I know there were quite a few of novelties at SIHH 2008 but (sorry to say) they are not even worth mentioning compared to the launch of the new Quai de l’Ile line. It is the kind of watch (line) that absolutely reflects all my expectations as to the VC as a finest watchmaker on the market. I instantly became a fan of the watch, not to mention I love the modern design on it. The pieces from the new collection are stunning. They impersonate a bridge between the heritage of Vacheron Constantin and its future undertakings. The concept behind Quai de l’Ile, the design and the whole package it delivers to its end user is an awesome milestone in the history of watchmaking. It definitely puts VC way ahead of any watch manucture in the world and others will have to follow suit.
What I find very special about Quai de l’Ile is the personalization without having to pay a premium on it - like you have to do when ordering a bespoke model. What you get in the end is a watch with a very personal touch to it. You get involved in the process of assembly of the piece right from the beginning and it is yours forever. Plus all the extra things you get along the way: the passport and the special kit... And this is only the beginning, as Mr. Torress said during the official presentation at SIHH. This means the entire line will develop soon. New designs, new complications and new combinations and possibilities will be introduced shortly. That is extremely promising...
I had a chance to try the new Quai de l’Ile watches several times during the presentation at the dinner and in several combinations at the SIHH presentation. The watch wears great on the wrist. Its large size (41 mm) is perfect, really feels like a smaller size watch. It comes both with a leather and a rubber strap. The leather adds to the elegance of the piece. The rubber one makes it look and feel sportier. The watch offers three basic metal choices: titanium, palladium and rose gold. It also offers three shades of dial: dark, grey and light. By choosing a certain metal and dial you can go from a sportier look (titanium) to more elegant (RG) and sophisticated elegance(Palladium) with the watch. Imagine what you get when you combine the metals, dials and rotor finish... Just your own, personal watch - a dream come true.
The design of the dial is really outstanding - open face with imprints on the crystal - a unique solution deeply embedded in VC's historical watches (open face with the movement insight) and modern design imprints. This all adds up to an incredible, one-of-a-kind & state-of-the-art watch.
Of the two models available for the time being I prefer the Date only one. The dial on it seems a bit more legible than the Day/Date/PR (although you can see more in-depth of the movement into the dial). The Day/Date/PR uses the exact same calibre as the Jubilee 1755 watch. Having the watch in the collection already brings me closer to the decision of ordering the Date only model.
The personalization will be available on the complicated watch right away while the Date only fans will have to wait for that feature/addition for the next 6-12 months (it will be available in three basic versions in the beginning). Anyway, VC claims that the personalized model will be delivered within three motnhs from the order date, short isn't it?
Anyway, I can't wait for the orders to start on the Quai de l’Ile line...