Insider: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time ref. 86060. Hands-on with a Worldtimer with Simultaneous Reading of all 37 Time Zones.

The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time ref. 86060/000R-9640 is one of the most complete worldtimers in the market providing the time for all 37 different time zones including those that are affected by half or quarter hour increments. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time ref. 86060 is available in now available in four different variations, since at the end of 2015, the Maison launched two new models of the Traditionnelle World Time in either 18K white gold or 18K 5N pink gold sublimated by a gold map in the center of their dials. In addition to these two most recent references, we have the reference we are reviewing here and one other variant in platinum. In the heart of the case, beats the in-house calibre 2460 WT, developed and manufactured entirely by Vacheron Constantin. This watch is fitted with a 42.5 mm case, perfectly sized for most wrists.

In keeping with its pioneering spirit, and driven by a wish to demonstrate that the multiple time-zone watch could be further perfected, the Maison introduced its first timepieces endowed with an international time mechanism in 1932. This movement was the work of a brilliant Geneva watchmaker, Louis Cottier, who had imagined and developed a mechanical movement indicating the 24 time zones from 1 to 24 by means of a disc rotating around the central dial and the outer bezel bearing the names of the world’s major cities. This first Vacheron Constantin world time “Cottier system” watch enabled simultaneous read-off of the time in 31 cities around the world. It marked the start of a rich and longstanding relationship with the world time complication. In 1936, the Maison presented two new versions of its world time model with a 31-city dial and a 30-city dial. In 1937 and 1938, the Geneva-based Manufacture unveiled six table clocks with a mobile dial featuring 67 locations. From the 1940s onward, Vacheron Constantin attributed the reference number 4414 to a world time model with a 41-city dial and a day-night division of the mobile 24-hour disc. During the 1940s and 1950s, many famous customers were captivated by this useful and ingenious mechanism, and contributed to spreading the fame of this new complication. In 1957, Vacheron Constantin wrote a new chapter in its history of world time watches by introducing the first world time wristwatch, reference 6213, ordered by an Egyptian dignitary.

The Dial

Eager to make a major new contribution to the history of this complication, the Vacheron Constantin master-watchmakers and engineers have launched a mechanical movement capable of indicating not only the full time zones, but also the partial ones, so as to reflect the exact temporal reality in the 37 time zones. A number of countries have indeed adopted a half-hour or quarter-hour difference from UTC, and the Calibre 2460 WT by Vacheron Constantin takes account of these specific characteristics. By way of example, it provides the correct time indication for Caracas, since Venezuela decided in 2007 to switch from a full time zone to a half time zone —GMT – 4:30.

Despite its complex construction principles, the world time movement in the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time ref. 86060 is extremely user-friendly. The wearer chooses the reference time and places it opposite the black triangle at 6 o’clock. The time in the reference location can then be read off either by the hour hand, or by the 24-hour disc, while the time in the other 36 time zones is simultaneously readable. The cities shown in black represent the full time zones, while the cities in red indicate half-hour or quarter-hour zones.

The indication of the 37 time zones as proposed by Vacheron Constantin in its Traditionnelle World Time is as complete as one could wish for. While the dial might seem extremely busy to many, it just takes a little time for the eyes to get adjusted to it and reading time across 37 time zones is not as challenging as it might seem. The display consists of three dials: a sapphire dial with a day-night shading and the engraved and inked 24-hour indications —18:30 to 6:30 hours indications highlighted with an anthracite-colored background—; a metal dial with painted cities names and a “Lambert projector” type gold map unveiling sun-brushed continents as well as sand-blasted seas; and a metal external ring with painted minute-track and applied gold hour-markers. Perhaps the greatest horological feat in this watch, is that all indications are adjusted via the winding crown, thus considerably simplifying the use of this highly technical watch. As you know, most other world timers require a pusher to advance the cities disc.

The Movement

Powering this exceptional timepiece, is the Vacheron Constantin automatic in-house calibre 2460 WT composed of 255 parts and 27 jewels. This movement, beats at a frequency of 4 Hz —28,800 vph— and is endowed with a 40-hour power reserve when fully wound.

Bearing the prestigious Poinçon de Genève —Hallmark of Geneva— the movement is exquisitely finished and fitted with a 22K solid gold oscillating weight decorated with à grains d'orge —barleycorn— guilloché motif. The movement is fully visible via the display case back.

On the Wrist & Pricing

Incorporating all the signature characteristics of the Traditionnelle collection —a slender bezel, a knurled motif on the back of the timepiece, a sapphire crystal case back closed with screws, and dauphine hands— the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time ref. 86060 is fitted with a Mississippiensis alligator leather strap secured by an 18K 5N rose gold half Maltese cross-shaped double-folding clasp. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters, but who in its right mind would dare to jump in a pool with such a timepiece. On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and with remarkable wrist presence. An elegant extremely functional timepiece that one can dream of acquiring one day.

Sticker Price $48,000 USD. For more info on Vacheron Constantin click here.