Vacheron Constantin - Overseas Perpetual Calendar
The Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin watch is now treating itself to an all-gold version. Its precious metal bracelet, featuring links inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross, is more elegant than ever while radiating a style all its own.
In addition to the case/bracelet combination, the brilliance of the gold extends to the blue dial, whose hour-markers, hands and moon discs are also made of 18K 5N pink gold. While the blue-lacquered gold dial captivates the eye with its sunburst satin finish, the counters are distinguished by their snailed decoration, while the gold-rimmed minute-rack opts for a velvet finish. These delicate decorations contrasting with the vertical-brushed of the case endow the blue dial with its full strength of character.
The 41.5 mm-diameter case accommodates a mechanical self-winding movement from a proud lineage, the ultra-thin Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre with perpetual calendar and moon-phase display. The latter function involves impressive feats of miniaturization enabling it to cope with calendar irregularities while eliminating any need for correction until 2100. No less than 276 components are housed in a thickness of barely 4.05 mm. Beating at a frequency of 19,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve, the mechanism drives indications of the hours, minutes, perpetual calendar function – with the day of the week, date, month and leap year shown on a 48-month counter – as well as moon phases.
The Overseas collection is enriching its range with a new territory to explore. The prestige of a precious metal case and bracelet is now complemented by the extreme sophistication of an openworked movement that is also ultra-thin and houses a perpetual calendar, giving the timepiece a contemporary and horologically sophisticated look.
In this new gold-clad version, Vacheron Constantin highlights the expression of Haute Horlogerie values. While retaining its dynamic design, the aesthetic of the timepiece is transfigured by a sapphire dial inviting observers on a journey to the heart of the extremely thin 4.05 mm open-worked perpetual calendar movement.
Much appreciated by collectors for its reliability, its extreme precision and its performance, self-winding Calibre 1120 QPSQ is now joining the Overseas collection in a new guise. Entirely open-worked, which is a feat in itself, it reveals its mechanical intricacies beneath a sapphire crystal. The transparent caseback also stages a fascinating watchmaking show starring the gear trains and the NAC-treated oscillating weight with its segment in 22K gold, which is also open-worked for the first time in the Overseas collection so as to highlight its stylized design shaped like a Maltese cross.
Skeletonization is regarded by connoisseurs as a watchmaking complication in itself and is indeed a speciality during watchmaking training. This technique, which consists of finely open-working a mechanical movement by hollowing out its components yet without compromising their reliability, is an extremely complex undertaking: a quest for transparency coupled with highly sophisticated skills mastered by very few watchmaking artisans. Today, Vacheron Constantin is one of the rare Manufactures capable of open-working calibers as complex as perpetual calendars and ultra-thin movements. All components of the 1120 QPSQ calibre have been hollowed out, finished and decorated, so as to exalt the functional beauty of the mechanism.
To fully match the style of Overseas, the movement has benefited from special finishing work, entirely performed by hand. Multiple skills have thus come into play so as to endow the mechanism with the sought-after aesthetic perfection. Straight-graining the surfaces to give them a satin-brushed finish; beveling straight lines and curves to make the create light effects; circular brushing, sunburst finishing, circular-graining and polishing to ensure varied reliefs: while the use of all these ancestral craftsmanship techniques has served to highlight the beauty of the components, an anthracite grey shade obtained by means of an NAC electrolytic treatment gives the mechanism a very modern face. The dial bears applied 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers, the Maltese cross emblem as well as day, date and month-counter rings. This design ensures that the watch is perfectly legible while allowing the gaze to roam freely through the heart of the movement and admire its hand-crafted finishing.
While watches with simple calendars – indicating the day, date and month – require constant adjustments according to months with 28, 29 and 30 days, the Overseas Perpetual Calendar ultra-thin skeleton watch will not require any intervention until March 1, 2100. Achieving such a performance with a movement that slim – yet housing 276 components – called for authentic feats of design and miniaturization.