For over five years now, blue has been the predominant colour for watchmakers when it comes to the dress watch. Blue is elegant, dressy and has this small “je ne sais quoi” about it that a black or silver dial doesn’t deliver… But not all blue watches are born equal. Some have a special pedigree, and Vacheron Constantin‘s models play in a different league (see the new Blue FIFTYSIX for instance). Today, an emblematic model from the Patrimony collection dons a midnight blue shade especially created for the line.
With its slender case, its ultra-thin movement with high-end finishing and its complex display, the Vacheron Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is amongst the best examples of a dressy, classically-shaped perpetual calendar watch. It has been around for some years already, available in multiple editions – pink gold case/white dial, platinum case/platinum dial, pink gold case/slate dial… all rather traditional in their design. Today, the Geneva-based manufacture brings a fresher look to this piece.
The base remains identical to what we’ve seen in the past, meaning an 18k pink gold case with a thin, flat bezel, short lugs and a slender profile. Housing a rather complex movement and display, the Vacheron Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is on the larger side of this collection, with a 41mm diameter. Still, this complexity doesn’t imply a hefty case, as it is only 8.9mm in height – which is quite impressive for such a watch. The case is entirely polished, for an elegant result.
The main novelty for this piece is on the dial, which sticks to its usual display and details, but which has been treated to a special shade of “midnight blue”, developed specifically for this collection – a tone that we’ve already seen on the Patrimony Manual-Winding, on the Patrimony Self-Winding, and on the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date. This deep blue colour, combined with a sunray brushed finish, is applied on a domed dial, adding a sensation of depth and reflections.
The rest of dial is typical to the Vacheron Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin watches. The hour markers and the hands are solid 18k pink gold and the minutes are indicated by a circular “pearl” minute-track. The display of the perpetual calendar is traditional, yet legible. The date is indicated at 3 o’clock, the day of the week at 9 o’clock and the months, as well as the leap year, in a sub-dial at 12 o’clock. The moon-phase display is adorned in champlevé enamel whose colour is only revealed after ultra-precise firing at very high temperature.
To achieve such thinness, the Vacheron Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is equipped with the calibre 1120 QP, a well-known movement, which is based on a JLC ébauche and that is now manufactured in-house by Vacheron – a base movement used in the 222, in various ultra-thin watches of the brand and even today in the Overseas Ultra-Thin and Ultra-Thin QP. Even with its QP module on top and its automatic mechanism, this movement measures only 4.05mm in height. This movement is nicely decorated with its openwork Maltese cross-shaped oscillating weight and polished bevels – all of that according to the Hallmark of Geneva. The movement runs at 19,800 vibrations/hour, comprises 276 components and boasts a 40h power reserve.
This pink gold and blue dial version of the Vacheron Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is worn on a matching dark blue alligator strap with a folding clasp. It is a “standard”, non-limited model. It will retail for EUR 80,000 (incl. 20% VAT). More details at www.vacheron-constantin.com.