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Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds Grey Watch Hands-On

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds Grey Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The color gray needs more respect in the world of watches. People like to use terms like “silver, metal, steel, titanium, etc…” when describing colors, when what they are really talking about is a form of gray. Gray is also a very fashionably diverse hue, as it goes with just about everything. So for 2013, Swiss Vacheron Constantin decided to do a little homage to gray with a solid platinum version of the Patrimony Traditionelle Small Seconds watch.

Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony collection is what most people picture when they think of the brand’s products. Simple yet sophisticated, these aren’t just dress watches, but rather dress watches with just the right amount of masculinity in them. Vacheron Constantin accomplishes this by adding little details on the dial such as a lot of sharp angles, and an instrumental looking minute track. They may all look like small details, but taken together the design elements of the collection really do say “patrimony.”

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds Grey Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds Grey Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Patrimony as a term means something that is inherited through one’s father – a fitting title for something in the high-end watch industry that is so concerned with tradition.  As a modern watch, Patrimony models nevertheless take a lot of inspiration from the past, something that Vacheron Constantin clearly relies upon as a selling point.

This specific model is the Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds ref. 82172/000P-9811, and named as such for obvious reasons given the dial. The dial has a subsidiary seconds dial (sometimes called “small seconds”) and in this case, the case is in solid 950 platinum with a lovely matte gray dial. Few brands do dauphine hands as well as Vacheron Constantin. These are beautifully shaped, wonderfully cut, and the perfect size. What is the trick to them looking so nice? Well, note how they are polished.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds Grey Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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  • Nice classic looking dress watch. The curved springbars and strap are nice, but it would be even better if the curve actually matched the case curve (how could they ‘miss’ on that?). 
    The dauphine hands are also interesting in that they are not a single straight line from the center post angle to the tip. The appear to have a wider angle by the post and then a slimmer angle onward to the tip. As you said Ariel, this is a watch that pays attention to details. I like that it is dressy but still has a crisp modern look rather than just being another vintage homage with 1800s styling (which has its place but is very common).
    Another watch in the same category that I like (and is about half the price) is the 1996. Recently reviewed (in gold) here:

  • Ulysses31

    Very monochrome, very two-dimensional look to the face.  There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of the dial that looks like it was cut from pieces of construction paper and glued together, but at the same time there’s a lack of depth, of richness, of flourish that lifts an otherwise plain looking timepiece.  I’m not sure if I like it or not 😐

  • village idiot

    You’re on your game Ariel. Was hoping to call you to task for not mentioning movement is a manual but you covered that off. I like a watch that is easy to read at a glance. Contrasting hands against the dial and contrasting markings. This one looks as if it be dandy for sneaking side glances at during  one of those yada-yada-yada meetings. Really accomplished sadist managers book rooms for 1pm slots.
    Watch is a beauty, but might be hard to read in bright sunlight or in dim conditions.

  • mandime

    My absolute grail, perfection imop.

  • Kris C

    I have no idea what this ‘gray’ is that you keep mentioning Ariel, but I loves me some grey. Dresses up or down with ease, matches all colours, and goes well with browns or blacks.
    The pricing here is hardcore though, and I’ve got a dick punch for whoever approved that semi-integrated strap look. Just awful. Integrate the strap or don’t – both are great looks, but this half-ass approach is terrible.

  • Kris C A “dick punch”? Is that a strap making tool you use Kris? Ha ha ha.

  • arthurdavis

    MarkCarson Kris C same as a punch in the junk perhaps

  • arthurdavis  Kris C Yeah I know. But since Kris makes bespoke watch straps, this could have been a tool of his trade (in some alternate universe I guess). Just kidding around of course. Cheers.

  • Kris C

    MarkCarson I wish! Or… do I?
    Anyway, I was simply referring to fist meeting groin at speed. All in good fun of course, but c’mon – someone raise their hand and seriously say that they want the strap on their $35k watch to look like that instead of properly integrated, or the good ole straight back look.
    Didn’t think so.

  • bluzer

    Kris C Agreed on the curved spring bars and grey ;-)If you look carefully, the holes are placed half way up the lugs. Kinda looks like a last minute decision. They should at least give you the option to buy with the holes closer to the lug ends so straight bars can be used.

  • marbstiu

    Patek wannabe

    • Name

      Vacheron has been around longer than Patek, and among people who actually know something about watches, their prestige is no less.

  • DG Cayse

    Elegant. Simple. Stunning. Bravo!

  • wandimarco

    I had the chance to try this watch yesterday, its a handsome watch, even the strap is different, the inner part of the strap use exactly the same material as the outer part, for me this is the 1st time I have ever seen a full 100% croc strap. This watch is simple but handsome at the same time. I dont know whether this watch is a “Patek wannabe” or not, but I have tried some Patek Calatrava, and compare to this grey Vacheron, I definitely will choose this grey Vacheron. But I just dont understand why both Patek Calatrava and Vacheron Patrimony dont have a hacking second mechanism? I mean even Nomos has, they are both considered as members of the Big Three in Haute Horlogerie, anyone can enlighten me why there is no hacking second mechanism on Patek Calatrava and Vacheron Patrimony?