditionelle 42.5mm wide, and you can certainly tell that from just how much dial there is between the edge of the 3 o’clock subdial and the periphery of the dial. This is to say that the Calibre 3200 could certainly fit a smaller case later on, but the proportions are bang-on even in this more contemporary reference. The crown and its pusher — the only one to operate the chronograph with — stick out a fair bit, adding a lot to the size and to the probability of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph digging into the top of the hand of its lucky owner. Talk about a first-world problem. The case is 11.7mm thick and rated water resistant to 3bar (about 30 meters, but don’t even think about getting this watch wet).

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A sapphire crystal caseback finishes the picture and shows off a sea of Geneva Seal-certified decorations — does anyone remember the days when watches of this caliber would come with both a see-through and a solid platinum caseback in the box? Sure, it is a beautiful movement, but sometimes you’ve just got to feel the weight and touch of platinum.

A heavy hitter in name and wrist presence, alike, pricing details for the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph watch will become available during Watches & Wonders and we will add it the moment it becomes available. You can learn more at the brand’s website.


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