Tradition is the essence of mechanical watchmaking because, let’s face it; technology has vastly surpassed the need for a mechanical timepiece. This Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface 4020T/000R-B654 bridges the gap between showcasing the traditional elements of watchmaking, and the use of more modern aesthetics that grab attention of younger watch enthusiasts. This feat is even more impressive when it comes from a brand that has been making timeless watches for over two and a half centuries.
Vacheron is a brand that has been producing some of the best timepieces since its inception in 1755. The complete calendar has been in its repertoire of complications since it made pocket watches even. In 2017, the brand even remade some of its calendar watches from the 1940s and 1950s with the Historiques Triple Calendar 1942 & 1948. These featured classic cases and full calendars, displaying the day, date, month, and even a moon phase on one of the models. Then in 2019, a true masterpiece was created — the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar. This piece had the incredible ability to extend its power reserve for over 60 days, but the new design language was also a stand-out feature. The Twin Beat Perpetual had a semi-openworked dial that allowed the wearer to see into the mechanism on the dial side. This timepiece heavily influenced the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface, released in 2021 in white and rose gold. These are the most current versions of these Traditionnelle Calendar Openface models.
There are so many design features to be excited about with this timepiece. The case is a substantial 41mm in diameter, crafted in high polished rose gold and measuring about 11mm thick. It has thick squared-off edges to the case with minimal taper and dramatic angles to where the lugs branch off of the case. Due to the multiple layers and semi-skeletonization, the dial becomes the showstopper for this timepiece. An anthracite grey chapter ring holds the date numerals and railroad minutes track. The top half of the dial has a grey guilloche dial, but the bottom half is completely open to show the bridges and other parts of the movement.
The day of the week and month disks are fully visible and made of sapphire, so each are entirely transparent, allowing excellent viewing of the gold geartrain that contrasts dramatically against the grey background. The moon phase has a photo-realistic moon depicted, and a smoked grey covering that allows the viewer to make out the second moon’s position even when completely hidden. The gold dauphine hands complement the modern ascetic, while the black hand remains unnoticed except for the white crescent moon at its tip that indicates the date. A grey alligator strap accompanies the timepiece with a thick balm and a matching grey stitching with a rose gold half Maltese cross pin buckle.
Inside the Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface is the Caliber 2460 QCL/2. This movement was based on the 2450, Vacheron’s first in-house complete calendar movement. It features a day, date, and month calendar functions and a moon phase indicator that is accurate for the next 122 years. This caliber beats at 28,800vph and has a 40hour power reserve. It is beautifully decorated to earn its engraved Geneva Seal. The 22k rose gold rotor has a skeletonized high-polished Maltese cross designed into the rotor, which allows for more viewing of the rest of the movement. One can see the Geneva Striping on the bridges, the perlage on the baseplate, and the circular finishes on the gears throughout the movement. Every detail hand finished to the highest degree.
Versus The Competition
A couple of things could be comparable to this Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface. First, the Patek Philippe 5396R Annual Calendar would be an excellent alternative for those looking for a dress watch featuring similar calendar complications. This timepiece has all the complications of the Vacheron but includes a 24-hour indicator as well. It is also a bit smaller at 38mm but still has a thickness of 11.5mm. This particular piece also comes with a second dial that gives it a more modern look with a blue sector dial.
For those looking for a piece that shares similar design language, this Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX2 Chronograph DBS fits the bill quite nicely but at a much lower price. Though the AMVOX2 has an entirely different function with a chronograph rather than a calendar, it utilizes two sapphire disks for the minutes and hours indicators. The looks draw further similarities, with the dial only partially revealing in some areas and fully concealed with the dial in other parts. The AMVOX2 is also very interesting with the system of pressing the top and bottom of the case to start and stop the chronograph rather than traditional pushers. It is worth looking at for a modern yet still classic mechanical timepiece.
This timepiece will capture the attention of most watch enthusiasts; however, there will be a particular draw to the younger watch collectors. Many collectors currently focus on the much sportier watches, typically in steel with bracelets. This piece could fit perfectly as a collector’s only formal dress watch. It could also be for the collector that prefers a diverse collection of complications, and this one would be an excellent fit for a calendar timepiece. Many collectors also aspire to have a piece from each of the “Holy Trinity,” and this model would be a perfect representation of Vacheron Constantin.
The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar is an excellent piece that perfectly bridges the gap between modern and traditional. The dramatically good looks will appeal to all and help the brand stay relevant to younger watch collectors. Regardless of all that, Vacheron knocked it out of the park with this beautiful timepiece.