my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

Two models from Vacheron Constantin have blown me away in such a way that I told myself that I would actually want to build a collection around the different variations: The Mercator and the Quai de l’Ile.

When I first saw the Quai de l’Ile in 2008 the first thing I said was “WOW” and the second was “I want one”.

Here was my all time favourite brand renewing with its avant garde and audacious designs of the past and presenting a new model range encompassing everything I like in contemporary watchmaking: beautiful modern design, cutting edge technology merged with good old watchmaking!

Vacheron Constantin proved here that traditional watchmaking was still alive and that to be modern you didn’t have to cross out what makes a high end watch stand out: a perfect mix of design and technique and impeccable movement finish.

No use of weird dental hygiene metals, PVD overkill or organic design gimmicks in this baby!

Some with a rather conservative mind will certainly be put off by Vacheron Constantin’s new approach via the Quai de l’Ile but it is easy to not to take risks and to give the public exactly what it is waiting for. It is leagues away from “pre-marketed” over designed watches which are bizarre for the sake of being bizarre that too many brands have been bombarding us with lately. The Quai de l’Ile is not a concept watch nor a conversation piece but a real watch part of a whole new collection which the owner can build as his own and meant to be worn.

Anyway the long and short of it is that I had bought a palladium time only model last year but the itch for a personalised version was really killing me so I had to sell my time only and after having waited 2 months received my day/date model with palladium case, titanium flanks and dark grey ruthenium plated dial. 

my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

I wish the titanium was sand blasted and not polished as to have a greater contrast
my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

notice the ruthenium plated rotor
my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

seems that legibility was an issue so VC have replaced the previous silver hands for black ones 
my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile

The watch has hardly been off my wrist in the past month and is definitely one of my all time favorites, it wears perfectly well and a sight to behold, so many times I just find myself staring at it just because it gives me so much pleasure 

For those interested in reading more on the QDI click here

Wow! I love it and I want one!
12/16/2009 - 17:34
Congratulations on such a magnificent piece Alex. Thank you for sharing these great pictures, some wrist shots would be cool too. I hope it brings you many years of pleasure. Now, if I could just afford one. Best, Mike
here's the (hairy) wrist shot
12/16/2009 - 18:37
taken 5 mins ago
Looks great on the wrist....
12/16/2009 - 22:56
Thanks for the write-up and pics.   Happy holidays!
it really is one of those watches which I don't want to take off!
12/17/2009 - 10:31
It fits your wrist perfectly! Very nice! (nt)
12/16/2009 - 23:51
Re: here's the (hairy) wrist shot
12/17/2009 - 17:43
Its a great looking watch, Alex! I really do like this combintion and dial. Congratulations, wear it in the best of health! Joseph
Re: here's the (hairy) wrist shot
12/17/2009 - 23:11
Each to their own, but I just don't get it. For one thing, I am pleased you made it clear that you took the photo 5 mins prior to the posting... that way I could tell what time the watch was showing. Sorry! Now, let's get Veillotron back and raving about his QP! Now, for that, I would go through all kinds of hoops!
Great combo on a great piece!
12/18/2009 - 12:34
Hope to join the club in 2010!
Even though I ain't got a shot of reading this wonderful dial...
12/16/2009 - 18:32
I'd hardly ever take it off my wrist either. I'd just carry my Patek pocket watch to tell time! She's a real beauty! Luca
Grazie amigo :-) (nt)
12/17/2009 - 10:32
12/16/2009 - 20:10
A truly wonderful timepiece. When you think about it, both the QDI and the Mercator show the top-end of technical abilities in the aestetic field: metalwork, dial making and overall design. This model particularly shows what makes VC special. They know to go with the times. Can't imagine any other manufacture creating such a piece. PP anyone?
I agree with you 100% (nt)
12/17/2009 - 10:33
Re: my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile
12/16/2009 - 20:41
Unbeleivable. I have not had the chance to see it in the flesh so far, but after all the photographs to date, I had doubts about its legibility, despite all the perfectly made and (very probably) worked-on photos.  I don't know whether it is just the ruthenium dial and black hands, or you have been using the photoshop , but it looks fantastic and very, very legible.  Well, all I can say is,  I really, really want one lilke this......... Lucky you  
the black hands really make a difference (nt)
12/17/2009 - 10:34
Re: my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile
12/17/2009 - 03:06
Man, that is one awesome watch.  When I first saw pictures of the Quai de l'Ile, I was shall we say a bit underimpressed, but the more I look at the watch, the more I like it.  The change of hands was a plus.  Now, what can I sell .
the QDI has one of those designs which may need getting used to but
12/17/2009 - 10:35
once there it doesn't leave you.
Re: my Palladium/Titanium Quai de l'Ile
12/17/2009 - 10:37
You already have the black hands before anyone else The new hands make the watch very legible ... but aesthetically I prefer the previous version! By the way, a very wonderful watch Thank you for your review Alex!! :D
I believe that those who already have a QDI with the silver
12/17/2009 - 12:49
hands can also change to black.
Now for something completely different
12/19/2009 - 04:56
How about white hands with a darker background.  You photoshoppers could try it out.  I find the watch very innovative, but still difficult to read.  The watch I can easily read with white hands/black face is the speedy w/enamel dial.  I'm curious if the QDI would work with a darker border and white hands.  I guess I could have it my way if I asked with the cabinotiers service!
12/18/2009 - 02:43
Time to change the Masterhead.
Congrats !
12/21/2009 - 13:51
This watch is marvellous ! I just tried a gold date version, and I must say the legibility problem is completely solved in this version. But seeing the mechanics of the day date is a great pleasure too... Hard choice indeed. Best regards François