Vacheron Constantin may be the oldest watchmaker in continuous production, but its multiple and varied watch launches each year show that it's very much young at heart.
There's no other way to surmise how a brand that has every right to rest on its laurels continues to pump out genuinely exciting, interesting examples of horology with metronomic regularity – this is a prodigal talent still at the peak of its powers.
Case in point, last year's Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar. So impressive was this modern feat of watchmaking ingenuity that it took home both the Watch of the Year and Best Technical Innovation at the Square Mile Watch Awards 2019.
No pressure for this year's releases, then… Let's get in to it.
This year, VC has treated us to a smorgasbord of new complications and aesthetics in its Overseas, Traditionelle and Fiftysix collections, but its biggest announcement is probably the launch of its most complicated wristwatch ever: *deep breath* Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph Tempo.
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Split-Seconds Chronograph Tempo, £POA
It might be a quirk of circumstance or promotion-worthy marketing, but this watch boasts the same number of syllables in its wordy name as it does complications. Yup, 24 of both (we counted).
Vacheron's bespoke Les Cabinotiers division has carved out a particularly expensive niche for to-order grand complications that cost several pretty pennies to acquire. And while we couldn't possibly fathom what it would be like to even have the money required to purchase the Tempo (for short), you can't help but appreciate the sheer quantity of craftsmanship that has gone into a single timing instrument.
We'd term this "kitchen sink" horology, insofar as this watch has the lot, plus the bells and whistles.
To give you some idea of the complications on offer, this double-sided watch (yes) features: a perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph, tourbillon regulator, astronomical indications, and a minute repeater.
The watch is a hefty 50mm x 21mm in terms of size and depth, but nobody buying this watch is doing so for its immense wearability. This is someone looking down at an a la carte menu and saying, "Yes, I think I'll have the lot."
Our favourite touch? The Tempo is fitted with a quick strap system that allows you to switch which dial is on display. Just a little bit of function among all that form.
This might just be our new favourite piece of maximalist luxury.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, £121,000
If you ask us, the Overseas collection doesn't get half as much of the appreciation it deserves. Not only is the case every bit as handsome as a Nautilus or a Royal Oak, but it also boasts Vacheron Constantin's particularly astute approach to integrating high complication into its elegant pieces.
The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton is everything great about modern Vacheron: it's high watchmaking somehow delicately balanced inside a sporty modern facade (it is just a facade, though, because this is clearly not a piece you're going to wear playing golf or what have you).
Pair it with its stylish rubber strap or the Maltese Cross-style bracelet, one of our favourites in the sports watch category, and you're good to go.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph watch, £POA
Another timepiece where if you need to ask the price you probably can't afford it, this new addition to the Traditionelle collection combines a tourbillon with a monopusher chronograph.
In typical Vacheron fashion, however, the aesthetics still look gorgeous in spite of how much watchmaking is on show here.
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Complete Calendar, £32,700
The 2018 launch of the Fiftysix collection had our watch editor, Ben Winstanley, all aquiver.
Vacheron Constantin's gorgeous evocation of a 1950s timepiece oozed class and vintage opulence in equal measure. Its entry level steel version was also a moderate £10K (moderate by high-end watchmaking standards, don't judge) – its attainability making it all the more tantalising.
The latest additions to the collection feature a sepia-brown dial and pink gold case; a combination we're certain looks even better in the metal.
Our favourite model is the very classic Complete Calendar model for its charming take on a particularly useful complication.