Vacheron Constantin: Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton3 May 2022
Vacheron Constantin continues the travel spirit of the Overseas watches with this new tourbillon skeleton model, a first in this collection launched in 1996. Beautifully streamlined with its entirely openworked movement; sophisticated with its robust case; rigorously disciplined with its tourbillon-driven movement ensuring a comfortable over three-day power reserve, this timepiece is designed for the finest journeys – exactly as François Constantin, the tireless traveller who signed an enduring alliance with Jacques-Barthélémi Vacheron in 1819, would doubtless have presented it.
The watch comes in two versions, one in 18K 5N pink gold and the other in Grade 5 titanium. The titanium model is the first by the Maison to be entirely made of this same metal – from crown to bezel and from bracelet to case. The self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2160 powering these timepieces has been entirely skeletonised in a contemporary spirit with a degree of attention to detail stemming from an authentic aesthetic quest celebrated through Vacheron Constantin’s “Anatomy of Beauty” 2022 theme.
THE IN-HOUSE CALIBRE 2160 SQ
The skeletonisation work carried out on self-winding Calibre 2160 has enabled not only a 20% reduction in the movement’s weight but also a complete rethink of its architecture. Its curvature is thus very slender, at barely 5.65 mm thick – a real technical feat considering the requirements linked to the integration of a tourbillon carriage.
This thinness is notably due to the choice of a peripheral gold oscillating weight, which also enables a completely clear view of the rear of the movement. The work done on the baseplate and the four bridges can be clearly admired, with the NAC surface treatment applied by electrolysis conferring an anthracite grey tint. This contemporary touch given to the movement blends perfectly with the classic haute horlogerie finishes in the form of hand-drawn flanks and hand-chamfering with polished bevels to accentuate the light playing across the components. The mainplate and bridges are also delicately decorated to create a finish of very fine, perfectly horizontal grooves. Such concern for details is a credo which holds that even the smallest part deserves the same meticulous attention as those that are perfectly visible.
The same NAC surface treatment can be found on the barrel, of which the drum and cover have been entirely openworked, creating a compass rose shape on the dial side – another original feature of Calibre 2160 SQ. To complete the openworking of this 186-component movement, the wheels have also been made lighter, while the tourbillon is held by a rounded-off upper bridge. The tourbillon regulator rotating once per minute operates at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and serves as a small seconds indicator by means of one of the four screws used to secure the carriage and which is grey on the pink gold version and flame-blued on the titanium version.
For this new calibre, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers have also redesigned the regulating organ housed in the tourbillon carriage coupled with the escapement. A new balance-spring was designed in-house, equipped with a Breguet overcoil (terminal curve). By folding the outer spring coil towards the centre, outside its horizontal plane, this arrangement forces a flat development of the spring, thus ensuring enhanced isochronism.
DETAILS MAKE PERFECTION, AND PERFECTION IS NOT A DETAIL
The sapphire crystal serving as the dial reveals all the details of the calibre, like a horological anatomy taking shape with each component. The hour-markers secured to this crystal are in rhodium-plated 18K 5N pink gold or 18K white gold, depending on the model. The same noble metals are used for the hands which, like the hour-markers, are coated with Super-LumiNova ensuring perfect night-time visibility. The dial ring is available in black lacquered 18K 5N pink gold or in blue PVD-treated 18K white gold.
Particular care has been devoted to the finishing of the 42,5 mm case and bracelet. The bezel ring is circular satin-brushed on the 18K 5N pink gold version and sandblasted on the Grade 5 titanium iteration. The case and bracelet of both models are vertically satin-brushed with polished angles on the bracelet links, whose shape is inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese Cross emblem.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE NEW OVERSEAS TOURBILLON SKELETON
Both watches feature the Overseas collection specific interchangeable strap system. They come with two straps in calfskin and rubber: black with two 18K 5N pink gold pin buckles for the gold model; and blue with an interchangeable titanium folding clasp for the titanium model.
The price is €.147,000 + TAX for the pink gold version Ref. 6000V/110R-B934 and €.126,000 + TAX for the titanium version Ref. 6000V/110T-B935 available exclusively in Vacheron Constantin boutiques.