Tradition Takes The Lead At Watches Of Switzerland Hudson Yards
Vacheron Constantin is taking over Watches of Switzerland Hudson Yards in an exclusive pop-up to highlight their unique savoir-faire via a display of high complications from the brand's collection.
Located in the heart of the Vallee de Joux, Vacheron Constantin is a brand rooted in tradition since its founding in 1755. They are also one the very few Maisons with an uninterrupted horological history. The brand’s timepieces exude excellence, unique know-how, and a real passion for tradition.
The Traditionnelle collection is the result of three centuries of attention to detail and innovation. These timepieces integrate technical refinement, from the simplest to the most complicated, and every piece stays true to its heritage. Traditionnelle means “tradition” in French, and this collection is the result of watchmaking traditions being passed down, through generations, in the Vallee de Joux. Luckily, two exceptional pieces are on display and available at Watches of Switzerland Hudson Yards.
The Traditionnelle Tourbillon is probably the crown jewel of this pop-up. This clean looking tourbillon was designed with precision in mind. The one-minute tourbillon, at the center of the dial, is topped with a floating Maltese Cross, the signature of the brand. Through the sapphire crystal case back of this 41mm yellow gold timepiece, you can take a glance at its stunning automatic movement. Plus, the 22k oscillating mass is a peripheral-rotor, so it does not conceal the entirely hand-decorated movement. Finally, if you look closely, nestled within the Cotes de Genève finished bridges, you will spot the famous Poinçon de Genève (or, Geneva Seal) attesting to the quality of the Traditionnelle Tourbillon, priced at $115,000.
The second piece on display from the Traditionnelle collection is the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. At first glance, you would think this a simple black dial chronograph, but on closer inspection, you will notice it also includes a subtle yet impressive perpetual calendar. Powered by the manually wound 1142 QP movement, which is based on the iconic Lemania 27-70 column-wheel chronograph, it is a beautiful marriage of two horological complications. Rightfully, this 43mm platinum timepiece is a pillar of Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle collection.
The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar has everything you would expect in a QP, from the leap year indicator between 1 and 2 o’clock to the moon phase at 6 o’clock. For the keen observer, a lot of work went into the moon phase disc, which features either a melancholy or smiling moon. This stunning QP Chronograph retails for $133,000.
The Malte is the centerpiece of Vacheron Constantin's Art Deco collections. Its unusual case shape attracts attention, and true connoisseurs are sure to recognize that you have exquisite taste in fine watchmaking. Moreover, the tonneau shape is not only a break of round case traditions, but it is also the home of technically stunning complications.
The Malte Tourbillon is the perfect first example, with its 41.5 x 38mm gold case. Admittedly it is quite large, but it still fits the wrist elegantly. At 6 o’clock, the small seconds float above a tourbillon displayed in a Maltese Cross-shaped cage, a fitting touch for the collection bearing the name Malte. The finishing of the movement is as expected: exceptional and atheistically pleasing – it almost makes you want to stare at the caseback all day long. The Malte Tourbillon is priced at $151,000.
Truth be told, I believe all the watches in this article can also be worn by women. But I particularly appreciate when brands specifically create watches with only ladies in mind, like the Malte Ladies Manual-Winding Jewellery. Thankfully this timepiece is smaller than the Malte Tourbillon with a size of 35 x 29.29mm.
The glistening case and dial are adorned with baguette-shaped diamonds, almost becoming one with the case. The lines are smooth and sophisticated – it’s a piece of high jewelry on your wrist. And, as its name suggests, the mechanical heart is manually wound, giving you a moment to bond with your timepiece before wearing it.
Unsurprisingly, extreme attention to detail is present in this timepiece. Exemplified by a striking red strap and diamond-set buckle that makes this piece stand out even more. Stamped with the Geneva Seal, this watch retails for $270,000.
Patrimony Minute Repeater Ultra-Thin
Minute repeaters were initially created in the year 1700 when electricity was merely a dream, and you would wake up in the middle of the night, curious about what the time was, but unable to see your watch. Today, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Minute Repeater Ultra-Thin is one of the thinnest minute repeaters on the market, and it embodies true watchmaking tradition.
The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Minute Repeater is elegant and minimalistic. The 41mm pink gold case is just 8.10mm thick and doesn’t dampen the acoustics of the minute repeater by even one decibel. The 1731 calibre movement reflects traditional watchmaking mores, but the dial and case are modern and elegant. For instance, the small seconds are indicated at 8 o’clock on the watch’s lone subdial. The Patrimony Minute Repeater comes with a $307,000 price tag.
Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Ajourées
This watch might be one of the most visually stunning pieces in the entire pop-up at Watches of Switzerland Hudson Yards. The Métiers D’Art Mécaniques Ajourées celebrates Vacheron Constantin’s unique decorative techniques and discreetly showcases the skill of the brand’s master enamellers.
The beauty of the skeletonized 4400SQ movement is on full display. Every detail has been thought through to perfection, with all parts of the movement decorated and engraved by hand. The more you look at the watch, the more you see. It’s a stunner in every sense. It’s a true example of Vacheron Constantin's exceptional know-how in many departments. The Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Ajourées is priced at $68,000.
Watches Of Switzerland Hudson Yards
This exquisite display of Vacheron Constantin’s savoir-faire is for everyone to discover at Watches of Switzerland Hudson Yards from February 4th to March 2nd. If you can't make it to the pop-up, don't worry, all of Watches of Switzerland’s United States boutiques have Vacheron Constantin's core collection available year-round.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)