Hands-On – Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date
This year was the year of the exceptional for Vacheron Constantin, a year of ultra-complex, ultra-rare and ultra-precious watches. The two main novelties were indeed the Celestia and the Symphonia. One is an astronomical watch with 23 complications, tourbillon and massive power reserve (6 barrels…!) The other one is no less than a Grande Sonnerie. Good for angels… However the brand also had some novelties for us, mere mortals. And one of them is this highly elegant and rather original Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date.
When you look at this new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date, it might have that familiar look, that thing that tells you that you’ve already seen it somewhere, without being sure that you’re right. This feeling is entirely justified, as if you look back at the Vacheron Constantin collection, you’ll find the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date, a watch that actually shares the same case, the same base movement and, this where you get this familiar look, the same retrograde date on the upper half of the dial. For the SIHH 2017, Vacheron Constantin has updated the concept, by removing the retrograde day indication and replacing it by a moon phase indication… for a result that is nothing else than balanced and elegant. No need to bring entirely new ideas when the base is good.
So, the new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date is based on the modern and sleek Patrimony case, meaning larger diameter than the Traditionelle collection (in this case, we have a 42.5mm diameter), a thin and clean shape, with tapered and thin lugs, and finally a case construction that allows for a thin bezel and rather low profiles. With their entirely flat design – smooth and polished bezel, continuous lines all around and no sharp angles – the Patrimony watches, including this new iteration, are discreet and a bit more urban than the Traditionelle watches – in short, a bit younger and more casual. With its balanced proportions – 9.7mm height – the Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date is a watch with some presence on the wrist (the large diameter is to be considered, and don’t think about this watch as a real tuxedo piece) however, it never felt intrusive. it is available in 2 editions: 18k white gold (ref. 4010U/000G-B330) and 18k pink gold (ref. 4010U/000R-B329)
The main novelty comes from the display, which now features a lyrical complication, the moon phase indication. Shown by means of a gold disc (partially blued, with a starry sky and a gold moon), the age of the Moon – meaning the number of days that have elapsed since the last new moon – can be read off through an opening in the lower half of the dial. This complication is displayed in accordance with the real cycle of the Moon around the Earth, which amounts to exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. This indication, on the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date, requires only one correction every 122 years. For the rest, the silvered opaline domed dial still displays the date on the upper half, with a retrograde display (large enough to be easily legible) by the mean of an arrow hand and the hours and minutes on the central axis. Applied indexes as well as a circular “pearl” minute-track complete the package.
Under the sapphire caseback is a known, yet perfectly finished, movement; calibre 2460. This movement is used as a base for several watches of the brand, including the recent Copernicus or the World Time (Overseas or Traditionelle). It drives here a moon phase and a retrograde date. This calibre is beautifully decorated, with a solid gold rotor, and meets the requirement of the Hallmark of Geneva. All functions are adjusted via the crown, meaning no disgraceful pushers or buttons on the case. It runs at 4Hz and boasts 40 hours of power reserve.
The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date will be priced at 43,200 Euro (for both editions, white or pink gold). More details on the dedicated page on vacheron-constantin.com.
Specifications of the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase And Retrograde Date
- Case: 42.50mm diameter x 9.7mm height – 18k white gold / 18k pink gold – Sapphire crystal on both sides – 30m water resistance
- Movement: Calibre 2460 R31L, in-house, Hallmark of Geneva – automatic winding – 4Hz frequency – 40h power reserve – hours, minutes, retrograde date, moonphase
- Strap: alligator leather with alligator inner shell – gold pin buckle