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Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com With all due respects to Franck Muller, Vacheron Constantin OWNS the tonneau case. Sorry Franck, but since VC debuted its first tonneau in 1912 - before most watchmakers even embraced the wristwatch - Vacheron's tonneau watches have stood as the definitive examples of the breed. The Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph in stainless steel carries the VC tonneau tradition into the 21st century. Launched in 2002 as a complement to the Overseas line, the Royal Eagles were designed as all-purpose formal/casual accessories for a younger crowd than the traditional Vacheron Constantin clientele. The Royal Eagle Chronograph combines a sports watch-style full bracelet, steel construction, automatic movement with date, and chronograph with refinement that few workaday dive watches can approach. The fusion of "work and play" cues in a single model is the clearest declaration of VC's intent for the Royal Eagle Chronograph to be worn the way younger watch collectors are accustomed to wearing their Omega, Rolex, and Panerai models: all the time. Each contour of the supple steel bracelet is finished with the exacting attention-to-detail befitting a charter member of the Swiss horology "holy trinity." All sheer edges are drawn and beveled; all links are elaborated with contrasting finish; play is minimal and the links pull no hair. A superb double-deployant clasp secures the Royal Eagle and offers only a VC Maltese Cross icon at the junction of the deployant arms. The Vacheron Constantin tonneau case is polished to a brilliant gleam and articulated with fluted lugs to add visual dynamism. The lugs flare slightly at the end links in veiled tribute to the Vacheron "Maltese Cross," but it's a subtle nod, not the riot of references evident on the Overseas. Within the silver expanse of the dial, Vacheron keeps the production upscale and clean. A gentle grained finish takes the place of VC's usual baroque guilloche; remember, this Royal Eagle Chronograph is designed to win converts, not play to existing VC True Believers. The double-digit "grand date" and high-contrast black oxidized chronograph hands ensure that this watch offers practical complications to owners weaned on watches with intuitive dive bezels, cyclops eye date, and voluminous lume. On that last count, VC oblige sports watch fans with lumed hands and four-corner index markets. Applied Arabic numerals in 18-karat white gold provide a reminder that sporting pretense or none Vacheron Constantin remains a super premium maison. Beneath the dial beats a Vacheron Constantin caliber 1137 based on the F. Piguet 1186 automatic chronograph movement. Thin, fine, and decorated to the Vacheron Constantin standard, the Piguet caliber has been featured in esteemed high horology platforms from Blanpain's Villeret line to Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak Chronograph, to Vacheron Constantin's own Overseas Chronograph. With a smooth vertical clutch engagement system, the Cal. 1137 can be run continuously with no hazard to the movement; this will suite owners who prefer the presence of a constantly-circulating center seconds hand. See this Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph in high-resolution images with full Vacheron Constantin factory accessories on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso