If you are anything like me, you will have no doubt watched, on repeat, the ‘Talking Watches’ episode from Hodinkee’s Three on Three video series from a few years ago. In it, the team discusses the pros and cons of a ‘proper’ hand-made watch for around $20,000.
Head-to-head are the F P Journe Chronometre Bleu, the A. Lange Saxonia Thin and the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle. Although there isn’t an outcome, what you do take away is the remarkable efforts all three put towards the design and finish, as well as how the Traditionnelle is truly a special framework to build on.
Combine that framework with the hottest sunburst-green dial on the market and a high complication and you have a recipe made in heaven. So, let me introduce the Traditionnelle Tourbillon.
In 2021, we saw a pink-gold variation for China, so, for 2023, it was only right that Vacheron hit us with a 41mm-diameter platinum case. I have to confess, I have a soft spot for platinum as a material – it just has this glow to it unlike anything else. That and the heft. This is particularly nice on a dress watch. It oozes quality.
Moreover, the dauphine hands and sharp indexes are quintessential Traditionnelle (made in white-gold). The balance of the dial is a joy and quite possibly the design masterstroke of the watch, with clear space around the tourbillon carriage sat perfectly at 6 o’clock.
Inside, the 2160/1 calibre is on view through the caseback – and it’s automatic with 80 hours of power reserve. With over 188 components and a movement and case with quite literally the Poinçon de Genève seal of approval, this truly is one of those rare watches (Vacheron makes around 14,000 a year; by comparison, Rolex produces over a million) that every collection works towards.
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