Hands-On With The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar In White Gold
A white gold case, a gray dial with day, date, and month indicators, and the added bonus of a moonphase give the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar its name. Traditional in its layout and fashionable in its dial color — slate gray is the new black — this white gold Vacheron appears both complicated and understated.
Let’s talk calendars before going deeper into the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar (€41,200). There are watches out there with simple, double, triple, full, complete, annual, semi-, and fully perpetual calendars. Sometimes, the differences are purely semantic. Most of the time, however, the functions are different. So, it all starts with the simple calendar that only shows the date of the month and has to be corrected five times a year. The same applies to a double calendar with a day/date display. The triple calendar has the month, day of the week, and date, while the complete calendar has all that and an additional moon phase. Although they are more complicated watches, they still need to be manually adjusted five times a year. The annual calendar is a bit “smarter” because it recognizes months of different lengths. An annual calendar watch only needs an annual manual adjustment at the end of February.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar – What’s on the calendar?
You would think that the perpetual calendar comes right after its little annual brother, but that’s not the case. Before we reach eternity, there’s the quadrennial or four-year/semi-perpetual calendar. As you would think, it only requires attention every four years. Only a leap year with 366 days — that’s when February has 29 days — is a year in which the watch requires manual interference. It’s quite a rare complication, but Breitling has a bit of a reputation when it comes to the quadrennial calendar. I remember the Navitimer 1461 — named for the total number of days in a four-year leap cycle — and in the current collection, there’s the Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar. Last but not least, the perpetual calendar will take care of everything until February 28th, 2100. And that’s because the Gregorian calendar dictates that 2100 is NOT a leap year, despite being divisible by four. It’s a cosmic correction.
Focus on the Complete Calendar
I really would like to start telling you more about the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar, but there’s just one final matter regarding perpetual calendars. There are watches — not a lot — that know how to deal with the upcoming secular year 2100. There’s the Andersen Genève Perpetual Secular Calendar that will take into account leap and secular years until the year 2400. And Franck Muller also has something special called the Aeternitas Mega, a 1,483-component watch with no less than 36 complications. But please, can we now focus on the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar? Will do! As the name suggests, it’s a very traditional watch. The 41 × 10.72mm white gold case and lugs show a subtle, classic stepped design, and the edge of the case back is delicately fluted.
Slate gray excitement
By opting for a dark, slate gray dial, Vacheron Constantin went for something a little more contemporary than conservative black. I think it works wonderfully well, and it adds just a touch of fresh excitement. It’s just a touch, yes, but it’s enough to draw attention in a crowd of black-dialed complicated watches — if you ever get to stand in a crowd of complicated watch-wearing people, that is. There are several details to take in here. There’s the railway minute track, for instance, surrounded by the date that gets a “visit” from the central hand topped with a white crescent. And then there are the dauphine-style hour and minute hands that look sharp and bold. Connoisseurs recognize the Vacheron Constantin signature in the way the calendar indications are displayed. The day and month windows you will find on the left and right, just above 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively. At 6 o’clock, you will find the traditional moon phase.
Modules for the calendar and moon phase
The complications are driven by the automatic caliber 2460 QCL/1. At the base of this movement lies the caliber 2450, VC’s first in-house automatic movement that debuted in 2007. Caliber 2460 QCL/1 measures 29 × 5.4mm and uses modules for the complete calendar and the moon phase. The movement bears the coveted Hallmark of Geneva, a respected sign of quality and excellence. And yes, through the magnifying glass, caliber 2460 QCL/1 offers a lot of viewing pleasure.
Wearing the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar
The Traditionnelle Complete Calendar is not as outspoken as the Historiques American 1921 Vacheron Constantin also produces. But with a modern case size of 41 × 10.72mm and a stylish deep gray dial, this watch has a kind of latent charisma. It whispers class and oozes watchmaking history. Not only that, it’s a joy to wear. That’s because of its size, the quality of finishing, the detailed dial design, the comforting shape, and the presence of the name Vacheron Constantin on the dial. Just say it out loud — that’s a name that resonates with (most) every watch enthusiast.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a complete calendar, although not cheap, presents itself very much like the far more costly perpetual calendar. For just over €41K, you (almost) get the looks of a watch twice the price. Sure, the Traditionnelle Complete Calendar just needs a more hands-on approach. But that’s not exactly a downside, wouldn’t you agree?
For more information, visit the official Vacheron Constantin website.
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