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Vacheron Constantin Kaliber 4400 AS okiem zegarmistrza

Recenzent: Kari Voutilainen

Jeden z najbardziej cenionych zegarmistrzów, a mianowicie Kari Voutilainen, zrecenzował mechanizm Vacheron Constantin oznaczony jako kaliber 4400 AS. Pierwotnie recenzja pojawiła się na dedykowanym forum “The Hour Lounge” należącym do genewskiego producenta, które po dekadzie twórczego oraz efektywnego funkcjonowania zostało uśmiercone w postaci w jakiej istniało i w 2017 roku przeniesione na Instagram. Niestety po wielu ciekawych opracowaniach, wpisach użytkowników, nie pozostał ślad. Szczęśliwie recenzję Kari Voutilainena zarchiwizowałem uznając za wartą uwagi, a dziś postanowiłem podzielić się jej treścią z zachowaniem oryginalnej wersji językowej. Rzecz dotyczy mechanizmu 4400 AS ocenionego w oparciu o zegarek Vacheron Constantin American 1921.

My first impression just looking through the case back is that it is a nice clean movement, the balance is not too small which is a good thing. Vacheron Constantin has opted for a classical design and it is obvious that servicing of the movement was in mind, you can see it in the construction. The movement has a classical construction and has been conceived with servicing in mind, all components are easy to access, you don’t need to take the whole movement apart to service or replace the necessary parts. Top quality materials have been used, from the metal of the components to the jewels. I personally would have preferred having not one large bridge but smaller ones. This is however a question of taste and maybe not possible due to certain areas which are too thin to have separate bridges. A large bridge can also be a bit trickier to place correctly as visibility is lower and gears can be damaged if not placed correctly. The bridges are screwed in and not placed on pegs which is the sign of high a quality movement.

Kari Voutilainen
Kari Voutilainen

Vacheron Constantin has decided to jewel many parts, even those which are not traditionally jeweled, this shows great concern for a lasting movement as the less friction there is the longer lasting the parts will be. Vacheron has opted for a large mainspring barrel and it is a smart move as I’m not for stacked barrels in models having a long power reserves which have long thin springs. There is a lot of friction in the latter and tear and wear is rapid. Here Vacheron has devised a special solution where the mainspring is a regular one but by placing a reverser it has managed to largely increase the power reserve. In the long term this could create some friction on some gears, I prefer a direct contact between the mainspring and the gears but if you want to have a long power reserve I prefer Vacheron’s solution to the stacked barrels one. The keyless works are very well executed and have a good grip that I like.

I appreciate the regulating system as well, it is well executed, by turning the screw of the balance spring stud you can easily and precisely regulate the watch without any friction. It’s easy to regulate and we can rapidly reach a +1/+2 seconds a day rate result, they’re not selling the watch as a chronometer? They should! The tolerances are low and the rate difference between all positions is null, the caliber shows a very stable rate in all positions and this is an excellent surprise. This regulating system is also very sturdy and in case of a shock the index regulator will not move.

Kari Voutilainen

The Geneva waves are very well done, often the end of the stroke is less than satisfactory but here they are perfect. I particularly like the interior angles which are seen less and less and I’m impressed that Vacheron Constantin uses this method since it is quite a difficult finish execution. The interior angles are a bit too inward but it shows that they are made by hand. The bevels are very very well done, they are consistent and regular which is a proof of good craftsmanship. I personally would have liked to see more visible thicker angles but that’s just a matter of taste. The perlage on the top plate under the dial is also very nice even though they are not of the same size in the centre, this could just be a design choice. Vacheron Constantin has given high aesthetic finish to parts no one other than a watchmaker who will take the watch apart can see. I’m impressed. The sunburst finish of the barrel is really well done and the screws seem to have inward angled heads which is great!

Vacheron Constantin American 1921
Vacheron Constantin American 1921

I’m very impressed with the movement construction and finish. The movement is easy and logical to assemble, all parts fit in perfectly. Finishing a movement to be used in very small quantities is something, having a movement with this type of finish in what will be made in large amounts is something thoroughly different! The quality of this movement is much higher than what we see in other high end brands. This is the first modern caliber I see finished so well.

Specyfikacja techniczna mechanizmu 4400 AS

Podstawowe dane

Średnica: 28,6 mm
Grubość: 2,8 mm
Liczba kamieni: 21
Liczba części: 127
Minimalna gwarantowana autonomia chodu: 65 godzin
Częstotliwość drgań balansu: 4 Hz (28800 wahnięć na godzinę)
Certyfikat: Pieczęć Genewska

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