Panerai Introduces the Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT PAM01108

Recycled steel with Arctic adventure.

With last year’s limited editions packaged with extreme adventures having sold well commercially, Panerai is once again offering a watch packaged with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, except that the timepiece is no longer merely a basic dive watch.

Limited to just five pieces, the Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT PAM01108 is equipped with a skeletonised movement featuring a second time zone and tourbillon. More unusually, the massive, 50 mm case of the PAM 1108 is fabricated from recycled steel.

The EcoPangaea tourbillon has an unusual bezel milled to have its markings in relief

Named EcoPangaea steel, the material is recycled from the discarded drive shaft of Pangaea, the 35 m sailboat owned by South African conservationist and explorer Mike Horn. The vessel has accompanied Mr Horn on various expeditions around the world, from Antarctica to the Amazon.

Fittingly, the watch includes an Arctic adventure supervised by Mike Horn, which Panerai describes as “an opportunity to test your physical limits and witness the imperiled state of our ecosystem.”

The perpendicular tourbillon

The PAM 1108 is powered by the P.2005/T, a movement Panerai has used on several other skeleton-tourbillon watches. Hand-wound with a six-day power reserve, the P.2005/T incorporates a second time zone function with a central GMT hand, as well as the novel tourbillon at 10 o’clock.

Unlike conventional tourbillons that rotate on the same plane as the dial, with the balance wheel oscillating the same axis of rotation, the Panerai tourbillon rotates perpendicular to the dial, like a barbecue spit, and at high speed, making one revolution every 30 seconds.

Key facts and price

Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT – 50mm
Ref. PAM01108

Diameter: 50 mm
Material: Steel alloy recycled from drive shaft of Pangaea
Water resistance: 300 m

Movement: P.2005/T
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds, second time zone, 24-hour indicator, power reserve display, and tourbillon regulator
Winding: Hand-wound
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 6 days

Strap: Black rubber with pin buckle, additional woven strap made from recycled PET

Limited edition: 5 pieces
 At Panerai boutiques starting November 2020
Price: €190,000, or 279,000 Singapore dollars

For more information, visit


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All That’s New at Watches & Wonders 2020

An overview.

The virtual doors of Watches & Wonders 2020 are now open – here’s an overview of all notable new releases from the exhibiting brands.

This page will be updated as additional watches are launched in the coming months, so bookmark this.

A. Lange & Söhne

Odysseus Datomatic in white gold
Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in white gold


Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique
Maillon de Cartier
Pasha de Cartier
Santos-Dumont XL
Santos-Dumont Limited Editions
Santos de Cartier ADLC


Laureato Absolute Light


Portugieser Automatic 40
Portugieser Chronograph 3716
Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”
Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42
IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide


Master Control Collection
Master Control Memovox and Master Control Memovox Timer


1858 Automatic 24H
1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100
Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph


Luminor Marina Carbotech PAM01661
Luminor Marina Titanio DMLS PAM01117
Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM01663
Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT PAM01108


Toric Tourbillon Red Gold Slate


Altiplano Ultimate Concept

Vacheron Constantin

Égérie collection
Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph “Tempo”
Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Grand Complication “Ode to Music”
Les Cabinotiers “The Singing Birds”
Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Skeleton
Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph


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Vacheron Constantin Introduces the Astronomical Grand Complication “Ode to Music”

Starry and minute repeating.

Just revealed at Watches & Wonders 2020, the Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Grand Complication “Ode to Music” is the latest chiming watch to emerge from Ateliers Cabinotiers, Vacheron Constantin’s dedicated department for commissions and ambitious unique pieces that showcase the brand’s technical as well as artisanal skills.

If the watch looks familiar, that’s because it is based on the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600, the most complicated wristwatch ever created by Vacheron Constantin at the time of its launch in 2017, but more importantly, the most comprehensive astronomical complication wristwatch ever made. The new Ode to Music retains all of its astronomical prowess, but replaces the tourbillon with a minute repeater, while omitting the tide indicator and power reserve display.

Rebuilt grand comp

As a result, the Ode to Music retains the same astronomical display module but is actually constructed on an entirely different base movement from the Celestia. While the Celestia relied on a base movement with a tourbillon and six barrels, the Ode to Music utilises the minute repeating cal. 1731, a wide but ultra-thin movement measuring just 3.9 mm high.

Comprising a total of 600 parts, the resulting cal. 1731M820 is hand-wound, with a frequency of 3Hz and a 60-hour power reserve on a single barrel.

Because of the thinner base movement, the Ode to Music clocks in at a relatively svelte 12.45 mm high, versus 13.6 mm for the Celestia. But because the complications module remains similar, the diameter remains an enormous 45 mm. The pink gold case is paired with a dark blue dial, which perhaps better evokes the astronomical nature of the complications.

At its core, the Ode to Music delivers three measurements of time: civil time, apparent solar time, and sidereal time, all regulated by a single balance wheel but each driven by its own gear train, in addition to the going train for the minute repeater. The first two time indications are displayed on the dial, and the third on the back.

Civil time, ordinary 24-hour time in other words, is indicated by pink-gold Breguet-style hands, while apparent solar time, which is also the running equation of time, is shown by an additional minute hand tipped by a stylised Sun.

As opposed to a conventional equation-of-time mechanism that’s driven by a cam and feeler, a running equation of time requires a differential-gear system to drive the Sun hand with input from two sources, one being the regular going train that shows civil time, and the other being the gear train driven by the equation-of-time cam.

As a result, apparent solar time is displayed in real time, via the secondary, sun-tipped minute hand that shows the current time according to the Earth’s movement around the Sun, which can vary from the conventional 24-hour day by -16 to +14 minutes depending on the time of the year. In other words,  the current apparent solar time can be read off the dial, instead of having a scale showing the difference between mean and apparent solar time as most equation of time indicators do.

As much astronomy as desired

Apart from the main hands, the dial displays a plethora of other astronomical indications including a day and night indicator that is combined with the moon phase, a perpetual calendar, a tropic and zodiac display and most unusually, sunset and sunrise times.

Situated between three and 12 o’clock, the perpetual calendar has day and month apertures, a leap year indicator and a sub-dial for the date

The aperture for zodiac signs, seasons, solstices and equinoxes

Sunset and sunrise indications remain extremely rare in modern watchmaking as they are based on latitude and longitude in relation to a specific time zone, essentially dependent on where the user is located in the world. In this case, the indications will be calibrated to the city of the owner.

The times for sunrise and sunset are shown on a pair of fan-shaped displays located the bottom of the dial, while the vertical aperture provides the length of the day in terms of daylight hours that varies with the seasons.

Over on the back of the watch is a sky chart that is made up of two sapphire discs. The mobile lower disc is printed with a scale for sidereal time – the time measured according to the rotation of the Earth relative to fixed stars, instead of the Sun – and a blue ellipse that represents the viewing horizon directly overhead when stargazing.

The fixed upper disc bears the star chart with a yellow ellipse for the celestial equator, which is a projection of the Earth’s equator onto the celestial sphere, and a red ellipse for the ecliptic, the apparent path the sun takes across our sky.

Framed by a blue ring for the months, the bottom sidereal disc makes one revolution each sidereal day which is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds, thereby indicating the month on the fixed scale with a yellow pointer exactly at midnight each day.

Key facts and price

Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication
Ref. 6620C/00R-B656

Diameter: 45 mm
Height: 12.45 mm
Material: 18k pink gold
Water-resistance: Not water-resistant

Movement: Cal. 1731M820
Functions on the front: Civil time; running equation of time; minute repeater; perpetual calendar; moon phase; day and night indicator; sunrise and sunset indicator; day and night length indication; tropic and zodiac display
On the back: Sidereal time; sky chart of the northern hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, of the ecliptic and celestial equator

Winding: Hand-wound
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Limited edition: Unique piece
Availability: Only at boutiques
Price: Upon request

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Panerai Introduces the Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM 1663

The first basalt-fibre case.

Having just debuted a Luminor with fancy “lume” and a sintered titanium case, Panerai is also unveiling another wristwatch in a novel material – the Luminor Marina Fibratech 44 mm PAM01663 with a basalt-fibre composite case.

Having been the focus of research in recent years as a lower-cost and ecologically-friendly alternative to carbon-fibre composites, basalt-fibre composites are light, strong, fire-resistant, biodegradable, and more cost efficient, making them increasingly popular in the automotive and aerospace industries.

The material starts with basalt rock that’s ground up, melted, and then formed into fibres. As with carbon-fibre composites, the basalt fibres are then mixed in a liquid polymer and baked in a special high-pressure oven, or autoclave, forming the composite material that can be machined to the desired shape.

Used for the first time in watchmaking with the Luminor Marina Fibratech, basalt-fibre composite is used for the case and crown-lock bridge, while the bezel, crown, and crown-lock lever are made of carbon-fibre composite (or Carbotech in Panerai parlance), giving the case a two-tone appearance with the carbon-fibre composite several shades darker than its basalt-fibre counterpart.

And as is usual for watch cases made of composite materials, the screw-down case back is titanium and screws into an inner case of titanium. Under the titanium back is the P.9010, a thin, in-house automatic with a three-day power reserve.

In keeping with current fads, the dial is dark blue, but with a smoked finish that darkens towards the edges. And in keeping with Panerai tradition, the dial has a “sandwich” construction.

Key facts and price

Panerai Luminor Marina Fibratech 44mm
Ref. PAM01663

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 15.65 mm
Material: Fibratech case with Carbotech bezel
Water resistance: 300 m

Movement: P.9010
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds; date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3Hz)
Power reserve: 3 days

Strap: Rubberised fabric; additional strap in rubber

Limited edition: No
 At Panerai boutiques
Price: €16,000; or 23,500 Singapore dollars

For more information, visit


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Vacheron Constantin Introduces the Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph “Tempo”

The most complex VC wristwatch.

Three years after the debut of Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication boasting 23 complications, Vacheron Constantin has topped its own achievement at Watches & Wonders 2020 by launching Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph “Tempo”.

Without going into the minefield of what counts as a complication; the new Grand Complication incorporates 24 complications, if each function counts as one – with everything displayed on a massive, two-faced case.

A reversible giant

In addition to showing the time, the Grand Complication includes a minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph as well as a number of astronomical indications including equation of time, sunrise and sunset times, plus a retrograde moon phase.

The reverse face

Unsurprisingly, the case is enormous – 50 mm wide and 21 mm high.

But it is intriguingly designed – perfectly symmetrical in profile, the case allows the watch to be worn with either side facing up thanks to a quick-release strap. Swapping faces is a matter of unlatching the strap, flipping the watch over, and reinstalling the strap.

Time, chronograph and perpetual calendar on the front; tourbillon, running Equation of Time, retrograde moon phase and times for sunrise and sunset on the back

Mechanical layer cake

Inside is the cal. 2756, which is derived from the cal. 2755, a movement first found in the Traditionnelle Calibre 2755 grand complication that has since been iterated into even more complicated variants with the addition of modules on top.

In this new Grand Complication, the cal. 2755 grows even more complex and thicker than the already-complicated versions before. Two more movement modules are stacked on the base movement, adding on the chronograph and perpetual calendar respectively, creating a movement made up of 1,163 parts in all.

But despite everything that’s been built on top of the calibre, the cal. 2756 still offers a longish 65-hour power reserve thanks to single but large mainspring barrel.

A module for the cam-driven, astronomical displays (left) that’s mounted on top of the base movement with tourbillon and minute repeater (right)

The back of the base movement with the strikework for the repeater (left) and the split seconds chronograph mechanism that sits on top (right)

The topmost layer – the perpetual calendar mechanism

Functions maximised, readability compromised

Unsurprisingly, the dial of the watch is almost impractically complicated.

The front of the watch is characterised by four registers laid out symmetrically, with the twin central hands being the split seconds hands. It is made up of the time display, chronograph, as well as calendar.

The upper registers are dedicated primarily to the time. The left sub-dial shows the hours of the time, as well an independent adjustable 24-hour scale that can be used as a second time zone. The register on the right displays the minutes of the time, along with the 30-minute counter of the chronograph.

Located at the bottom of the dial are the two registers for the perpetual calendar, with the day and date displayed on the left, the month and leap year on the right.

The back of the watch has all of the astronomical indications as well as the tourbillon, along with a secondary display of the time. Hours and minutes are indicated by a pair of leaf-shaped central hands, while the short, central hand with a sun-shaped tip displays the running equation of time. And a longer serpentine hand indicates the power reserve.

Positioned at three and nine o’clock are fan-shaped scales for sunrise and sunset times, as well as the duration of the day and night. As times for sunrise and sunset are latitude-specific, the mechanism will be calibrated for the owner’s desired city.

Lastly, the bottom of the dial features a retrograde display that indicates the phase of the moon with a pointer, which will be accurate to within a day after a millennium.

Key facts and price

Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph “Tempo”
Ref. 9740C/000R-B692

Diameter: 50 mm
Height: 21 mm
Material: 18k pink gold
Water-resistance: Not water-resistant

Movement: Cal. 2756
Functions on the front: Hours and minutes; minute repeater; second time zone or 24-hour display; 30-minute counter chronograph; split-second chronograph; perpetual calendar
On the back: Tourbillon; retrograde phase and age of the moon; running equation of time; sunrise and sunset time; day and night length; power reserve indication
Winding: Hand-wound
Frequency: 18,800 beats per hour (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Limited edition: Unique piece
Availability: Only at boutiques
Price: Upon request

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Vacheron Constantin Introduces the Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Skeleton

The ultimate Overseas.

Since its 2016 relaunch after a major revamp, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection has filled out nicely with a diverse range of complications, ranging from world time to tourbillon – and even a one-off prototype that was sold for charity.

At Watches & Wonders 2020, Vacheron Constantin debuts the first skeleton model in the line-up, the Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Skeleton. It has the same gorgeously elegant lines as the standard Overseas perpetual calendar, but now enhanced by the intricately open-worked movement.

Rendered only in pink gold for now – other variants will surely emerge if the rest of the collection is anything to go by – the case measures 41.5 mm across and just 8.1 mm high, leaving it surprisingly slimmer than both the Patrimony Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar that’s powered by the same movement.

In typical Overseas style, both the case and bracelet are finely executed, with alternating brushed and polished surfaces. Even the inner faces of the notches on the bezel are brushed, while the deeply-set inner angles on the bracelet are polished.

Framed by a minute ring, the dial is mostly clear sapphire with applied hour markers in pink gold, as well as day, date and month counter rings. The moon phase disc at six o’clock is covered by a frosted portion of the crystal to delineate the age of the moon, with a gold Maltese cross applied on the frosted display.

The movement is the cal. 1120QPSQ/1, the skeletonised version of the ultra-thin cal. 1120. Finished with a dark-grey plating, the rotor, bridges and main plate are entirely open-worked, with even the month, date and intermediate wheels skeletonised.

The front and back of the cal. 1120QPSQ/1

While the perpetual calendar module was developed by Vacheron Constantin, the base movement was originally introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1967 as the cal. 920.

Measuring just 2.45mm high with a full rotor, the cal. 920 powered both the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. However, only Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet still produce the movement today, both doing it in-house after acquiring the rights are different points in time.

Visible through the sapphire case back, the openworked movement bears the Poincon de Genève, or Geneva Seal, and is fitted with a rotor rimmed in 22k gold and skeletonised to form a Maltese cross. As such, the rotor boasts numerous sharp inward and outward angles.

It’s fitted with a free-sprung, adjustable-mass balance wheel carrying semi-circular weights that can be tweaked to vary the inertia of the balance – pointing the heavier side outwards increases the inertia, and vice versa.

The movement runs at a frequency of 2.75 Hz and has a 40-hour power reserve. And as with all Overseas watches, the model sits within a soft iron ring that offers some protection against magnetism.

Key facts and price

Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Skeleton
Ref. 4300V/120R-B547

Diameter: 41.5 mm
Height: 8.1 mm
Material: Pink gold
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 1120QPSQ/1
Functions: Hours and minutes; perpetual calendar with moon phase
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 19,800 beats per hour (2.75 Hz)
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: 18k gold bracelet or alligator strap, both accompanied by a additional blue rubber strap

Limited edition: No
Availability: In boutiques and retailers from July onwards

For more information, visit

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IWC Introduces the Portugieser Automatic 40

A compact classic.

Characterised by a wide, sober dial with Arabic numerals and small seconds at six o’clock, the quintessential IWC Portugieser wristwatch has almost always been an extra-large, hand-wound timepiece, starting with the original ref. 325 of 1939.

But for Watches & Wonders 2020, IWC has introduced a smaller take on the classic with the Portugieser Automatic 40. Available in four references, three in steel and one in pink gold, the new Portugieser Automatic is 40.4 mm wide and 12.4 mm high, making it quite a bit smaller and slimmer than the popular Portugieser 7-days ref. 5007.

Notably, the latest Portugieser isn’t the first compact, self-winding variant of the model. In fact, it harks back to the little-known and uncommon Portuguese ref. 3531 of 1998 that was 35 mm and automatic.

But in terms of design, the Portugieser Automatic 40 looks very much like a contemporary model. In fact, with the railway minute track and small seconds at six, it’s almost a dead-ringer for the Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days ref. 5102.

Inside is the relatively new cal. 82200, which first made an appearance in the Da Vinci Automatic Edition “150 Years” in 2018.

Offering a 60-hour power reserve, the movement is equipped with the latest-generation Pellaton winding system, which replaces the push-pull winding pawls that are found in the entry-level automatic cal. 32000. In addition, the automatic wheel, pawls and cam are made of wear-resistant ceramic.

Key facts and price

IWC Portugieser Automatic 40
Ref. IW358303 (Steel with silver dial and gold numerals)
Ref. IW358304 (Steel with silver dial and blue numerals)
Ref. IW358305 (Steel with blue dial)
Ref. IW358306 (Pink gold with silver dial)

Case diameter: 40.4 mm
Case height: 12.4 mm
Material: Steel or 18k rose gold
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: 82200
Features: Hours, minutes, and small seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Alligator leather

Availability: In boutiques and retailers from June onwards
Price: US$7,500 in steel and US$17,200 in gold

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IWC Introduces the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42

Simpler, smaller and in steel.

Now 15 years old, the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar was almost always a 44.2 mm watch powered by a 7-day automatic movement (though IWC installed the same movement in the smaller, 42.3 mm ref. 5022 for several years).

For Watches & Wonders 2020, IWC debuts the all-new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 that’s simpler and far more affordable.

Instead of the long-standing 7-day calibre, the Perpetual Calendar 42 is powered by a simpler but nevertheless robust movement with a more conventional 60-hour power reserve. The new calibre is also thinner, resulting in a case just 13.8 mm high, versus 14. 9 mm before.

And as the model name implies, the Perpetual Calendar 42 has a 42.4 mm case, which is available in pink gold, or stainless steel – a first for the regular collection. Until now, with the exception of a 2014 limited edition, IWC has only ever offered the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar with a gold or platinum case.

All of that means making the perpetual calendar is significantly more affordable – the steel version costs half of the 7-day model in 18k gold.

An unusual perpetual

While the dial retains the traditional perpetual calendar configuration with three sub-dials for the calendar – making it cleaner and more legible the the 7-day version – it also includes a central seconds hand, which is extremely uncommon on a perpetual calendar watch.

Functionally, the perpetual calendar is similar but simplified as compared to the 7-day iteration. As with all IWC perpetual calendars, the calendar indications are synchronised from the get-go and can be adjusted simultaneous via the crown – the key feature of the landmark calendar module invented by Kurt Klaus in 1985.

But there the calendar module omits the four-digit year display and the double-hemisphere moon phase. Instead, the leap year is now indicated by a small aperture within the day display while the lunar indication is a single moon as seen from northern hemisphere. Nonetheless, the moon phase retains the same, high precision, deviating by just a day after 577.5 years.

In the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42, the simplified calendar module is combined with the cal. 82000 for the first time, forming the cal. 82650.

The movement is significantly smaller than the 7-day cal. 52000 in the 44 mm model – 30 mm versus 38.2 mm – being a much simpler movement. Amongst the most obvious differences is the single barrel, as opposed to the double barrels of the 7-day movement.

Though it does not have a long power reserve, the movement is equally accomplished in other aspects, for instance having a free-sprung balance wheel that operates at a frequency of 4 Hz. And the cal. 82650 is also equipped with the latest generation of IWC’s signature Pellaton winding system, which has its automatic wheel, pawls and cam made of ceramic for reduced friction and extended longevity.

Key facts and price

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42
Ref. IW344203 (steel)
Ref. IW344202 (pink gold with a silver dial)
Ref. IW344205 Boutique Edition (pink gold with a blue dial)

Diameter: 42.4 mm
Height: 13.8 mm
Material: Stainless steel or pink gold
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: cal. 82650
Functions: Time; date, day, month, leap year and moon phase
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Santoni alligator leather
Limited edition: No
Availability: In boutiques and retailers from June onwards
Price: 23,000 Swiss francs (steel) and 33,000 Swiss francs (pink gold)

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Vacheron Constantin Introduces the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph

Ingenious movement in a round case.

Vacheron Constantin’s hand-wound chronographs are, for the most part, powered by either the Lemania-based cal. 1142 or the mono-pusher cal. 3300 that was developed in-house. Freshly unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2020, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph belongs in the latter camp.

Notably, the new tourbillon-chronograph is powered by the same movement that was last seen in 2015 inside the Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph made to mark the 260th anniversary of the brand. The in-house movement combines a mono-pusher chronograph with the brand’s signature Maltese-cross tourbillon and was absent from the line-up for several years, but now it returns in fine form.

While the Harmony was a cushion shape, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph is conventionally round in form. Entirely polished, the case is in pink gold and measures 42.5 mm across and 11.7 mm high, making it large but fairly slim.

The silver dial with a tachymeter scale is characterised by a rather unusual, asymmetric layout, with the tourbillon at 12 o’clock, 45-minute chronograph counter just below, and a small power reserve indicator at six.

The impressive cal. 3200

Inside is the cal. 3200, which is identical to movement inside the Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph, with one difference –  this lacks the gilded and engraved tourbillon bridge that was unique to the 260th anniversary watches. Instead the tourbillon here is secured on the back by a simpler brass bridge decorated with Cotes de Geneve. But as is traditional, the bridge on the front is the fancy one: the tourbillon is held in place by a rounded, black-polished bridge.

The tourbillon cage is as it always is in a Vacheron Constantin watch, shaped like a Maltese cross and finished with mirror-polished surfaces and prominent, polished bevels.

As with many of the brand’s tourbillons, it appears unencumbered and airy because of its construction. The cage is driven by a wheel on its periphery rather than a conventional pinion underneath. This reduces the overall height of the tourbillon while also ensuring that it allowing space for the chronograph mechanism.

While the chronograph appears to have a classical construction with a horizontal clutch, it actually has an innovation with the clutch system. The intermediate clutch wheel has two levels – the upper wheel in brass, and the bottom in steel with Maltese cross-shaped spokes – that are held together by friction, so they can slip when a driving force is applied.

This slipping-friction clutch allows for “pre-engagement” of the chronograph while the reset hammer is still holding the seconds wheel, which occurs when the chronograph pusher is pressed halfway. When the chronograph pusher is depressed all the way, the reset hammer releases the seconds wheel, and the chronograph starts.

The unique clutch innovation was conceived to minimise “stuttering” or jumping of the chronograph seconds hand when the chronograph is started, often an issue with horizontally-coupled chronographs.

At the same time, the minute counter of the chronograph is of a continuously-sweeping variant, instead of the semi-instantaneous jumping type commonly found on horizontal clutch chronographs.

The two-level wheel of the horizontal clutch

Despite the novel details in the chronograph construction, the movement is still finely finished in the usual traditional style of the brand. The bridges, for instance, are decorated with Geneva stripes and polished bevels that incorporate numerous inward angles, particularly on the massive tourbillon lower bridge.

The cal. 3200

Key facts and price

Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph
Ref. 5100S/00R-B623

Diameter: 42.5 mm
Height: 11.7 mm
Material: Pink gold
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 3200
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds on tourbillon cage; tourbillon; monopusher chronograph, power reserve indicator
Winding: Hand-wind
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Alligator strap

Availability: From July onwards

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