Vacheron Constantin: A Hands-on With Harmony Watches

By Harlan Chapman-Green

Today we’re going to be taking a look at a few of the pieces I had the pleasure of getting hands-on within the London boutique of the Swiss Haute Horlogerie brand Vacheron Constantin. Vacheron Constantin recently celebrated its 260th anniversary of continuous manufacture, starting all the way back in 1755, nestling in after Blancpain but before Breguet officially got going. in this article we’re going to take a look at three members of the new Harmony collection, I was a little sad that we couldn’t handle the Grand Complications and the Tourbillon pieces but they’re either still in manufacture or have already been sold, given just how beautiful these watches actually are in person I’m not surprised at all.

Before we look at the watches in more detail I’d like to share with you how much care Vacheron Constantin puts into presenting itself and its watches. The boutique itself is very well furnished with lovely carpets and upholstery, there were also many interesting artefacts on shelves such as vintage watchmaking machines and images of places of historical significance to the company, sadly the boutique was quite dark with light being focused on the cabinets and the hands-on table, making it very difficult to take photos. Nevertheless, every member of staff in the boutique was friendly, welcoming, helpful and most importantly, smiling. It can sometimes be difficult to meet people who have quite a stressful job yet are always willing to show a smile. The watches themselves are carefully wrapped in a protective plastic wrapper which keeps them from getting scratched and every time you try one on after you leave they will re-wrap them by hand to keep them pristine. I’ve had experience in the boutiques of many very high-end watch companies, but Vacheron Constantin is the only company to go that far.


Harmony Monopusher Chronograph Calibre 3300

I’m going to start by saying that this was my favourite of the pieces I tried out. Even with the use of a Vacheron Constantin loupe the dial was absolutely perfect, crisp, calmly designed and infinitely cool. Perhaps my favourite part of the dial is the raised Maltese Cross, which is Vacheron’s logo. The softly bulging gold hands speak class all by themselves, but coupling them with the blued hands of the chronograph shows that this watch can be as formal as you want it to be, or it can be dressed down and yet still fit in with your weekend clothes. The reason I feel this works particularly well is because the dial is more or less symmetrical, while a date window sandwiched in at half past four on the dial would add to the technical side of the watch, the dial would become unbalanced and adding a day at the opposite side would only make the watch appear cluttered and thicker overall.


The cushion shaped case draws on the design of a vintage Vacheron Constantin watch from 1928, as does the pulsometer scale on the dial. It works with the chronograph seconds hand to be able to collect information about a person’s heartbeat. The way to do this is to count out thirty beats of your heart, starting from the moment you activate the chronograph. When you get to thirty the scale around the edge of the dial will tell you your current bpm  (beats per minute), even though you only need to count to thirty beats. This was one of the ways doctors would record a patient’s heartbeat, the design is so meticulous I can even imagine a doctor wearing and using this piece now even though we have dedicated super accurate machines. This chronograph also includes a special “all or nothing” system, this eliminates the possibility that the chronograph starts but the hands don’t move because the pusher has only been partially pressed.

The reason this watch appeals to me, apart from the aforementioned dial and case shape, is because of the mono-pusher chronograph. Unlike a normal chronograph, there is only one pusher discreetly placed within the crown, it starts, stops and resets the chronograph. From a distance, one might think the watch has a calendar system, but it actually is a chronograph that’s been well hidden.


The calibre 3300 inside this watch is 6.7mm thick and has a power reserve of around 65 hours, the watch is limited to 260 pieces.


Harmony Dual Time Calibre 2460 DT

Our world is constantly moving forwards. We live in an age where we can visit anywhere on our planet we like in under 24 hours. Thanks to the popularisation of locomotive travel, personal transport and air travel our lives have been revolutionised, never before could we think about crossing continents cheaply. However, as we run around our hectic lifestyles, we can become lost and forget about the most important factor of our existence: time. Without effective time management our transport infrastructures would collapse, businesses would fail and society would break apart, Vacheron Constantin has recognised this and produced a Harmony watch featuring twin time zones.

A time zone watch has been a part of the Vacheron Constantin lineup since the 1970s, this new watch brings with it revolutionary features in the same stunning golden case as the chronograph, but this has a few subtle differences to it as well. The first movement based innovation in technology in the new Harmony Dual Time is the crown system. When pulled out, the stop-seconds mechanism comes into effect and stops the watch running, allowing for extremely precise time setting. The crown is also very focused on being as user-friendly as possible by allowing adjustments in both directions without doing any damage to the movement at all. Next to the 8 numeral on the dial is the day/night indicator, my favourite feature of this particular watch. It’s simply a blue hand inside a small circle, however, the small depictions of heavenly bodies lovingly carved from precious metals adds a touch of delicacy to the watch.


This watch, and indeed all others, is cushion shaped in design and is offered in 18K rose gold or for this model there’s 18K white gold available. Unlike most other members in the range, the Harmony Dual Time comes with a 22K gold automatic rotor which, as you can see, has been painstakingly engraved by hand at Vacheron Constantin. Excluding the crown, the watch is 40mm across and 49.3mm lug to lug, a modern and noticeable size that doesn’t venture into the realm of lunacy. The power reserve in this piece is a respectable 40 hours, but given that you can simply use a winder when you aren’t wearing it, there’s no need to worry about the watch stopping if you don’t wear it for a little while.

There is also a small model of this particular piece.


Harmony Chronograph Small Model Calibre 1142

Diamonds. Jewellery. Appeal. How better should we sum up what we love about ladies watches? The attention to detail is immediately kicked up a notch when you see this piece under a loupe and realise just how much love has been given to this watch. Every single one of the 84 jewels on the cushion shaped bezel is immaculate, you can see how each stone has been carefully sized and cut to be just right for its particular spot. It doesn’t even stop there either, if you look through the back of the watch you’ll see that the hand wound movement has been given exactly the same treatment as the diamonds on the front. As with every other Harmony timepiece, the balance cock is made of gold and has been engraved with a special design, the special design is the very same as on the first Vacheron Constantin piece and the movement has been awarded the Seal of Geneva.


The slight difference between this piece and the standard mono-pusher chronograph is that this has a standard chronograph in it as opposed to the mono-pusher. One of the main reasons for this is that it’s easier on the fingers to operate this chronograph, because the mono-pusher has a system which makes the pusher hard to depress, the “all or nothing” system. This chronograph is actually a column two-wheel chronograph and to show Vacheron’s commitment to Haute Horlogerie, the column wheel bears the Maltese Cross on it.

The hand wound movement in this watch has a power reserve of 48 hours, the size of the case is 37mm across by 46.6mm.

I must extend a big thank you to everyone at the Vacheron Constantin boutique on Bond Street in London, I’ll definitely be returning!

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A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. Read his articles here.