Richemont Group’s flagship Swiss watchmaker, Vacheron Constantin, debuted new versions of their thin perpetual calendar at Watches & Wonders last month.
The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is not new but the blue dial — available in 18K white or pink gold — is new. The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, however, is a completely new timepiece and is also available in 18K white or pink gold.
While the Overseas collection does have stainless steel references throughout all the other models including the Dual Time, World Time, Self Winding, and Chronograph — the Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin line is currently only available in precious metal cases, which is not unusual for highly complicated perpetual calendar wristwatches.
Impressively, Vacheron Constantin designers managed to fit an automatic perpetual calendar caliber within a case that measures 41.5 mm in diameter by just 8.1 mm thin. As the name implies, this is ultra-thin, and that’s thanks to the caliber 1120 QP/1 (the regular version) and the caliber 1120 QPSQ/1 (the skeletonized version) — which measures a mere 4.05 mm. Like their Richemont Group sibling Piaget, Vacheron is well-known for its expertise in making thin calibers, and this is a case in point.
Both calibers beat at 2.75Hz, measure 29.6 mm in diameter, have 276 components including 36 jewels, and deliver a power reserve of 40-hours when fully wound. The differences are that the skeletonized version has had material removed, and the rotor of the skeleton version has been openworked and uses 22K gold and NAC treated material, versus a more traditional solid 22K gold oscillating weight for the regular perpetual model.
Naturally, with movements and cases that are essentially the same, both Perpetual Ultra-Thins display the same functions: hours, minutes, and a perpetual calendar, with date, day of the week, month, leap year, and moon phases.
A soft iron casing ring provides anti-magnetic protection of the movement. A sapphire crystal protects the dial side and a screw-in sapphire crystal caseback protects the movement side. The watch case is rated for 50 meters of water resistance.
For the regular perpetual calendar, the dial has a translucent blue-lacquered with a sun sunburst satin-finished base with velvet-finished minute-track 18K white gold hour-markers and hours and minutes hands. Whereas the skeletonized dial features a sapphire crystal in place of the standard dial, and 18K white gold hour-markers and hours and minutes hands.
Retail starts are $94,000 in 18K pink gold for the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin and $97,000 in white gold. The price is $121,000 for the 18K pink gold Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton and $130,000 white gold.