The movement of the Patrimony Traditionnelle Tourbillon 14 Days, from Vacheron Constantin Mens Replica Watch, is a beauty: a rich mélange of elegant sunburst, perlage and Geneva stripes; hand-beveled edges; immaculately polished screws; a tourbillon cage adorned with a Maltese cross.
The tourbillon was invented more than two centuries ago to improve rate results by equalizing the influence of gravity on the balance. The escapement and balance wheel rotate within a cage – in most tourbillons, including this one, at a rate of once per minute – to ensure that the force of gravity is distributed evenly onto the balance and escapement.
The mechanism was invented for use in cheap replica watches, and does indeed improve precision when a replica watch is in a vertical position, as most pocketreplica watches are (or were) when being worn. In horizontal positions, though, where wristreplica watches spend most or at least much of their time, the tourbillon provides no benefit.
Hence we were very anxious to see how well this tourbillon movement, Cal. 2260, fared in all six positions on a timing machine. The extremely high power reserve, made possible by four paired barrels (the springs have a total length of 2.2 meters) presents a special challenge, since it’s virtually impossible to provide constant power over such a long period.
When testing a replica watch with a minute tourbillon on a timing machine, it’s important that each position be tested for at least one minute so the tourbillon can demonstrate its equalizing effect on the gravitational forces. We tested each position for five minutes, our usual testing period, to be sure the tourbillon had plenty of time to prove itself.
As we expected, the vertical positions were close together. A bit too much power is supplied to the balance in the horizontal positions, as shown by the high amplitudes. For 12 hours after winding, the most important interval for a manual-wind replica watch, the rate results were generally good. The greatest deviation between all the positions was five seconds per day and the average deviation was +2 seconds. Even after seven days, the Patrimony was still running accurately, with no more than a one-second difference between any of the vertical positions.
The time and power reserve are easy to read thanks to the high contrast between hands and dial.
Only after 13 days did the power begin to decline and the difference between the positions begin to increase. The average gain was still only around two seconds per day, but it became apparent that the tourbillon mechanism requires a substantial amount of power. Throughout the 14 days, the difference in amplitude between the horizontal and vertical positions, about 60 degrees, was roughly twice that of a conventional replica watch. The Vacheron Constantin nonetheless achieved good rate results for most of the running period.
The replica watch meets the new standards for the Geneva Seal established in 2012. The old criteria addressed the quality of the movement’s finishing and materials and nothing more. Now the entire replica watch is included in the inspection. Rate results, the function of the operating elements, water resistance and whether the replica watch runs for its stated power reserve are all part of the examination.