Flashy dials seem to be an emerging trend for the watch industry as 2021 comes to a close. Elite brands are bucking the tradition of sober and refined dials in favor of showmanship.
Vacheron Constantin is the latest with a new take on the Complete Calendar from its Traditionelle collection. Previously offered in a classic and clean interpretation in 18-karat pink gold and white gold, the new edition lifts the hood on the dial to reveal its inner workings for collectors looking to impress with horological theatrics. The new Traditionelle Complete Calendar Openface (price upon request) offers full transparency of the technical components of its Caliber 2460 QCL/2 movement in two 41 mm by 10.7 mm models, also in 18-karat pink or white gold.
The new look is achieved by crafting the dial from sapphire crystal, which allows a look into the movement and views from both the front and back of the watch. The mainplate and bridges are treated in anthracite NAC, and the piece includes a triple calendar reading the date, day and month and indications for the age of the moon, as well as precision moon phase indications.
The day-of-the-week and month are read via two sapphire crystal discs placed horizontally in the center. The current day and month are read when they fall above two white markers to highlight the text. Beneath you can catch glimpses of the movement’s gold wheels. The date is read via a blackened center hand that points to the numerals on the outer circumference of the dial. At 6 o’clock is the moonphase indicator with two hyper-realistic depictions of Earth’s biggest satellite; a translucent sapphire hides the moon as it disappears in the sky. And the precision moonphase will require only one correction every 122 years, so you can leave your ancestors to deal with it.
This is a complex watch with a very busy dial but fortunately, Vacheron Constantin has taken care to make it legible. The bi-facetted Dauphine-type hands and gold baton-style markers are easily distinguishable from the web of mechanics beneath. And while you probably won’t be taking it for a dip on the deep end, the watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters (or almost 100 feet). It features 40 hours of power reserve and whopping 312 components.
While it is a big departure from the earlier iteration of the company’s Traditionelle Complete Calendar, it isn’t an entirely new design for Vacheron. Fans of the brand will recognize derivative designs from the watchmaker’s Traditionelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar (named Robb Report‘s Men’s Timepiece of the Year in 2019), which also sported sapphire-crystal discs, slate gray guillochéd segments on the dial, openworked elements and a fluted caseback mirroring the guilloché on the front. Collectors who couldn’t get their hands on the original winning design will now have a second shot, albeit in a different model.