January 13, 2019
The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony has always been an understated and underrated watch to me. While dress watches are generally less popular, Vacheron Constantin has always provided some of the better options in the segment. Now, for SIHH, the brand unveils 3 new flavors of their simple, yet elegant dress watch—this time in 18k pink gold and a really cool “Majestic Blue” colored dial. The new pieces will feature a manual wind movement, a self-winding movement, and a retrograde day-date movement.
Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: Patrimony Manual-Winding (81180/000R-B518), Patrimony Self-Winding (85180/000R-B515), Patrimony Retrograde Day Date (4000U/000R-B516)
Dimensions: Manual and Self Winding will be 40mm, while the Retrograde Date will be 42.5mm
Water Resistance: 30m
Case Material: 18K 5N Pink Gold
Movement: Calibre 1400 for the Manual Winding, Calibre 2450-Q6 for the Self Winding, and Calibre 2460 R31R7/2 for the Retrograde Date
Power Reserve: 40 Hours
Strap/Bracelet: Blue Alligator Leather with a pink gold pin buckle clasp
Price & Availability: Patrimony Manual-Winding ($18,600), Patrimony Self-Winding ($26,200), Patrimony Retrograde Day Date ($43,400)
It’s hard for a lot of writers to discuss dress watches because they are minimal by nature. And that’s especially true when you take into account the environment they are worn—meaning you aren’t going to notice these on your run-of-the-mill rich guy on the beach. Dress watches are designed to be understated, as they are designed to leave a minimal footprint on the wrist, and be an extension of your attire instead of distracting from it. These watches are simply that… simple. Vacheron has always had a penchant for minimalist styling in their dials, and intensely complex finishing on the movements, and based on these press images, these models are certainly not lacking in visual appeal. It’s business up front and a… well, you know how it goes.
While the sunburst blue dials are a fresh update, with a new colorway to their pink gold models, the striking aesthetic is still not in your face or over the top. I’m personally drawn to the manual winding model, as I love a good dress watch without a date window distracting from the overall symmetry of the dial. The date model still feels quintessentially Patrimony, and I applaud the brand for its matching date window instead of going with a white background. I find the Retrograde Date model visually appealing, but a bit busy for my dress-watch tastes. I think my favorite feature is the railway minute tracks between the hour indices—a cool vintage nod to an otherwise modern dress watch.
Overall, this aesthetic is missing from the current Patrimony collection. I love the look and think it fits well into Vacheron Constantin’s overall stylistic tendencies without branching far away from their roots. Is this a safe trio? Absolutely. But that’s not a bad thing and this adds an aesthetically pleasing bunch of watches to the brand’s dress watch catalog. Price is $18,600 for the Patrimony Manual-Winding, $26,200 for the Patrimony Self-Winding, and $43,400 for the Patrimony Retrograde Day Date. vacheronconstantin.com
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