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Review: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Grey Slate Dial

Perhaps the best time-only watch
by Chester Lau on September 3, 2017
Positives

Good looking case construction, dial and movement. Slim case with traditional proportions. Pedigree brand with a reliable and serviceable movement. 65 hours power reserve and superior finishing by any standards.

Negatives

Like a double edged sword, size may be an issue for some men with big wrists and a discomfort at wearing smaller sized watches. Simplicity might turn to a bore for some.

Vacheron Constantin releases the latest Traditionnelle Grey Slate Dial in a pink gold case. One of the most popular and sought after models in the collection, the new dial combination is a refreshing update to the white dial models that we often encounter.

 

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Grey Slate Dial

The Case and Dial

The new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Grey Slate Dial.

 

Apart from the color of the dial, the watch is essentially the same as the previous model. It is cased in 18K 5N pink gold and measures 38.00 mm in diameter, and 7.77 mm in thickness. The slim case and conservative proportions make Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle one of the most desirable time only watches in the market today. Frequently compared with the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 or Saxonia and Patek Philippe’s Calatrava, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle is a respectable piece in any collection.

 

It is cased in 18K 5N pink gold and measures 38.00 mm in diameter, and 7.77 mm in thickness.

 

The case is as its name suggests, traditionally built, with the basic 3-piece, bezel, centre and case back. The screwed down caseback has a transparent window that shows off the 4400 AS movement. Slim and simple, the case is well-made without pompous finishing.

 

The watch uses a set of two faceted dauphine hands, which appear black on one side and glowing on the other at any angle.

 

The metal dial is painted grey with white railroad markers at its periphery. Applied indices are used for the hour markers; high polished stick markers. The watch uses a set of two faceted dauphine hands, which appear black on one side and glowing on the other at any angle. Completing the dial is a seconds at six, a miniaturized dial that has a slight depression on the seconds ring. The grey on pink gold is not unusual, but not common for the brand, which normally pairs slate grey dials with platinum.

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The side profile of the watch which shows the slim 7.77 mm case and a signed crown bearing the Maltese cross.

The Movement

The movement used is the 4400 AS, the base hand-winding caliber used in Vacheron Constantin watches. It measures 2.80 mm in thickness and has a diameter of 28.60 mm. The 127 parts movement has a 65 hour power reserve and beats at 4 Hz.

 

The see-through caseback reveals the 4400 AS movement.

 

The finishing of the movement is exemplary, a gold standard for fine Swiss watches. From interior angles, to hand finished Côtes de Genève, Vacheron Constantin has spared no expense in creating an impressive movement. As a mark of superior quality in technicality and finishing standards, the movement bears the Hallmark of Geneva. And by superior, one good measure is the quality of finishing even on parts that are hidden from the wearer, for instance the lower base plates, bridges, or underside of the dial. Lower grade movements apart from inferior finishing on visible parts, also cut corners with unseen movement parts.

 

The movement finishing is among the best, with difficult to make interior angles, polished bevelled edges and hand finished Côtes de Genève.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle is one of the best, if not the best time-only, seconds-at-six timepiece available today. Never mind the subjective color preference of dial or gold, but in terms of movement, overall design of the watch and brand history, the watch wins in many categories. The movement is well-known for its serviceability and reliability, which means that it can be serviced by most watchmakers trained in high end watch servicing. Relative to more exclusive movements, or newer movements which require special tools or watchmakers from the brand, Vacheron Constantin’s movement serviceability gives the watch a higher chance of surviving being hand down from generation to generation.

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The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle on the left in white dial and 18 K white gold, with the new grey slate dial in 18 K pink gold on the right.

 

The watch is priced at S$ 29,800, competitively priced for a pedigree timepiece that is versatile for everyday use. And if anyone values longevity, the design and build of the watch will last a very long time, and will make an excellent heirloom.

 

Specifications

Price: S$ 29,800 incl GST

Reference: 82172/000R-B402

Shape: Round

Diameter (mm): 38.00

Thickness (mm): 7.77

Material of the case: 18K 5N pink gold

Material of the crown: 18K 5N pink gold

Material of the dial: metal

Back: Transparent caseback, sapphire glass

Water-resistance (bar):  3

Watch strap material: alligator Mississippiensis

Watch strap color: black

Type of buckle: Ardillon buckle

Buckle material: 18K 5N pink gold

Energy: Manual-winding

Thickness (mm): 2.80

Diameter (mm): 28.60 (12”’ ½)

Number of parts: 127

Number of jewels: 21

Frequency: 4 Hz ( 28800 v.p.h )

Power-reserve (hours):  65 approx.

Indication: hours, minutes, small seconds

Certification: Hallmark of Geneva

 

 

 

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