No, you’re not seeing double. That’s the A side and the B side of the new Vacheron Constantin Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph – Tempo. Or is that the B side and the A side? The GCSSCT is reversible. So as long as you can afford it – and I’m thinking you probably can’t – you can wear the watch comme tu veux. Which seems kinda dumb, but then how else could VC fit 24 complications into a watch? This is how we do it . . .
The front (if that’s what you want to call it) displays hours, minutes, date, day, month (accounting for the inevitable leap year), chronograph seconds and minutes, second time zone hour and minute. Which makes the Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph – Tempo a GMT chronograph perpetual calendar. But wait! There’s more!
On the flip side (if that’s how you roll), the GCSSCT gets astronomical. The watch displays the hour and minutes and power reserve, and then adds the equation of time (last seen on a Panerai of all things), sunrise and sunset, day and night duration and moon age and phase.
Now how much would you pay? Well don’t answer!
Because no matter how you wear it, the GCSSCT is also minute repeater whose notes were tuned by Beatles’ producer George Martin at Abbey Road (or at least his spiritual successors). You may have noticed the cage shaped like a Maltese Cross – Vacheron’s logo. That’s a tourbillon, of course.
Legibility? We don’t need no stinkin’ legibility!
The Vacheron Constantin Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph – Tempo will likely spend its days and nights spinning and resting on a carefully programmed winder. In a temperature and humidity-controlled safe room. In a house protected by an elaborate alarm system and armed guards.
Well good for it. And well done VC for building and assembling 1,163 parts for a new caliber (ya think?) in a watch that will add multiple millions to your corporate coffers.
Meanwhile, Vacheron Constantin’s out to sell a bunch of timepieces whose average list price is under $40k.
Will the Vacheron Constantin Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph – Tempo help move the metal?
If all goes according to plan, the GCSSCT will bolster Vacheron Constantin’s ongoing effort to be seen as it needs to be seen to suck the bucks from paying punters: a watch brand on a par with Patek Philippe.
The same Patek Philippe that not-so-coincidentally launched the Grandmaster Flash, I mean Grandmaster Chime in 2014. That bad boy hit the streets boasting a now-seemingly-paltry 20 complications sporting a decidedly a go-for-baroque design. Also two sided.
The Vacheron is “price on request” (i.e., negotiable). As was the Patek at launch – although you can now buy one of the six Grandmaster Chime’s made for $20,556,501.15. Just click on hushhush.com to add a “brand new” and “never worn” example (called it) to your collection.
So where does that leave these Swiss rivals? monochrome-watches.com prepared a handy little monochromatic chart to see who won this tourbillon cage match:
As Hot Chocolate taught us Boomers so many years ago, everyone’s a winner babe, that’s the truth.
Both brands are working hard to stay at the summit of mainstream high horology [sic]. A traditional part of that process: create mind-blowingly intricate watches to impress people who could never afford them, but can afford “low-end” models.
Mission accomplished. Over to you Audemars Piguet.