The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Caliber 3300
Our first day at the SIHH is certainly the most electrifying. The wait from collectors, journalists and people from the watchmaking world is sky high, and this feeling is even stronger if one of the manufactures to exhibit its new timepieces is Vacheron Constantin, who this year marks its 260th anniversary, boasts an immense legacy in high-end watchmaking and has not yet previewed any of its novelties.
This until yesterday morning when, just a few hours before the fair officially opened, the brand released the first press images of its new Harmony collection, an entire new line-up of timepieces which consists of many complications including four chronographs and four new in-house calibers: a split seconds chrono, a tourbillon chrono, a pulsometer chrono, all featuring a single push-piece, with the addition of a double pushers chrono for ladies.
For this live preview, for it has to be considered as such, while bearing in mind that a selection of this caliber surely deserves more time to be carefully scrutinized, I chose the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph caliber 3300; this is a single push-piece chrono that, while following today's trends and taste, recalls almost faithfully the shape and essence of a chrono Vacheron Constantin launched in 1928, including the pulsometric scale, a feature most doctors employed to take their patients' pulse. The Harmony range will perhaps find its place into the Historique collection, adding a coussin case design to a supply mainly dominated by the geometric shapes of a Patrimony or a Traditionelle, or else the 1972.
The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph caliber 3300's rose gold case is 42mm wide, 52mm high and 12,81mm thick. It adopts caliber 3300, fully conceived and made in-house, which boasts some particularly original technical features, such as the balance coq, engraved with the so-called “fleurisanne” technique (an original décor forming delicate scrolling patterns), that draws inspiration from the arabesques that decorated the coq of the very first pocket watch of the maison, made in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron himself.
Caliber 3300, equipped with a column wheel and a lateral coupling clutch, boasts among its technical refinements the fact that the chronograph’s hand does not power up inadvertently, but only after having pressed the single pusher firmly; by using a new friction technique, it also eliminates the typical little jerk that tends to occur once the chronograph is activated.
Two main features that indicate the quality and refinement of the caliber 3300's design, which started in 2008. The dial has two counters, with blue arabic numerals coupled with a pulsometric red scale. The minute counter, placed at 3, is set on 45 minutes instead of 30. The small seconds counter is placed at 9. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph caliber 3300 will be made in just 260 pieces and comes with a special package, which will include a celebrative letter signed by Juan-Carlos Torres, CEO Vacheron Constantin.
No information has yet to be released about the retail price of the 260 Vacheron Constantin Harmony Cronograph caliber 3300, a timepiece and a collection which will probably represent SIHH's greatest novelty, and which sums up part of the history of the maison during the 20's that is very well represented by the Historique American 1921, which I hope the maison will also produce in a stainless steel version in the very near future.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo shooting; courtesy of Vacheron Constantin)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®