Vacheron Constantin’s Tourbillon Chronograph Gets All-Platinum Makeover

The latest "Collection Excellence Platine".

Amongst Vacheron Constantin’s novelties at Watches & Wonders is the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph Collection Excellence Platine (CEP), the latest model to receive the monochromatic, all-platinum treatment.

Coming two years after the Traditionelle Split-Seconds Chronograph CEP, this utilises platinum extensively throughout the watch, and even the stitching of the strap, while maintaining many of the standard model’s key characteristics.

Initial thoughts

On its face, the new Tourbillon Chronograph closely resembles the standard model in rose gold. The view from the back is practically identical – which is a good thing given the appeal of the cal. 3200, a recent in-house calibre (and not Lemania based) but one constructed with traditional aesthetics and details.

Nevertheless, being a CEP edition, it embraces a primarily grey palette. This is tastefully complemented by the blue accents, including the blued steel hands, and a single blued screw on the tourbillon cage. It’s a straightforward yet effective combination. 

The formula is the same one applied to past CEP editions, so the similarity between this and the standard model is understandable. However, varying the design more in order to distinguish this from the regular production model would have made it a bit more special. Nevertheless, the CEP possesses a refined charm and is more appealing than its current standard model, albeit with a price tag that is quite a bit more, as is usually the case for CEP editions.

Now in platinum

The CEP edition is the latest iteration of a model launched in 2020, but equipped with a movement that made its debut in 2015 for the brand’s 260th anniversary

Moreover, it is also the latest addition to the long-running Collection Excellence Platine, a series of limited editions that upgrade specific models with the generous use of platinum. The alloy is used conventionally for the case and clasp, but also more usually for the dial and even the strap stitching, which is done with thread woven from platinum wire and silk).

As is tradition, the dial of the Tourbillon Chronograph is platinum and finished with sandblasting that creates a finely grained appearance. A discreet “PT950” hallmark is printed between four and five o’clock, one of the defining features of the CEP models.

The hour markers and hands are white gold, but the hands for the chronograph and power reserve indicator are blued steel, which add colour to the dial.

The dial design, however, remains identical to the standard model, retaining the distinctive, asymmetrical layout with the tourbillon at 12 o’clock, a 45-minute counter at three, and power reserve indicator at six.

Similarly, the design and dimensions of the case remain unchanged at measuring 42.5 mm in diameter and 11.7 mm high, although the case is in platinum.

Inside is the cal. 3200, an in-house movement featuring a mono-pusher chronograph and tourbillon. Standing just 6.7 mm high, the calibre is impressively thin. The movement is regulated by a one-minute tourbillon with a carriage shaped like a Maltese cross. It has a 65-hour power reserve while the balance beats at a classical frequency of 2.5 Hz. 

But the most appealing aspect of the cal. 3200 is the chronograph mechanism. The aesthetics are decidedly classical with a horizontal coupling and elegantly formed chronograph levers. While the chronograph works have a traditional style, some of the key components were designed to improve the function of the chronograph.

The cal. 3200

The lateral clutch, for example, incorporates an innovative coupling wheel that’s proprietary to Vacheron Constantin. The clutch wheel is actually made up of two superimposed gears: a lower one engages with the going train’s fourth wheel while the one above engages with the chronograph seconds wheel when the chronograph is activated. The two are friction-fitted, allowing them to slip when insufficient force is applied.

As a result, the chronograph is only activated when enough force is applied to the pusher, and once engaged, the chronograph seconds hand starts moving with a smoother motion, without stutter. At the same time, as the tooth profiles of the wheel were designed for optimal meshing, resulting in better efficiency.

Key facts and price

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Tourbillon Chronograph “Collection Excellence Platine”
Ref. 5100T/000P-H041

Diameter: 42.5 mm
Height: 11.7 mm
Material: Platinum
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

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

Strap: Alligator with platinum folding clasp

Limited edition: 50 pieces
Only from Vacheron Constantin boutiques

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