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Vacheron Constantin Reveal Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

When I first became interested in luxury watches years ago, one of the first things a fellow enthusiast told me was that the holy trinity of horology is Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. With every new watch released by these brands I question whether that statement remains true and years later I think it still is. And it’s watches like the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin that convince me so.

From the name alone this might seem like quite an intimidating watch, considering that it’s basically a full sentence by itself. However, if you break it down into its constituent parts it’s actually very easy to understand what this watch is all about. As part of the Traditionnelle collection it’s one of Vacheron Constantin’s most traditional and classical dress watches. Inspired by design codes dating back to the 18th century it’s a pure expression of horology featuring a round case, smooth bezel and gently curving lugs. It is the archetype of a watch as understood by anyone who has never heard of Gerald Genta.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

If Traditionnelle is the collection that this watch is part of, then Excellence Platin is the series it’s in. It’s a label Vacheron apply to all of their limited edition watches made from platinum, like the Split Seconds Excellence Platin from 2021. Which means yes, the 42.5mm diameter case is made from platinum, one of the most precious and expensive metals in the world. Platinum is also very prestigious in watchmaking circles because it can be very difficult to work with.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

We then get to the watch’s complications: Tourbillon Chronograph. The tourbillon is situated at 12 o’clock on the dial and features the signature Maltese cross cage. It’s often debated whether tourbillons deserve to feature on wristwatches since their function – offsetting the effects of gravity by keeping the balance in constant motion – is performed by the motion of the wearer’s wrist. However, on sheer beauty and aesthetics alone, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin is enough to convince anyone that it makes sense.

As for the chronograph, it’s operated through a monopusher. Meaning that instead of the traditional two pushers flanking the crown, it has a single pusher integrated into the crown to start, stop and reset the chronograph counters. Those counters are the central chronograph seconds which pairs with the peripheral tachymeter and the 45-minute subdial at 3 o’clock. The final subdial at 6 o’clock is a power reserve indicator.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

I’m a huge fan of the simple elegance of the piece. The understated bar indexes, dauphine style hour and minute hands and blued chronograph and reserve hands are all classical features that have been seen many times before, but they’ve all been executed with the utmost precision. In turn this allows the more impressive features such as the tourbillon and the view through the exhibition caseback to shine.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

The movement that can be seen through the exhibition caseback is the Calibre 3200. It’s a manual piece with 65-hour power reserve and finished to within an inch of its life with Côtes de Genève, circular graining and hand-bevelling. Some of the finishes also serve a practical purpose such as the polishing of the gear teeth that helps to prevent dust from sticking to their surface and causing issues.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin

As part of the Excellence Platin series, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin is a limited edition of just 50 pieces. Making it exceptionally exclusive considering that it’s also price on request. There is a simple satisfaction in seeing the basics of watchmaking executed well and something even more satisfying about seeing haute horology and precious metals handled in a way that makes them seem natural and effortless.

Price and Specs:

Model: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Excellence Platin
Ref: 5100T/000P-H041
Case: 42.5mm diameter x 11.7mm thickness, 950 platinum
Dial: Sand-blasted 950 platinum
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Vacheron Constantin calibre 3200, manual winding, 39 jewels
Frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 65h
Functions: Hours, minutes, tourbillon
Strap: Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with 950 platinum folding clasp
Price: Price on request, limited to 50 pieces

More details at Vacheron Constantin.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.