click on the scans for a larger view
The 2007 and 2008 SIHH novelties each produced a huge bang for Vacheron Constantin respectively with the launch of the Masks series and the Quai de l’Ile. This year no real conversation piece per se but the Patrimony Traditionnelle model range puts the turbo with two major launches which will get a lot of ink and conversation: the brand new large sized inhouse manual wind calibre 4400, which was pre launched in the limited production Historiques American 1921, which will now equip the new Patrimony Traditionnelle Manual Wind and of course the amazing Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph.
One caveat, these are just my opinions at the time and take them with a grain of salt. Many will disagree and others agree with what I write but remember that even the moderator is entitled to his opinion
The Vacheron Constantin booth at the fait was one of the only ones, if not the only which was totally open and where visitors could enter and visit the different exhibitions. On a wall was an awesome 3D film of the Caliber 4400. It’s a new system where you don’t need special glasses to have the 3 dimensional effect.
There was also a hand beveller who showed us the different techniques.
The different VC manufacture movements were also displayed.
Malte Tonneau Dual Time (gem set)
Not my favorite Vacheron Constantin (even though I love the guillochage of the dial) but this new gem set version begs the answer to the question why? It exists with diamond indexes in a rose gold case as well as with diamond bezel, lugs and indexes in white gold.
Malte Tonneau Tourbillon Regulateur High Jewelery
Jacob eat your heart out, this is what a jewelled tourbillon should look like! The case is paved with 270 baguette cut diamonds with a total weight of approx 12.33 carats while the dial dazzles with 236 baguette cut diamonds with a total weight of approx 5.66 carats. The invisible setting (a rare craft) gives the impression that the whole watch is made of diamonds and not of white gold. Amazingly captivating and a watch which would look great on my wrist had I the guts (and the half million euros) to pull it off
Metiers d’Art Lady Kalla Flame
This year’s Metiers d’Art models pay tribute to gemsetting and diamond galore.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Kallista a new type of diamond cutting has been developed by Vacheron Constantin called the flame cut. This new shape features 57 trapezoid facets never used in watchmaking before, it also happens to be the first cut in twenty years to be officially recognised by the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America). What also makes the flame cut original is that it is the only one with both a right and a left cut, for which a specific setting has to be developed. The Kalla Flame features 202 flame cut diamonds for a total weight of approx 37 carats. It houses the manual wind calibre 1005.
|the Flame Cut diamond|
Metiers d’Art Kalla Haute Couture A Secret
It looks like a diamond bracelet but lift the lid and ho and behold there is a watch underneath! The Haute Couture a Secret features 278 flame cut diamonds and 54 full cut diamonds for a total weight of approx 34.5 carats.
Metiers d’Art Kallania
Gentlemen (yes this is designed to be a man’s watch!) start saving because this fabulous watch contains 186 emerald cut diamonds weighing almost 170 carats which happens to be a world record in the history of watchmaking (the previous record being held also by Vacheron Constantin with its Kallista weighing 130 carats). Movement wise it houses the extra flat cal 1003.The price has not yet been set but don’t count on a figure with less than 5 zeros.
Overseas Chronograph in rose gold
Following the immense success of last year’s rose gold Overseas Chronograph, Vacheron Constantin launches a version with a white guilloche dial. A bit more formal than the grey dial version, it exists either on strap (croc and rubber) or rose gold bracelet. A definitive killer and a must have with a nice tan next summer .
Overseas Dual Time in rose gold
Until now the only rose gold version of the Dual Time was available either with a chocolate dial but in a limited edition or the “Beckham” (© myself) version with diamond set bezel. The aficionado really didn’t have much choice until now. If you’re for a massive gold watch with little bling factor this one is for you. Available either with a rose gold bracelet or on strap (croc and rubber).
Patrimony Traditionnelle Skeleton
Vacheron Constantin is known for its amazing skeleton work and the Patrimony Traditionnelle Skeleton is a proof that VC is light years ahead on competition. Each component has been painstakingly skeletonised and engraved by hand giving a whole new meaning to the words horological art. This model exists only in white gold and is produced in extremely low numbers. On a side note it is interesting to specify that once again Japan was a testing ground as the rose gold version of this model was recently launched there as a special market piece.
Patrimony Traditionnelle Manual Wind
An amazing watch for those wanting a more “wearable” 38mm size case. It features all the Patrimony Traditionnelle aesthetics: a fine bezel knurling around the caseback, which features a screw-down sapphire crystal, facetted trapezoid hour-markers, dauphine hands and dials in several silvered tones (the later may look simple but 5 different finishing processes are used to attain the final effect) and lugs with clean straight lines. The icing on the cake is that it features the new manual inhouse calibre 4400 which nicely fills the case and can be admired via a sapphire crystal case back. Love it!
Patrimony Traditionnelle Perpetuel Calendar Chronograph
Oooh now this one is hot. Love everything about it even though I find the case a bit on the larger side at 43mm. The two tone dial, the Patrimony Traditionnelle case and the rectangular pushers give the watch a somewhat vintage look but the amazing engraved rose gold moonphase (a VC signature) gives a wonderfully contemporary effect and almost singlehandedly justifies the purchase of the watch! Inside ticks the wonderful cal 1141QP with an additional calendar plate. Its on my wish list….
Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph
If this watch does not become an instant hit I’ll stop writing about watches and go raise goats! Once again the Patrimony Traditionnelle case (42mm) and two tone dial hit the spot. The watch has a very elegant and somewhat vintage appeal, yet has a very dynamic aura which make it an instant classic.
And I appreciate you being such a great host. Hope to have more time to catch up at SIHH next year. - SJX