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First Pre-SIHH News From Vacheron Constantin ?The Traditionelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon And The Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date

As hard as it is to believe, the next Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is actually not that far off, and we're already starting to get in the first batch of what's started to become a tradition for the Richemont Group brands and other participating manufacturers: pre-SIHH teaser announcements. Vacheron Constantin is the first out of the gate with two new timepieces ?relatively restrained, very classical interpretations of traditional complications for Vacheron, one a little more accessible than the other.

The Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date

This isn't the first time a retrograde date complication and a moonphase have been combined in one fake watch by Vacheron Constantin, but it is the cleanest and most straightforward we've seen. Just the moonphase display and date are shown along with the time (notably, there's no center or sub-seconds display). The retrograde date fake watch from Vacheron that is probably most familiar to enthusiasts is the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date, which has a retrograde display for both the date and the day of the week.

This isn't the first fake watch from Vacheron to feature these complications, but it is the cleanest.

The new fake watch is the same diameter as the Patrimony Retrograde Date, at 42.5mm, but it is a bit thinner, Moon Phase And Retrograde Date coming in at 9.7mm and the earlier Retrograde Date coming in at 10.02mm. The 32 one-hundredths of a millimeter is a reasonably negligible difference, unless you have a Princess-And-The-Pea sensitivity to such things, but some people definitely do (have you met fake watch collectors?). The moonphase is accurate to one day's deviation every 122 years, which is becoming something of a standard amongst moonphase displays in haute horlogerie watches.

Inside is caliber 2460 R31L, which, based on dimensions and power reserve, looks to be a variation on the caliber 2460 R31R7 found in the Patrimony Retrograde Date. That's no big surprise. The two movements have the same dimensions ?27.2mm x 5.40mm ?and both offer a power reserve of 40 hours, so wherever that minute difference in height is coming from, it's not the movement.

The front of the caliber 2460 R31L.

The solid gold rotor on the back of the caliber 2460 R31L.

The fake watch will be offered in white and pink gold, with the moonphase display showing the lunar disk in either pink gold or white gold, corresponding to the case metal. A nice touch is that all indications can be adjusted from the crown, including the moonphase display ?in the first position, the movement can be hand-wound, in the second, clockwise rotation sets the date, and counter-clockwise sets the moonphase; in the third, you set the time.

Notice the pink gold moon matches the metal of the case.

The price for either the white gold or pink gold model will be $39,500 at launch.

ADVERTISEMENT The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute Repeater

As with the Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date, the Traditionelle Tourbillon Minute Repeater is a sparer take on an existing timepiece in the Traditionnelle collection ?in this case, the Traditionnelle Caliber 2755, which is a quite spectacular minute repeater and tourbillon with perpetual calendar. The perpetual calendar works in the Caliber 2755 are cadrature (under-the-dial works), so the view from the back for both replica watches is identical.

The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute Repeater is, if you can believe it, actually a pared-back fake watch for Vacheron Constantin.

Absent the cadrature, the movement has diminished a bit in height. Caliber 2755 QP (the perpetual calendar version) comes in at 7.90mm x 33.90mm, with a 58 hour power reserve (which is not bad at all for such a complicated watch), while caliber 2755 TMR in the Tourbillon Minute Repeater we have here is 6.10mm x 33.90mm. The case of the Tourbillon Minute Repeater is also flatter than that of the perpetual calendar fake watch ?it's 44mm x 12.20mm, versus 44mm x 13.54mm for the perpetual.

A look at the front of the caliber 2755 TMR shows off the tourbillon.

Viewing the caliber 2755 TM from the back lets you admire the repeater gongs and hammers.

The fake watch will be offered in two versions, a platinum model that will retail for $546,600 and a pink gold model that will retail for $490,900. This will be a boutique-only model.

The platinum Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute Repeater has a grey dial that makes the fake watch look strikingly modern.

Parenthetically, although both versions of this fake watch have very attractive guilloché dials (another difference from the Caliber 2755, which has an unengraved dial), I can't help but wonder whether at some point in the future this fake watch might not appear with a transparent dial. The perpetual calendar works in the Caliber 2755 look great, but opening up the dial would have had serious consequences for legibility (though that's not that that's necessarily the hugest priority in half-million dollar high complications), but the repeater works in 2755 TMR are both lovely to look at and a lot of fun to see in action. This would make an open dial version much more dynamic (and practical if one cares for such things) than the perpetual calendar version of the watch.

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