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Katherine S. Cunanan

Tradition Wins Innovation

Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch was awarded the “Innovation” prize at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

How does something labeled “traditional” end up winning an award in the “Innovation” category? It’s a contradiction that begs further investigation.

The goal of Vacheron Constantin was to enable a breakthrough in both function and innovation while maintaining their wonderfully exquisite aesthetic. Vacheron Constantin is known for its penchant for innovation. Their creations are beyond the norm and this year they have pushed the envelope even more for the realm of haute horlogerie.

Twin Beat
Twin Beat

The Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch, aside from being a mouthful to say, is actually a feat to behold. The watch is a user-controlled, manual winding dual-frequency watch. Let’s dissect that description for a moment so we can understand exactly how innovative and groundbreaking this timepiece is. The watch can be adjusted according to your activity level. No complicated switches here, just a button located at the 8 o’clock to press. The watch is expected to go on four days with its power reserve. But, and here is where the beauty of this technology is evident, when the watch is on standby mode, it sort of powers down and the movement slows down. It still tracks time accurately but the shift from 36,000 vibrations per minute when worn to 8,640 vibrations when resting means a power reserve of 65 days. Yes, 2 months longer than expected.

So if you store your Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch for two months then decide to bring it out to play again, you won’t even need to adjust the calendar complication. Being a perpetual calendar watch, this automatically adjusts for the months of different lengths.

Another challenge that Vacheron Constantin successfully hurdled with this watch was the jumping indications for the previously mentioned perpetual calendar. They developed a dual-gear system that needed less torque yet still functioned properly. Yes, another innovation. The brand’s micro-engineering skills were definitely put to the test with this watch.

Let’s not forget how glorious this watch looks. The platinum case comes in a 42mm in diameter. The two-part dial has frosted finish details, a hand guilloche section, and a laser-engraved sapphire crystal that, yes, is part of the dial. The grey Mississippiensis alligator leather strap combines well with the watch aesthetic.

The watch is truly befitting of being called both traditional and innovative. The dial looks a little complex at first glance, but once you see how beautifully everything works together, all you are left with is awe. And desire.

Twin Beat
Twin Beat

“The pride taken by our Maison in designing timepieces stems from a vocation, a mission: to create beauty, to combine the excellence of Haute Horlogerie and horological complications with the magic of innovation, by pushing the limits of feasibility. The Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar is a perfect illustration of collective intelligence and the incentive to express ideas characterising our workshops. We are proud that it is thus recognised by our peers and rewarded here this evening. This prize belongs to our watchmakers, engineers, developers and artisans, the men and women who work in our Manufacture to bring La Belle Haute Horlogerie to life”, said Louis Ferla, CEO of Vacheron Constantin, during the GPHG evening.

The investigation was indeed worth the time. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch meets the requirements of being both traditional and innovative, and it exceeds expectations.