Last week, during the annual SIHH 2011 trade show where creme de la creme of the Swiss watchmaking industry showcases their new products, one of the oldest Swiss watch Manufactures presented its new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time (Ref. 86060/000R-9640) automatic watch that features a sophisticated second time zone representation mechanism.
There is a sapphire day/night display right in the center of the watch that rotates on the same axis with the “Lambert Projection” map and shows you which parts of the Northern hemisphere enjoys the light of day.
Folks from down under may not feel particularly happy about Australia, New Zealand and many other developed countries excluded from the display, but I am almost sure that, given an outrageous price of the timepiece (Vacheron Constantin plans to sell this beauty at a recommended retail price of approximately $48,000,) the Swiss watchmaking house will be more than happy to make a special edition of the trinket for the Southern hemisphere as well.
There is a second disk with names of twenty four major cities that correspond to each of the 24 time zones. As you may have already noticed, most of these names are printed in black, but some are in red. The former are, well, let’s call them normal: these are the cities where time differential with adjacent time zones is exactly one hour. The latter are of a more extravagant breed where, upon crossing their respective borders, time changes in half-hour or even 15-minute steps.
And, finally, there is a third, external, ring with a minute track and applied hour markers made in rose gold. Sporting a military-style 24-hour chapter ring, it may not be especially easy to read at first, but, I am absolutely positive, you will get used to it no time.
The new VC Calibre 2460 WT automatic movement allows you to set the second time zone in quarter hour increments, which may come really handy if you happen to spend some time on Kathmandu or on Chatham Islands.
The Swiss company doesn’t go into details regarding this new caliber, but it is known, that it is rather large and is based on their less sophisticated 2460 SC movement that features nothing more than a three-hand display. Measuring 36.60 mm in diameter, it is 8.10 mm thick thanks to an extra “world-timer” module and certainly reminds of those pocket watch movements from the second half of the XIX century.
The impression is partially emphasized with massive yellow gold oscillating weight that features a classic barleycorn-style guilloche pattern.
Its mainspring barrel stores enough energy to power the watch for as long as 40 hours.
As usual, the movement is made solely in-house.
The movement is enclosed in a medium-sized 18-carat rose gold case 42.5 millimeters in diameter.
While this dressy timekeeper is a lot larger than a normal dress watch, it will not overwhelm you with its massiveness: if your wrist is just a tad above average in terms of width and girth, the watch will look absolutely organic on your hand.
Its sapphire case back provides a perfect view at the hand-decorated caliber that bears the Hallmark of Geneva sign.
Photos: Vacheron Constantin
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time (Ref. 86060/000R-9640) automatic watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 2460 WT, 27 jewels, 36.60 mm in diameter, 8.10 mm in height, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, second time zone (GMT)
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Rose gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scaled Mississippiensis alligator leather, pink gold triple blade folding clasp. Polished half Maltese Cross
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Case back: Sapphire