Where do you even start when reviewing the year that Vacheron Constantin has had? Well, you start with two releases, the first the Historiques 222 and the second the Louvre Métiers d’Art. One is a golden masterpiece while the others are exceptional homages to world cultures. So perhaps the fact that their latest timepiece is a golden homage to a world culture isn’t that surprising. I’m talking about the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Tourbillon Phoenix and Dragon.
There are three versions of the highly decorated watch, although the only difference between them is the colour of the guilloché dials, being silver, blue or black. Atop each dial sits hand engraved figures of a phoenix and a dragon in 18k pink gold. The mythical animals are a reference to Chinese mythology, where the pair symbolise peace and harmony as well as the duality of power and grace. The two creatures are flanking the titular tourbillon at 6 o’clock, which features a Maltese cross design.
Matching the pink gold of the Phoenix and Dragon is the case, measuring 41mm in diameter and 11.21mm in thickness. It’s engraved with an assortment of stylised Chinese designs such as rolling clouds and repeating swirls. The pattern even travels down the length of the lugs where the watch connects to an alligator strap in brown, blue or black depending on the colourway.
Inside the Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Tourbillon is the Calibre 2160/1, an automatic movement with a peripheral rotor and a power reserve of 80 hours. A peripheral rotor is one that wraps around the circumference of the movement rather than the traditional wedge, which allows more of the movement to be visible through the exhibition caseback. In terms of functions, it’s a time only piece with central hours and minutes and small seconds via the tourbillon, which rotates once every minute.
Each of the three versions is limited to 16 pieces and they’re price on request. They’re dramatic and bold watches that make me excited to see what the watchmaking world has planned for Chinese New Year in 2023.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon
- Ref: 6040T/000R-B959 (silver dial)
6040T/000R-B960 (deep blue dial)
6040T/000R-B961 (black dial)
- Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 11.21mm thickness, 18k pink gold case, hand engraved bezel and lug sides, 18k gold silver toned/deep blue/black guilloché dial with hand engraved 18k pink gold applied phoenix and dragon
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Vacheron calibre 2160/1, automatic, 30 jewels,188 components
- Frequency: 18,00 vph (2.5 Hz)
- Power reserve: 80h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds on tourbillon carriage, tourbillon
- Strap: Brown/Deep Blue/Black alligator leather with 18k pink gold folding clasp
- Price/availability: Price on request, limited to 16 individually numbered pieces, only available in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques.