Vacheron Constantin Unveils The New Traditionelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface Watch (Live Pics)

Pink gold marries with grey for a very classy tourbillon-powered dress watch with the new Traditionelle.


In my previous article on Vacheron Constantin’s new Patrimony, I mentioned how Vacheron Constantin proudly sees the Patrimony as their classiest watch and refuses to put complications inside it which could bulk up the thickness. That doesn’t mean Vacheron Constantin doesn’t make any complicated dress watches, because oh boy, does it.

The new Traditionelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface ref. 6010T/000R-B638 is evidence of Vacheron Constantin’s technical mastery. The retrograde date function is something that Vacheron Constantin is leaning into heavily with its 2023 novelties. The mechanism is more unique than a traditional date window or even a date indicated by a central hand. The hand moves from left to right, pointing to the correct date and advancing at midnight. When it gets to the end of the arc, it flicks back to 1 and begins its long trek across the dial once more. This isn’t to be confused with any other calendar complications (although it can be used in them). The retrograde function is purely a date indicator and needs to be updated manually for months that have less than 31 days in them.

The exposed gearing system of the new Traditionelle gives us a better look at what happens when the date changes. I will admit that I probably used too much of my allotted 30-minute slot playing around with this function instead of taking pictures. These gears stand out against the NAC-treated surfaces of the movement which make up the dial. Pink gold and grey are a combination used by lots of Richemont brands and to very good effect. This watch looks very elegant with its 41mm x 11.07mm case which weighs 115 grams.

While the retrograde date is a highlight, most people’s eyes are likely to be instinctively drawn to the tourbillon, which houses the escapement of the 2162 R31 calibre. Comprised of 242 individual components, this movement has a 3Hz beat rate and 72-hour power reserve, wound by a rotor hidden at the periphery of the movement visible through the sapphire caseback. This allows a much better view of the Poinçon de Genève (Geneva Seal) movement. This hallmark attests that every component in the movement has been finished to the highest standard possible, even if it’s never going to be seen by the client.

This watch embraces modern watchmaking design while marrying that with a classical, historically-inspired case. The watch comes with a supple, high-quality grey alligator leather strap. Alligator leather is used on both sides, which is uncommon for dress watches. Usually, dress watches have calfskin leather on the underside of their straps, as calfskin leather is softer, but it doesn’t hold up to moisture nearly as well as alligator leather.

The price of this watch is available on request, and it doesn’t appear that this is a limited-production model. However, given the technical nature of the movement, expect production of this model to take longer than other, simpler watches from the Maison.