The new Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph sets a new world record with its self-winding movement measuring just 5.20 mm thick and its 8.40 mm cushion-shaped case. Some of the 459 parts of the new self-winding Caliber 3500 measure just 3/100ths of a millimetre! The Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph is thus the slimmest in its category in terms of both its movement and its case.
For the first time in the range of Manufacture Vacheron Constantin calibers, this self-winding movement with its 51-hour power reserve is equipped with a peripheral oscillating weight. Mounted on ball bearings, this unusual construction provides a clear view of entirely hand-decorated Caliber 3500. It also serves to preserve the exceptional slimness of the world’s thinnest self-winding split-seconds chronograph movement. The peripheral oscillating weight of the timepiece bears the dedicated scrolling pattern specifically created for the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture. This unusual motif, also known as “fleurisanne engraving” is inspired by the arabesques adorning the balance-cock of the oldest pocket watch from the Maison, signed by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755.
Equipped with a split-seconds function serving to time phenomena starting at the same time but of different durations, the new Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph is the slimmest in its category in terms of both its movement and its case. The first self-winding split-seconds Vacheron Constantin chronograph to bear the Hallmark of Geneva, this new in-house pays tribute to the aesthetic of the chronographs made for the brand in the 1920s, by reinterpreting the rounded shape and the interior angle bevelling of the bridges – that can only be done by hand – along with gold bushing and drop-shaped jewel surrounds.
Development work on Caliber 3500 began in 2008. This caliber benefits from the numerous advanced features designed by the Manufacture’s development team, including the so-called “friction” technique for the lateral coupling clutch, which serves to reduce a potential jerk of the hand when the chronograph starts running, and the blocking of the rotor when the barrel is sufficiently wound, thereby avoiding excessive tension in the winding spring. The creation of cone-shaped wheels improves the meshing of the wheels, thus giving the wearer the impression of softer, gentler winding. Moreover, the micro-technologies used for cutting the wheels have made it possible to create extremely close-set teeth to improve the engagement of the gear trains. The creation of an ultra-thin non-spherical differential has contributed to maintaining the power-reserve indication, without influencing the movement’s thickness. Finally, the development of a “dragging” chronograph minutes indication reduces the loss in amplitude and thus improves precision.
The watch comes in a cushion-shaped case made of 950 platinum. The “shape-in-a-shape” case combining a curving case, a square waisted case middle and a circular bezel creates a sensation of slenderness, while demonstrating an entirely unique and impressive character. The hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock and power reserve are displayed on a luminous opaline silver-toned dial framed by a deep red tachometric scale. The blue-painted Arabic numerals match the blued chronograph hands, while elegant leaf-type hands punctuate the hours and minutes.
The Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph is fitted with a blue Mississippiensis alligator leather strap, hand-stitched. The platinum 950 triple blade folding clasp bears a polished half Maltese cross. The timepiece is delivered in
a presentation box dedicated to the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture.