It was just yesterday that I said one of my personal favorite watches of SIHH 2019 was one that I had to keep a secret at the time. Well, let’s make that a pair of my favorite watches. While looking around the Vacheron Constantin booth ahead of my appointment, amongst the Twin Beat, Overseas Tourbillon, and Overseas Perpetual Calendar I spotted this: a simple time-only beauty that I had never seen before. When I asked, I was told that the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Manual-Winding Collection Excellence Platine was still a secret u was pleasantly asked to please maintain it under wraps until further notice. Yesterday I got that notice. Lucky you.
As a bit of background, the Collection Excellence Platine is a special series of watches which dates back in order to 2006 at Vacheron. Released every so often, the pieces are all limited models and these are all dedicated to showing off american platinum eagle and what can be done with the metal. In the past this has included variations on the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar, the Traditionelle World Time, the Patrimony Day-Date And Power Reserve, and more. What connects all of these timepieces is that basically any component that can be made out of platinum is. You’ve got platinum cases, platinum dials, platinum crown teeth, platinum buckles, and even gold stitching on the straps. Like I said, they’re as well as ode to the hefty platinum as much as anything else.
The Traditionnelle Manual-Winding Selection Excellence Platine certainly has all of these things, but what strikes me most about it is just how darn understated the entire thing is. When you first encounter the watch you get that will feeling in which you’re looking at something special, but you’re not quite sure why. The case measures in at 38mm across and just 7. 77mm thick, making it just about the actual sweet spot for a classically styled dress watch, though all that platinum does make it heftier than you’d expect. The platinum eagle dial has a soft grained finish to it and a small “Pt950” characteristic down between four and five o’clock, noting the material of which it’s made. These platinum knobs have tons of character to them and get better the closer you look.
The only visible metallic components this aren’t us platinum are the hands and hour markers, which are polished white gold. One thing I want to be sure to call out is the faceting within the hands – in essentially any lighting conditions you get a sharp contrast, with half of each hand looking dark and half each hands looking light. It gives this timepiece a crispness and sense of precision that I like. This is one of those little things that takes an already good watch and makes it exceptional.
Powering this particular watch may be the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Caliber 4400 AS, a quintessentially Genevois movement. It’s about as classic and traditional as you can get. The swooping bridges are beautifully finished with bright Côtes de Genève and all of the particular engraving is actually sharp and also clean. The caliber will be hand-wound along with carries a 65-hour power reserve. The only real hint that this is a modern movement and not a design from 150 years ago would be that the balance beats at 4 Hz instead of 2 . 5 or 3 Hz. This movement of course carries typically the Geneva Seal and is both a pleasure to look at and a reliable companion on the wrists. This style of motion isn’t the most fashionable these days, with many watchmakers looking for new types of calibers that show off more obviously over-the-top finishing or flashy architecture, but I think this specific watch is really a perfect advantages of why more folks should be looking back for inspiration too.
I’ve always been hot for the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Collection Quality Platine wrist watches, but this kind of expression of the idea is certainly my favorite. Actually , I’d be hard pressed to think of a watch from SIHH 2019 that I would more like to wear on a daily basis. The lack of complications and the straightforward style lend themselves really well to this kind of a treatment - ultimately, this watch is about as pure an expression of fine watchmaking as you can find anywhere, and the effect is increased by the consistent use of american platinum eagle throughout. There are nothing to keep you from appreciating all the little touches that make the watch so outstanding, from the faceting from the hands towards the countersinking in the sub-seconds register to the working on of the caseband. While Would likely enhance the strap for one associated with my own, We still like that the sewing thread is usually platinum. Just conceptually, I actually appreciate of which Vacheron pushed this idea to its logical conclusion without missing a beat. That the view is extremely comfortable on the band wrist and looked great with my fast jacket and grey flannel trousers only made me want it all the more.