The summer is coming, or at least that’s the feeling that I get from the few lovely warm and sunny days, that we enjoyed over the past weeks. OK, the number of rainy, windy, and cold days still outnumber the nice days, but after a very long and miserable winter it feels like a step in the right direction. And when I think of the summer I think of the sunny beaches in the south of France, enjoying a glass of wine on a terrace in small town in Burgundy, or strolling the streets of Paris with my girlfriend. That reminds me of the new must-visit place in the French capitol, located at 2 Rue de la Paix.
This is the address of Vacheron Constantin’s new boutique (we showed you the dedicated website and stunning B&W photos here) and to celebrate this, Vacheron introduced four limited editions of the Patrimony Traditionnelle collection, which all feature a stunning hand-guilloché opaline silver-toned dial. The hand-guilloché pattern on the crème, or off-white, or light-beige, or, what Vacheron calls opaline silver-toned, dial, simply looks stunning. Especially combined with the pink gold case and chestnut brown alligator strap.
Just imagine this stunning timepiece on your wrist. It measures a modern 42 mm in diameter and the 18-carat pink gold case features a gracefully slim bezel around the dial. This draws full attention to the extremely stylish dial, with its “Paris Boutique” hand-guilloché pattern. Around the dial is a tachymeter scale, that allows you to measure speed. A tachymeter is simply a means of converting elapsed time in seconds per unit to units per hour.
To use a tachymeter for measuring speed, start the chronograph at a starting marker of a known distance. At the next marker, the point on the scale adjacent to the second hand indicates the speed (in distance between markers per hour) of travel between the two.
T is the tachymeter scale value; t is the time in seconds that it takes for the event to occur; and 3600 is the number of seconds in an hour. This works best, if the distance measured is exactly 1 kilometer (no calculations required).
For instance, you drive your car in the highway, and start timing at the moment you pass a kilometer indication and stop timing when you traveled exactly 1 kilometer. Suppose the central seconds hand stopped at 6 o’clock and the tachymeter indicates 120. This means that T=120 and t=30 seconds, telling you that, yes indeed, you traveled at an average speed of 120 km/h.
Gold dauphine hands to indicate the hours and minutes, a small pink gold hand (at 9 o’clock) to indicate the running seconds and two black hands dedicated to the chronograph. The color of the central seconds hand and the 30-minute counter, located at the 3 o’clock position, set them apart from the hands that indicate the actual time.
This Patrimony Traditionnelle “Paris Boutique” chronograph is issued in a ten-piece limited series. It’s divine movement is encased in a 18-carat pink 42 mm-diameter large case. The finish applied on calibre 1141 is simply stunning and is worthy of such a mechanical gem. Owners can admire the main plate surfaces with circular-graining, or the bridges that have been adorned with Côtes de Genève, the hand chamfered and polished edges of the bridges and linear grained chronograph levers (also featuring hand chamfered and polished edges). All this, and the hand polished screw heads, are visible through the case back with sapphire crystal.
The hand-wound movement, calibre 1141, features a column-wheel system to activate the chronograph functions. This movement, which is based on the classic Lemania 2320, also called Nouvèlle Lémania and also used by Patek Philippe in the ref. 5070 chronograph, it features a screw balance and a fine adjustment for regulating the balance.
A last look at the unique “Paris Boutique” pattern on the dial, closing my eyes and thinking about trolling through Paris, the lovely old buildings, the parks, the vast amount of old statues, art galleries, museums and terraces next to the Seine. Hand in hand with my girl and of course this Vacheron chronograph on my wrist. Ah, maybe she can wear the Patrimony Traditionnelle Diamond Set (check here), to complete the picture. I’m sure she won’t mind. Make sure to visit the new Vacheron Constantin boutique in Paris, at 2 Rue de la Paix.
Links: a HUGE thanks for the photos to Alex Ghotbi, your host at Vacheron Constantin’s own in-house forum called The Hour Lounge. As we say, a recommended read/visit.