Vacheron Constantin is a serious chronograph maker — and their latest split-seconds monopusher timepiece is a testament to this.
The Traditionnelle Platine Monopusher Split-Seconds Chronograph exudes the classic elegance and style you expect from Vacheron Constantin, combined with a technical level of watchmaking that few watch manufactures are capable of delivering.
From the automatic monopusher split-seconds chronograph to the minimal 22K peripheral winding rotor system to the expertly hand-decorated movement to the impeccable 950 platinum dial, case, and crown — mechanical chronographs don’t get much better than this.
Vacheron designers perfectly fit the caliber 3500 into a sleek 42.5 mm x 10.72 mm platinum case. The thinness in particular is impressive, considering the complexity of the 473 component mechanical movement inside. The peripheral rotor design and special differential for the power reserve indication helped keep the caliber 3500 (first introduced in 2015) to just 5.22 mm in thickness (by 37.66 mm in diameter). One of the reasons that Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe chronographs are so desirable — beyond the brand cachet and resale value — is because they offer sophisticated mechanics, without requiring tall, oversized cases. This is one element that often separates lesser chronographs from the upper echelon.
Traditional automatic movements with a large oscillating weight that covers a portion of the movement, and manual wind calibers that have nothing obstructing the view of the mechanical components, have their place in watchmaking, but the peripheral rotor system — a technology also used in watches by Carl F. Bucherer, Piaget, and Patek Philippe — is truly the best of both worlds. Giving you the convenience of an automatic with the aesthetics of a manual.
Another primary area of delineation between a midrange and a high-end timepiece is the dial. Like the Traditionnelle’s case, its dial is made from 950 solid platinum, which is not something you see often. The platinum dial has been sandblasted resulting in a cool light gray frosted matte finish. On top of the matte surface are faceted, highly polished hand-applied 18K white gold indices, that create subtle contrast and enhance readability. Polished 18K white gold Dauphine-shaped hands indicate the hours and minutes in combination with the indices and black printed minute/second track. And surrounding the minute/second track is a black printed tachymeter scale.
A single 18K white gold baton-shaped hand in the subdial at 9 sweeps continuously. The half-circle display with a blued hand at 6 o’clock indicates the remaining power reserve, with each section representing 12-hours (for a maximum of 48-hours). The dual center-mounted blued hands with open circle-shaped counterweights indicate the chronograph split-second times. At 3 o’clock is a full 60-minute counter, which is far more legible than a typical 30-minute chronograph display. Further, the dragging design of the minute counter reduces the loss of amplitude generally observed when the chronograph function is activated.
Letting you and everyone else know this is no ordinary dial is the “Pt950” platinum hallmark printed between 4 and 5 o’clock. And to top it all off the premium dark blue alligator leather strap has been hand-stitched with 950 platinum and silk thread.
Made in a limited edition of 15 individually numbered pieces, with “XX/15” engraved on the caseback, the Traditionnelle Split Seconds Monopusher Chronograph Platinum (Ref. 5400T/000P-B637) retails for approximately $288,000 and is available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques.