We have always said: there are huge analogies between the luxury car industry and the watchmaking industry whether we are talking about marketing, sponsorships, typology of collectors. In terms of products, we can also find similarities. It is extremely common for cars now to have their middle-life facelift, and this happens more and more in watches. Not entirely a new model, however slightly different from the previous version, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar goes through this process, with an improved movement (Calibre 1142QP) and a redesigned dial, becoming ref. 5000T.
As said, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar is not a new watch. It has existed in the catalogue for some years and comes in 3 different editions – dark grey dial / platinum case, white dial / platinum case, white dial / rose gold. This watch was powered by one of the most sought-after chronograph movements ever created, the Lemania 27-70 (used now and before by the likes of Breguet, Patek and more) on top of which Vacheron’s own perpetual calendar module was added. As a huge competitor of the Patek Philippe 5270, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar is an extremely refined watch, with high-end finishes and superior functionalities. A chronograph first but also a perpetual calendar discreetly inserted on the dial, via 3 windows (day of the week, month and leap year) as well as a sub-counter at 6 with date and moon. This year, this watch becomes the Ref. 5000T-00P (P is for platinum, as only this edition is concerned yet) and features a redesigned dial as well as a new movement. Will it be based on the new calibres of the brand? You’d be wrong.
New (left) vs. Old (right)
Let’s start with the easiest, the design. Case-wise, no evolutions are to be noted. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar is still housed in a 43mm platinum case, with the “Traditionnelle” shape, meaning straight lugs, squared pushers on flat casebands and finally the typical fluted caseback. No surprises here. Then, moving to the dial, we can here see several evolutions. The first is of course the colour, changing from a dark grey with darker grey accent to a even darker grey dial with black accents (on the sub-dial rings and tracks). The layout is similar, with the same position for the QP indications. However, the discs for the day of the week, the month and the leap year are now black. Finally, the tracks on the periphery of the dial have been updated, with now a tachymetric scale, associated to the usual second scale. Due to that, the position of the indexes has also been updated, as now being placed away from the periphery. A good point is the moon, which still has its dramatic face, and a disc that is crafted in solid 22k gold. The hands are still dauphine-shaped, the color of the chronograph hands has however moved from black to silver (for the two sub-counters and the central second).
The tricky part concerns the movement. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5000T replaces its 1141QP for the recently introduced 1142QP. We could have expected a movement based on the mono-pusher Calibre 3300, seen on the Harmony. This would have meant a completely different watch however, knowing the drastically different architecture of this movement. Instead, Vacheron still relies on the Lemania ébauches, however slightly improved. The Calibre 1142 (non-QP) was first introduced in the Harmony collection in 2015, in the ladies chronograph. It now receives a perpetual calendar module. The main improvement comes from the frequency, which is now 3Hz instead of the historical 2.5Hz (which, on paper, could be beneficial to the accuracy). Another improvement is the Geneva Seal certification (absent from the previous reference), a guarantee of a superb finishing and superior precision. The power reserve has been increased to 48 hours.
This new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5000T-00P will certainly be followed by other editions soon, in rose gold most probably. The present platinum edition will retail for $150,000. More details on www.vacheron-constantin.com.
Specifications of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5000T-00P
- Case: 43mm diameter x 12.94mm thick – platinum 950 – sapphire crystal on the front and on the back – 30m water resistant
- Movement: Calibre 1142QP, Lemania with in-house QP module – Geneva Seal – manual winding – 48h power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/h – Hours and minutes, chronograph, perpetual calendar with moon
- Strap: black alligator strap on platinum folding buckle