Monday, January 19, 2015

Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph (Caliber 3300)

A contemporary incarnation of a 1928 Vacheron Constantin chronograph, the new Chronograph in the Harmony collection clearly displays its kinship with the original model and pays it an eloquent tribute. Its generous pink gold cushion-shaped case reinterprets formal artistry firmly dedicated to technical refinement, since its three-dimensional construction houses the new hand-wound Caliber 3300 developed by Vacheron Constantin.
Endowed with a substantial 65-hour power reserve, this monopusher chronograph movement adopts the classic architecture of the new chronograph movements presented by the Manufacture to mark its 260th anniversary, while benefiting from modern production technologies.
For the anniversary edition, this model is issued in a limited, individually numbered edition of 260.
It displays the hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock, along with a monopusher chronograph function, pulsometric scale and power-reserve indication. In tribute to the 1928 model and to historical medical watches, it bears a pulsometric graduation painted in deep red around the rim of the dial and intended to calculate the pulse on a 30-beat scale. Moreover, the balance-cock is hand-engraved with an original décor forming delicate scrolling patterns.
Specially created by the brand designers to distinguish the exclusive series dedicated to the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture, this original motif also known as “fleurisanne engraving”, is inspired by the arabesques that adorned the world’s oldest pocket watch belonging to the Maison and signed by JeanMarc Vacheron in 1755.
Development work on Caliber 3300 began in 2008, based on the same fundamental determination to develop a traditional chronograph architecture equipped with a column wheel and a lateral coupling clutch, while endowing it with all the technical and aesthetic attributes of contemporary technology.
Among the major evolutions enriching this new chronograph movement equipped with a dragging 45-minute counter – rather than the traditional 30-minute type – is an uncompromisingly dynamic chronograph-activation system devised by the development team. On traditional constructions, the mechanism is sometimes activated but does not actually start if the pusher is not pressed firmly enough.

With this “all or nothing” system, the gears and cams cannot be set into motion without actually starting the mechanism, thereby considerably optimising the durability and reliability of the movement. Moreover, thanks to a new “friction” technique for the lateral coupling clutch, the chronograph seconds hand avoids the little jerk that tends to occur when the chronograph is activated.

In addition, the sliding-type lateral pusher ensures improved control of the chronograph functions.
With the aim of substantially enhancing the precision of the operational sequences, the chronograph uses two hammers instead of one for the start, stop and reset functions. Each exercises pressure on the heart-shaped cams, which turn in clockwise or counter-clockwise directions. The hands are thus brought back to zero. The hammers also return to their original place when the blocking-levers resume their initial position.
It is worth noting that the cone-shaped gear between winding pinion and the crown wheel enables extremely smooth, gentle winding, while the spherical differential (also fitted with a cone-shaped gear) serving to indicate the power reserve also prolongs the movement’s life cycle.
In another significant breakthrough, contemporary production methods proved useful in designing the chronograph wheels and the friction system, by making it possible to produce an extremely precise wheel profile guaranteeing that clearance between the gears is kept to an absolute minimum thanks to teeth separated by a mere 0.03 mm.
Whether visible or hidden from sight, these refined details embody the art of watchmaking upheld by Vacheron Constantin, also showcased in the chronograph gears hollowed in the brand-signature Maltese Cross shape, as well as the column-wheel screw adorned with the same emblem.
Technical details
Model: Harmony chronograph
Reference: 5300S/000R-B055
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Movement
Caliber 3300
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, manual-winding
32.8 mm (14’’’ ½) diameter
6.7 mm thick
Approximately 65 hours of power reserve
3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
252 components
35 jewels
Balance cock hand-engraved with a dedicated 260th anniversary pattern

Indications
Hours, minutes
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Monopusher chronograph (45-minute counter at 3 o’clock)
Pulsimeter scale
Power reserve

Case
18K 5N pink gold
42 mm x 52 mm, 12.81 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)

Dial
Silvered opaline
Blue painted Arabic numerals and red painted pulsimeter scale

Strap
Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp: 18K 5N pink gold triple blade folding clasp, Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Presentation box
Dedicated 260th anniversary presentation box

Accessories
Delivered with a magnifying glass, a dedicated brochure on the Harmony product line and a 260th anniversary celebration letter signed by Mr. Juan-Carlos Torres, CEO of Vacheron Constantin

Edition
Limited edition of 260 individually numbered pieces « N° X/260 » and « 260th Anniversary » engraved on the back of the timepiece

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