Vacheron Constantin has recently released a new collection which is meant to commemorate the 260th year of the brand’s existence on the market. One of the most notable models from the new series is certainly Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph which is very special since it is the flattest self-winding split-seconds chronograph that is currently available on the market. Its profile measures to just 8.4 mm. The watch is made in a platinum casing and in a very limited edition of just 10 copies. Because of the exclusivity of the timekeeper and its traits, the timekeeper is sold at the very steep price of around $370,000.
The novel watch is part of the new lineage that Vacheron Constantin released to mark its 260th anniversary which makes it the oldest manufacturer in the world with continuous and interrupted production. All of the watches from the series, including the new record piece, are placed inside cushioned-shaped housing.
Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph has a very impressive set of features. It is a split-seconds chronograph which means that it is able to keep track of two separate events at the same time. This feature is considered as a major complicatio n in the world of watchmaking. Moreover, it is also a mono-pusher chronograph since its stop watch feature is activated, stopped and reset with alternate pressing of a single push-button which is integrated in the crown. Its split-seconds feature is naturally activated with a different pusher which is placed on the case band, or to be more precise at the two o’clock position.
Remarkable as these traits might be, they are not the most notable characteristics of the piece. The thing that makes the watch so special is the fact that these functions are included in a watch of a record low thickness. Since the watch has a micro-rotor that is mounted on ball bearings and that is moved to the periphery, the movement is just 5.2 mm thick. This allows the entire watch to have the height of just 8.4 mm which makes it the flattest timepiece of its kind that is currently available on the market.
The essence of its unparalleled traits lay in the watch’s proprietary mechanical Caliber 3500. The in-house movement which was crafted by the maison was finally launched after no less than seven years of laborious development.
Apart from its thin profile, the caliber is also featured with several other impressive traits. For example, it has a mechanism that stops the rotor from moving once the caliber is fully wound. This trait prevents over-winding and thus protects its winding spring. Other useful and notable features are the use of cone-shaped gears and more fluid clutch system.
Caliber 3500 is a very complex ensemble which consists of no less than 459 components. It operates at the slightly lower rate of 3 Hz and it offers a power reserve which lasts for 51 hours. The magnificent quality of its functioning and finishing are guaranteed with the very strict Geneva seal certificate, as it is customary for Vacheron Constantin watches. All of its parts are naturally hand-finished. Among them, the special place is reserved for the decoration that can be seen on its off-set rotor. Just like the other models from the new Harmony collection, Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph has its rotor engraced with a fleurisanne engraving. This decoration was chosen as a tribute to the first pocket watch that the brand presented 260 years ago.
The thinnest watch of its kind is placed inside a platinum housing. The cushion-shaped case is 42 mm wide and 52 mm long. Its construction likewise involves a fixed bezel, a curved sapphire front crystal with anti-reflective treatment, as well as a transparent section on the rear side of the case.
Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph is made with a neat opaline silvered dial with painted sizable Arabic numerals. The hours and minutes are shown with silver-colored central hands. There are two more central hands, both used for the stop watch feature. They are made of blued steel. In order to facilitate differentiation between the regular and the split-second chronograph hands, the manufacturer made them with counterweight of various shape. While the basic one is with a circular rear end, the other one ends with a crescent shaped counterweight. Additionally, the dial includes two chrono counters. The three o’clock position is reserved for small seconds, while the opposite side of the face features 60-minute chrono counter. Even though these two include pointers that move in a different pace which will definitely be the first clue to distinguish which is which, the watchmaker made some additional differences. The counters thus have their assorted pointers executed in different colors. Furthermore, one of them has numerals on three major positions, whereas the other one has one more. The far bottom of the dial is reserved for the power reserve indication. Finally, the periphery of the face is reserved for a tachymetric scale in red color.
The member of the harmony collection is paired with a blue-colored hand-stitched alligator leather strap with large scales. It fastens with a folding clasp in platinum which bears the brand’s logo.