Introducing the new Patrimony moon phase retrograde date – Latest addition to rock the Vacheron Constantin Collection Excellence Platine
In true homage to their tagline of #OneOfNotMany, the watches in the Vacheron Constantin Collection Excellence Platine concept are cut from a different cloth. The new Patrimony moon phase retrograde date – Collection Excellence Platine follows the dictum of less is more and brilliantly executes the use of minimalist aesthetic ideals onto a watch face that’s extremely clean for a watch with multiple complications.
Since 1755 the Maison has been at the pinnacle of Haute Horlogerie. Over the decades it has released and introduced to the world of horology several masterpieces. Then in 2006, they subtly introduced the Vacheron Constantin Collection Excellence Platine concept.
Launched solely to showcase the Maison’s expertise in fine watchmaking with only 950 platinum as a case material, these have become a new by-standard in the world of limited edition watches.
This new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony moon phase retrograde date – Collection Excellence Platine is the latest addition to this exclusive world. It is the platinum version — so the case, crown, dial, and buckle are all crafted from platinum — of the Patrimony moon phase retrograde date that was first launched in 2017 in white and pink gold. Drawing inspiration from the watches created by the Maison in the 1950s, it displays the hours and minutes, the date with a retrograde hand and a precision moon phase. This sits within the existing Collection Excellence Platine that features 6 models, including this new addition. They are all Hallmark of Geneva certified and all made from platinum 950.
I have noticed an interesting pattern where VC is releasing these in alternating movement and power-reserve options: so manual-winding with 65-hours, automatic with 40-hours, manual, automatic, you get the idea. I don’t know if this is intentional, but it is cool nonetheless.
– The Patrimony manual-winding – Collection Excellence Platine reference 1110U/000P-B306 features the calibre 4400 AS that beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 vph). Encased inside a 42mm diameter case, it offers a 65-hour power reserve. Available in limited numbers of 150, it displays the functions of hours, minutes and small seconds at 6’o clock.
– The Traditionnelle Complete Calendar – Collection Excellence Platine reference 4010T/000P-B345 features the automatic calibre 2460 QCL that beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 vph). Encased inside a 41mm diameter case, it offers a 40-hour power reserve. Available in limited numbers of 100, it displays the functions of hours, minutes, seconds in center, day of the week in aperture, month in aperture, hand-type date and precision moon phase.
– The Patrimony Minute Repeater Ultra-thin – Collection Excellence Platine reference 30110/000P-B108 features the manual-winding calibre 1731 that beats at the frequency of 3Hz (21’600 vph). Encased inside a 41mm diameter case, it offers a 65-hour power reserve. Available in limited numbers of only 10 pieces, it displays the functions of hours, minutes, small seconds, and minute repeater. Like the Patek Philippe 5078 Minute Repeater, it is also not water-resistant.
– The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin – Collection Excellence Platine reference 43175/000P-B190 features the automatic calibre 1120 QP that beats at the odd frequency of 2.75Hz (19’800 vph). Encased inside a 41mm diameter case, it offers a 40-hour power reserve. Available in limited numbers of 100 pieces, it displays the functions of hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, hand-type day of the week, hand-type month, hand-type date, moon phase, and 48-month counter with leap year indication.
– The Traditionnelle manual-winding – Collection Excellence Platine reference 82172/000P-B527 features the manual-winding calibre 4400 AS that beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 vph). Encased inside a smallest for this collection 38mm diameter case, it offers a 65-hour power reserve. Available in limited numbers of 75, it displays the functions of hours, minutes and small seconds at 6’o clock.
Last but not the least comes the latest addition.
The new Patrimony moon phase retrograde date – Collection Excellence Platine reference 4010U/000P-B545 features the calibre 2460 R31L which is a Hallmark of Geneva certified automatic mechanical movement that has been developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. The 27.2mm x 5.4mm movement comprises of 275 components, 27 jewels, and beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h) offering a 40-hour power reserve. It is cased inside a 42.5mm diameter and 9.7mm thick 950 platinum case that displays the decorated movement featuring circular-grained mainplate surface and open-worked 22-carat gold oscillating weight inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross emblem on the reverse. The 50 lucky owners of this piece can admire this movement through a transparent sapphire crystal caseback.
The watch face features a sandblasted 950 platinum dial that almost resembles a grey snowfall. It displays the functions of hours, minutes, retrograde hand-type date, and precision moon phase. For enhanced user friendliness, all function settings are performed via the crown.
On this clean dial — that is slightly convex around its circumference lending to it a 3D effect — the applied 18K white gold hour markers complement the 18-carat white gold baton-type hour/minute hands, the Maltese Cross logo at 12’o clock, the 950 platinum moon disc at 6’o clock, the 18K circular “pearl” minute-track, and the secret signature.
Contrasting against all these grey platinum aesthetics is the blued white gold retrograde date hand in striking blue. Visually bold, it’s presence is a welcome burst of colour on an otherwise monochromatic dial. This blue — though not in the same shade which is an opportunity missed I think — is further represented in the blue strap that ties in the exterior with the interior of the watch. The strap used is a dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather strap featuring a saddle-finish with large square scales, with an alligator inner shell. It comes with a 950 platinum folding clasp and a polished half Maltese cross-shaped buckle.
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It
There are lots of subtle touches and references to the material that this new release is a homage to. Not to let go of the platinum theme, VC has even used it in the straps. The 22/20 leather strap is hand-stitched with platinum 950 and silk. Platinum is a running theme in this watch. Whether be it the case or the dial. As an ode to the material used, the secret signature we mentioned earlier is in the form of an inscription, “Pt 950” , between 4 and 5’o clock on the dial. While still talking about the dial, the platinum moonphase features a polished surface on the stars and a grained texture for the moon circles imitating the visible irregularities of the lunar surface.
This finishing is not the only aspect impressive about the moonphase execution in the new Vacheron Constantin Collection Excellence Platine. If you carefully look, the display of the moonphase is graduated from 0 to 29½. This is known as the age of the moon that serves to count off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon. The way this works is that it corresponds to the actual cycle of moon that rotates around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. Not that anyone is likely to experience this in one lifetime, but it’s worthy to note that this precision moon phase mechanism requires a one-day correction only once every 122 years.
Simply put, the overuse of platinum manages to bring in a great deal of added sophistication to the otherwise great looking watches that were already available in white or pink gold.
There is really no top to the luxury mountain. You can climb it for as long as someone’s imagination produces objects. But somewhere high up, beyond the clouds, beyond the gaze that a human eye can cast, lies a point where grace and glamour meet the understated in an empyrean state of existence. Here, at the epitome of graceful character, you will find the purest form of fine watchmaking, the new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony moon phase retrograde date – Collection Excellence Platine.
For more information on these and other Vacheron Constantin watches, head to their website here.