5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade

Ok Ok we're  still 3 months from the end of the 1st decade of the 21st century but considering that nothing will be launched before SIHH in January I started thinking about the VC icons of the decade.

In comparaison to other barnds Vacheron Constantin has come a long way in terms of design and consistency in the past years, in fact the VC of 2010 seems to be totally different than the VC of 2004 (pre 250th anniversary)!
 
Vacheron Constantin always seemed like an understated brand who pushed its more consensual pieces and hushed its bolder designs and today it has a series of models which merge traditional watchmaking to audacious and contemporary designs. Not to mention the calibers which have among the highest level of finish in the industry.

Anyway I thought I'd share with you my personal vision of what I consider to be the 5 iconic VC's of the decade (in no particular order)

Please share yours

Tour de l’Ile 

Launched in 2005 in a limited edition of 7 as one of the 250th anniversary pieces it was at the time the world's most compicated timepiece. A double sided watch it featured complications such as minute repeater, perpetual calendar, tourbillon, celestial chart, time of sunrise/sunset and equation of time. Vacheron Constantin sqeezed 250 years of know how and savoir faire in 47mm and proved to the worlds its mastery and expertise in complications. It remains a milestone in VC's history which gave way to less complicated yet not less impressive pieces. It also remains the most expensive modern timepiece to ever be auctioned (CHF 1.8 million)

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade


Quai de l'Ile
The watch that took the watch world by surprise! The design and concept was so bold for such a traditional brand that some of the old time collectors were shook up and turned their backs on the watch. For VC it was proof that traditional watch making was compatible with modern designs. The dial played with transparency enabling one to glimpse ate the stunning finish of the calibers. The case with its "lego" construction permitted the owner to personalize it with a choice of metals. People used to say that VC didn't have a watch which was immediately recognizable, well now ther's the QDI!

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade


Les Historiques American 1921 
Les Historiques line for VC is to pay tribute to some of the iconic models from their heritage, these are low production/conversation pieces. The success of the American 1921...inspired by a model made for the North American market in 1921 was tremendous. A huge hit not only commercially but in terms of overall design

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade


Patromony Contemporaine
A watch which characterises VC's essence and one of two in my list to have been launched before 2005. This is one of those watches which will certainly remain in the VC line up for years, it is the brands signature watch and will be immediately identified to it, something like VC's equivalent to the Reverso or the Calatrava. Design wonderkid Eric Giroud who designs the outlandish watches drom MB&F, Rebellion, Opus 9... wears one!

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade


Les Metiers d'Arts Les Masques
One of Vacheron Constantin's signature's is the use of tradition art crafts such as engine turning, engraving or enamelling. The Masques was tribute to the primary arts of Asia, North America, Oceania and Africa. The masks on the dials are reproductions of pieces found in Geneva's Barbier Muller collection which is the world's largest private collection of Prmary arts. What could have been just a gimmick turned out to be a breathtaking piece of horological art. The masks being the centerpiece  and placed on a tinted transparent dial making them look as if they are floating above.

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade


Overseas  
The Overseas model may not come immediately to mind whan thinking of a high end sports watch as the Royal Oak or Nautilus have had a great head start but where VC seemed to consider the Overseas as a family of products which it didn't want to overdevelop in the past years it has put a lot of emphasis on redesigning the model and offering different combinations including the stunning rose gold models as well as the younger more urban steel/titanium versions. It has been around for 14 years, probably the model which has been on the VC catalogue the longest!

5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade

I agree with you Alex!
10/05/2010 - 14:13

But maybe instead of Overseas, we can put Malte tourbillon? Just my view...

The Patrimony Contemporaine looks gorgeous indeed!  I am glad I still have mine.

Patrimony Trad Chrono (pink gold) and 1955...
10/05/2010 - 16:07
...would definitely be on my list, along with Overseas, Patrimony Contemporaine and the 1921.  Talking of the 1921 and how successful it has been, is VC contractually bound not to produce more than the stated number? Seems a shame such a popular watch can't reach a wider audience.
Re: 5 Vacheron Constantin icons of the decade
10/06/2010 - 11:38

Great list Alex. I think that the VC Openworked Minute Repeater (whether RG or Platinum) and the Patrimony Extra Slim are also a worthy mention for among the most iconic VC watches.

I agree but since both date before 2000 I didn't include them :-)
10/06/2010 - 13:12
.
Re: I agree but since both date before 2000 I didn't include them :-)
10/06/2010 - 15:19
Oh ok, you mean top VC icons of the Decade...I was reading in a hurry and didnt realise. :-) Alex, on a completely different tangent, if you had to pick one VC (not Tour De I'lle) which represents VC Greatness - one watch which represents what this great brand is about, what would you pick? I was thinking the Openworked Minute Repeater. It has got the classic Patrimony Proportions, it is extra slim, amazing openworking, and a high-end minute repeater...
the VC of all time? Would be the skeleton minute repeater in
10/06/2010 - 17:16
either configuration platinum: rose gold:
Thanks for the pics...
10/07/2010 - 12:44
...so you agree with my choice?
yes sir :-)
10/07/2010 - 13:00
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