Today, we’re not going to do a standard “Monochrome-Style” survey, itemizing each component of a watch or taking apart every specialized element. All things being equal, we’re going to accomplish something “for the purpose of watchmaking“, for the magnificence of a craftsmanship – on the grounds that, at one point, I figure we can move to another level and discussion about legitimate masterpieces. To represent this, we’re going to take a gander at only one watch, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon, by focussing on some little yet critical highlights, and exhibiting what very good quality watchmaking is… And you’ll see, it doesn’t should be uproarious and demonstrative.
Of course, we could without much of a stretch go on about everything about this Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon, which was first introduced in September 2016. We could clarify that it is a simplified version (if I can say…) of the super complex Caliber 2755, a watch that combines tourbillon, minute repeater and never-ending schedule – on the grounds that the Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon utilizes a similar base type, just without the QP module on top. We could expound finally on all the highlights and specialized determinations of the watch, educating you concerning the 58h force hold, about the 2.5Hz recurrence of the one-minute tourbillon, with larger than average pen, or about the 507 components of its type 2755 TMR. We could. Yet, we will see this watch from another point, analyzing a portion of the subtleties which make it special.
In the instance of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon, its pièce de resistance lies in the subtleties; from the completing and the degree of beautification, and from the inclusion of human hands, which have gone into accomplishing such a watch – on the grounds that understanding these will assist with clarifying why it is estimated at over a large portion of 1,000,000 Euros. At the point when you arrive at such a sticker price, highlights and specialized arrangements alone are not adequate reasons any longer. There must be more. You can discover tourbillon watches (and Swiss made ones) under 30,000 Euros. There are even some minute repeater watches evaluated lower than this (although unmistakably, the combination of a tourbillon with a répétition minute normally implies a serious weighty price). So before we hear you shout about such its value, we welcome you to investigate what this Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon truly is, and what are the subtleties that can even in part legitimize its positioning.
The hand-guilloche strong gold dial
If finished dials are a certain something, those with hand-guilloche are from another planet. It is currently common to see some generally low-estimated watches with “textured” dials looking like guilloché ones. In any case, do consider that a large portion of these watches, in the event that they are valued under 15,000 Euros, will probably have a stepped dial – meaning that the metal plate (metal is the most common material for dials) will go under a press that will print/stamp a theme, which could emulate the presence of a guilloché dial, or any sort of theme you can imagine. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle MRT is obviously not from this type. Its dial is unadulterated blue-blood.
On this Traditionnelle MRT, the dial begins as a strong gold plate. At that point, to acquire this concentric surface, it needs to go through a motor turning measure (likewise named guilloché in French). It is a decorative strategy in which an exact, perplexing and dreary example is precisely engraved into a fundamental material, by utilizing a motor turning machine. The initial step is to make a master, a huge measured plate on which the ideal theme is physically engraved. At that point, the engine-turning machine will utilize the master as a base to reproduce in a more modest configuration this theme on the last dial, by cutting into the fundamental material.
Even if this seems like a moderately clear interaction, it really suggests many hand-controlled advances. Above all else, genuine guilloche is just conceivable with physically controlled machines, the greater part of them being extremely old, totally mechanical (no power or CNC here) relics. That being said, hand-guilloche permits for greater delicacy, exactness, and closeness of line – characteristics which you can undoubtedly spot on the dial of the Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon – and it requires a profoundly prepared dial-creator to control the machine, in any case the outcome can without much of a stretch be unpredictable (and on the grounds that the plate is strong gold, you wouldn’t need to be feeling the loss of a line on the dial…) – you can see the entire cycle in a video here .
Now, about the actual dial, regardless of whether the tourbillon could without much of a stretch get everyone’s attention, the fine, incredibly exact and exquisite guilloche design figures out how to keep things adjusted. This watch is about straightforwardness. Incredibly, despite the fact that Vacheron Constantin has furnished this Traditionnelle with two profoundly complex highlights, it remains amazingly inconspicuous and smooth. No unnecessary notices on the dial, no complex printings, indeed no flourish at all… The somewhat off kilter show of the hours and minutes likewise assumes a significant part in the extents, to accommodate the huge tourbillon confine beneath. It’s about being adjusted and centered around the basics, which means here, the magnificence of a craftsmanship completely done by hand. What’s more, that additionally applies to the tourbillon cage…
The Tourbillon confine and bridge
Once once more, it’s about the detail here. Indeed, we’ll center around one section that estimates under 2cm long. Yet, when you investigate it, you comprehend that it isn’t simply one more part. Without a doubt, all alone, the tourbillon scaffold of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon is noteworthy. So what precisely is this “bridge”? It is the little cross-over bar that gets over the tourbillon confine, and whose sole intention is to hold the managing organ set up – you can locate another, formed contrastingly however, on the rear of the watch. On account of this VC watch, the tourbillon is a “normal” one, rather than a “flying” one, which is cantilevered on one side as it were. This implies that we can appreciate the magnificence of a dial-side scaffold, and specifically its faultless decoration.
The tourbillon connect here is cleaned, anyway not on a level surface, as it has an adjusted profile. While you may think this doesn’t have any effect, let us clarify that it really does. Cleaning a level surface is now complex: you must have the correct motion, the correct pressing factor, the correct bearings. Cleaning is an interaction that intends to smoothen and to eliminate blemishes, yet not to change an excess of the shape or thickness of a section. For level surfaces, you essentially focus on the part question on an expert surface, additionally consummately plan, with precious stone glue. Complex, tedious and requiring talented hands, however indeed it is a significant common sight in watchmaking.
However, with regards to adjusted or bended surfaces, similar standards don’t have any significant bearing. This sort of finishing is done carefully with the part solidly held set up in a montage, and the watchmaker will apply pressure with a wood stick and utilizing jewel glue, to accomplish a mirror-like surface. The trouble here obviously is in figuring out how to eliminate any blemishes while keeping the general state of the part flawless. This is definitely additional tedious than cleaning a level surface – and cleaning such an extension can take up to a few days…
The second intriguing part to see is the pen of the tourbillon, which is, in traditional Vacheron Constantin style, molded as a Maltese Cross. Here, the authoritative detail comes from the noteworthy anglage work done – anglage alludes to beveling or chamfering. It comprises of slanting edges to an equivalent point (all in all 45°) and width, acted specifically on extensions and plates. While this is currently predominantly done by machine, with jewel devices setting up the surface, a watch, for example, this Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon should have angles gotten done with hand-cleaning (as the Hallmark of Geneva obliges). However here, what dazzles most is the measure of inner points (sharp points inside and outside the pen). Such slanting work is impossible by a machine, however exclusively by utilizing wood stakes and super sharp files… And when you think about the size of the enclosure, you currently need to envision the accuracy needed to make such a part.
A condition of-the-art decorated movement
Up to now, we’ve been chiefly focussing on parts set on the dial-side of this Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon. However, turning the watch over will make you need to wear it up-side-out. Regardless of whether the first and primary goal of a development is to give energy and accuracy to show the time – and obviously to control a wide range of extra capacities named complications – genuine watchmakers invest most likely additional time in planning and enhancing it than to really amass it. On a piece of this gravitas the development should be, with regards to the remainder of the watch, a genuine piece of class and qualification. This Traditionnelle MRT is no special case for the rule.
A closer examination of this type 2755 uncovers a wide range of completing and brightening procedures, every one of them being essential for conventional watchmaking – and executed by the Hallmark of Geneva/ Geneva Seal/Poinçon de Genève requirements ( more subtleties here and on their own site ). it implies that all the pieces of such a development must be done and enriched, including the concealed countenances and the parts that are not obvious. Let’s see in details:
- Bridges are all inclined, implying that their edges are chamfered and afterward cleaned by hand
- The fundamental plate shows perlage or round graining (even on the covered up surfaces)
- Bridges are decorated with Geneva stripes – and for this situation they are finished by hand and not on a CNC machine, as on numerous extravagance watches
- The tourbillon connect just as the principle connect over the development highlight interior/sharp points, done fastidiously by hand
- Engravings (all the signs engraved on the development) are finished by hand
- Hammers of the minute repeater are dark polished… The most developed sort of polishing used to secure a totally smooth surface of the steel parts, which in return mirror the light like a mirror, or seem dark when concentrated from a certain angle.
- jewels and fastens are embedded cleaned sinks (a concave chamfer around the screw heads or gems is cut and polished)
- Screw heads are reflect cleaned and openings are chamfered
- Wheels spokes are chamfered by hand, and their surfaces are round grained
- Barrel has a sun-beam design (soleillage)
As you can see here, when you come to a development like the one of the Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon, highlights and innovation are by all account not the only key factors any longer. Work time, enumerating and the fine adornment are what have the effect between an extravagance watch and a top of the line watch. These subtleties, all the human intercession, have small bearing in a movement’s effectiveness, however assume an enormous part in the delight we can take in appreciating a development. It is in reality emotional.
Do these subtleties legitimize a 528,000 Euros sticker price? All things considered, part of the way obviously, regardless of whether as usual, it seems like a mind boggling sum for just a watch… But, as we say in France, “le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ignore” (The heart has its reasons that the explanation disregards). Also, this watch is about energy: enthusiasm of the not many that will actually want to gain it (and I surmise the individuals who will are appropriate authorities, with saved and inconspicuous tastes), and energy of the many individuals who have chipped away at it. More subtleties on www.vacheron-constantin.com .
Specifications – Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon
- Case: 44mm distance across x 12.21mm thick – 18k rose gold (additionally accessible in platinum with white or dark dial) – sapphire gem on both sides
- Movement: Caliber 2755 TMR – in-house created and fabricate, Hallmark of Geneva – manual-injury – 2.5Hz recurrence – 58h force hold – hours, minutes, little second over tourbillon, minute repeater, power save pointer on the movement
- Dial: strong gold, hand-guilloche – opaline white tone – gold hands and appliqués
- Strap: earthy colored crocodile calfskin lash, gold collapsing clasp
- Reference: 6500T/000R-B324
- Price: 528,000 Euros