Today at SIHH 2019, Vacheron Constantin wowed the world with its technically advanced, highly revolutionary Traditionnelle Twin Beat(R) Perpetual Calendar watch that takes innovation and function in mechanical watchmaking to all new heights. While we plan to go totally in-depth about the technological and watchmaking feats of this watch, we first present to you a nutshell view of just how unusual and different the watch is, including four reasons why you just may want to plunk down your dollars on this piece.
Four Important Features of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch
- This watch offers the first ever User-controlled ability to beat at dual frequencies. The Active mode beats at 5Hz, while the Standby mode beats at 1.2 Hz.
- The watch has a Patent-pending system for transitioning between the two frequencies while still maintaining exact timekeeping.
- While the watch in Active state offers four days of power reserve, in Standby mode it unlocks an incredible extension of power reserve to at least 65 days — more than two months.
- Despite all of its complexities, the watch measures a beautiful 42mm in diameter by 12/3mm in thickness, making it highly wearable.
Details of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar Watch
The Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Twin Beat (R) Perpetual Calendar watch was yeas in the research and development stages. The key behind the design was to offer wearers ease of use and longer power reserve when the watch is at rest so that owners don’t have to continually go back and reset the perpetual calendar after leaving the watch in a safe or on a dresser for more than four or five days (as in most standard power reserve numbers for perpetual calendars). To do this, Vacheron Constantin’s master watchmakers developed a patent-pending system using twin balance wheels (hence the name Twin Beat(R) system).
The new movement, Caliber 36120 QP, incorporates a mode selector (found at 8L00 on the case) that works on an all or nothing principal. It enables only one balance to operate at a time and the the speed at which the balance beats is determined by the wearer. When the watch is on the wrist, it should beat in Active mode at 36,000 vibrations per hour (5 Hz). When the wearer puts the watch down or takes it off, he switches the mode to Standby so that it will beat instead at 8,640 vibrations per hours (1.2 Hz) — conserving energy and endowing the watch with up to 65 days of power reserve. There i no lag time when transitioinng between modes, as one balance is deselected and the other kicks into gear immediately — thereby ensuring precise timekeeping. Both balances are driven by the same mainspring barrel.
For the making of this watch, the brand also reworked the perpetual calendar functions, including day, date, month, leap year so that they would require the minimum amount of energy. Rather than utilize jumping indications that require enormous energy for the “jump” process, the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar uses a totally redesigned jumping mechanism with a sprung dual-gear compound system for the instantaneous jumping indications of date, month and leap year. The new design uses four times less torque than a conventional jumping display. Additionally, Vacheron Constantin created an all-new hairspring fo this watch in order to accommodate the very sensitive Standby balance. The new hairspring’s cross section measures 0.0774 x 0.0159mm (equivalent to the thinnest human hair. The hairspring in the Standby balance is, in fact, four times thinner than the cross-section of the hairspring used in the Active balance.
In order for the watch to indicate the time, the hour and minute hands must draw their information from two gear trains to indicate a single reading of the time. This is accomplished thanks to a gear differential that allows th hands to read multiple sources of timekeeping data at one time. The complicated manual wind in-house-made movement consists of 480 components and 64 jewels. As mentioned, the mechanical Twin Beat® system that enables the wearer to switch between active and standby modes has a patent pending.
The movement is cased in a 40mm platinum case with two-part dial, including a hand guilloche top half and open manipulate for the bottom half, upon which sapphire crystal disks display the month, date and leap year. The power reserve indication is located at 12:00 on the dial with he Active mode in black and the Standby mode in red.
Because Vacheron Constantin watchmakers wanted to offer wearers extended power reserve and ease of use, jeu studied the Japanese seasonal clocks that were developed in the Edo Period (1603-1868) and that divided day and night into six segments that varied based on the seasons. Vacheron Constantin even had a Japanese seasonal lantern on display (on loan from the Musee d’ Horlogerie in Switzerland ) during SIHH.
The components of this new timepiece are meticulously hand vanished with plates and bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève and then treated with NAC coating for superior resistance and durability. As with all Vacheron Constantin timepieces, the watch holds the Hallmark of Geneva certification. It retails for approximately $200,000.
Technical Specifications of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat(R) Perpetual Calendar
Movement: Caliber 3610 QP, Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Mechanical, manual-winding
32mm (14 1⁄4) diameter, 6mm thick, offering twin balances beating at 5Hz (36,000 vibrations/hour), and the other beating at 1.2Hz (8,640 vibrations/hour); 480 components, 64 jewels.
Power Reserve: Active mode (5Hz frequency): approximately 4 days of power reserve; Standby mode (1.2Hz frequency): approximately 65 days of power reserve
Indications: Hours, minutes, instantaneous perpetual calendar, power reserve, frequency mode
Case: 950 platinum, 42mm diameter, 12.3mm thick
Crystal: Transparent sapphire-crystal caseback
Water-resistance: tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30m)
Dial: Gold hand-guilloché slate-coloured dial (inner part) and transparent sapphire-crystal dial, 18k white-gold applied hour markers, 18k white-gold hours and minutes hands, Black oxidized gold power-reserve, date, month and frequency-mode hands
Strap: Grey Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales, Pin buckle in 950 platinum, polished half Maltese cross-shaped
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques