Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow


One of VC's major novelties this year was not a watch but a whole new model range which branches from the Patrimony: The patrimony Traditionnelle. 

We now have the Patrimony Contemporaine with a more sleek look and the Patrimony Traditionnelle whose design elements represent a thick bezel, knurled caseback featuring a screw-down sapphire crystal, facetted trapezoid hour-markers – double at 12 and 6 o’clock, dauphine hands and dials in several silvered tones and stepped lugs.

If you ask me I don't quite understand the "Traditional" in its name as I find this model range quite modern!!

Apart from the mouth watering Minute repeater/tourbillon/perpetual calendar (Cal 2755) and the skeleton perpetual calendar (which also come with hefty price tags) the Patrimony Traditionnelle range also introduced an automatic watch with a rather off beat seconds at 9 which I really like:

Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow

Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow


However, the use of an excentered sub seconds dial is not new at Vacheron Constantin and a model had been introduced with such an indication in 1935. It is interesting to note that this model was launched to celebrate the brand's 150th anniversary at a time where belief was that VC was created in 1785 and not 1755 (a few years later documents were found enabling to date its founding to 1755).

Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow

Lets forwind 71 years to 2006 when a special limited edition is launched for the Japanese market with a sub seconds also placed at 9. This model most probably was  announcing the arrival of the new Patrimony Traditionnelle automatic.

Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow

(scan courtesy of Time Tunnel)

Tomorrow ?

Photoshop genius Edwin Heuskinveld sent me his interpretation of the automatic but with a date subdial at 3 instead of an apperture.  I doubt this model will exist but it looks really good IMHO and most of all I can definately imagine a chronograph looking like thit and believe me it would be a killer!!!!

Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow

For more information and scans of the Patrimony Traditionnelle models have a look at the Articles section (SIHH 2007), you also have a very nice film in the Goodies section.

Re: Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow
08/16/2007 - 16:15

Hello Alex

would you know what the diameter of this serie is



The automatic model is 38mm, the perpetual is 39mm and the
08/16/2007 - 16:36

cal 2755 is 44mm

Thanks Alex, but I am absolutely not a PS Genius, far from that ...
08/16/2007 - 18:56

That LE VC for the Japanese market is absolutely breathtaking!! What material is its case made of?


Hi Edwin, welcome to the Lounge :-) The Japanese model exists
08/16/2007 - 19:08

in WG (pictured) and RG, 38mm diameter.

Don't tell me you want to be unfaithful to Lange...

Re: Hi Edwin, welcome to the Lounge :-) The Japanses model exists
08/16/2007 - 19:36

In addition, they also came out with a RG version with black dial, only for selected ADs (known as Malte Guild members).

Edwin a request: could you photoshop the Traditionel and turn it
08/17/2007 - 13:11

into a chronograph?

I'm sure it would look gorgeous!!


I like the watch, I like the vintage model and find the photoshped
08/16/2007 - 18:58

piece very attractive.

The Japan LE leaves me cold.

This is Why This Site Sets the Standard for Education of Watch History
08/16/2007 - 22:18

I do like the current traditional version but I REALLY love the Calatrava style case of the original. I also appreciate the position of the seconds at nine o'clock on the edge of the dial and not off set towards the center as in the current version. This current trend is not unique to VC and is seen in many other watches as small manufacture movements are gently placed in OVERSIZED cases.

The thin but large crown of the original may seem slightly effeminate in comparison to the current edition but very elegant.

Thanks for the pictorial history Alex.

Mike S.

Thanks Michael. The main issue with the bigger case size trend is that
08/17/2007 - 12:53

the movements need to stay rather small as to keep a width to thickness ratio and ithe wider the movement the thicker it needs to be for robustness and I wonder if a bigger movement (lets say 30mm) which would allow the sub seconds to be pushed to the periphery of the dial would not lead to the watch being too thick. I guess it could be a possibility if the movement was manual wind and you would save on the thickness of the rotor and ball bearings.

Re: Patrimony Traditionnelle auto: Yesterday, Today and maybe Tomorrow
08/17/2007 - 03:39

Thank you for that short history lesson, Alex.  Very interesting.

While I like the Cal 2755 and think the skeleton perpetual calendar is to die for, the Traditionelle automatic has yet to warm up to me.  The basic design elements you mentioned are okay per se, but somehow they leave me cold in the case of the automatic.  Maybe I find the shade of the dial too plain.  I definitely agree with Michael that the concept of having small seconds at 9 o'clock is good IF you have the right sized movement and case to achieve the ideal balance (that is, the subdial being positioned away from the center).  I am afraid this is not the case here though.  Apart from forcing the issue with the subdial, I think the situation is further compounded by the date aperture.  Of course my impressions might change once I get to see the watch in the metal.

I have seen the Japanese LE, which IMHO was a test mule for the Traditionelle auto, and this design likewise leaves me cold (there are still many left in the shelves of the ADs).  To put it positively, the watch has a very simplistic and pure design in a perfectly size case.  To put it negatively, the design is rather boring and the dial seems too flat (lacks depth).  In this respect, the Traditionelle auto is a big improvement.

I'm not a fan of the Japanese model however the seconds subdial looks
08/17/2007 - 12:54

much bigger than in the Patrimony Traditionnelle and I like that.