SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

The models object of this week's teasing! I've added the press release below but since its rather long, in a nutshell:

The Quai de l'Ile is a new collection with two new models introduced this year, the automatic using cal 2450 and day/date with power reserve using caliber 2475, both in house and with the Geneva Seal.

The 41mm cushion case is made of 38 components and comes in rose gold, palladium or titanium. The novelty here is that the watch can be personalised to the client's specification in any mix of the available metals, 2 dials (dark and light) and 2 types of movement finish (rhodium or ruthenium plated).

The transparent dial has a special treatment similar to bank notes and passports where certain elements have been inscribed on it but can been under certain light conditions! More on this when I get back from SIHH.

VC Press release:

Vacheron Constantin introduces Quai de l’Ile

Personalization, service, security, innovation: Spotlight on tomorrow’s watchmaking


The new Quai de l’Ile line from the Vacheron Constantin Manufacture introduces a unique dimension in the world of Haute Horlogerie.

Personalized to meet the client’s wishes, this resolutely contemporary watch combines the most advanced technologies with the finest horological savoir-faire. Innovative, original, contemporary and sophisticated, the Quai de l’Ile line meets the demands of tomorrow’s Haute Horlogerie: personalization, security, service, excellent workmanship and savoir-faire.

With its new Quai de l’Ile line – named after the brand’s historic Geneva address – the Vacheron Constantin Manufacture reveals its pioneering character while drawing on over two and a half centuries of experience.


The case is revolutionary, the dial incorporates a whole range of security-printing technologies, the two self-winding mechanical movements – stamped with the Geneva Hallmark – have been designed and developed at Vacheron Constantin, and the product’s accessories – box, passport, USB key and multimedia elements – break new ground in the world of watchmaking.

Characterised by both technology and tradition, this combination of elements constitutes the unique genetic heritage of Vacheron Constantin’s new Quai de l’Ile line, an innovative and resolutely contemporary line that embodies the notions of service and the special relationship with the customer.


Personalization, the ultimate luxury

Personalization is the ultimate expression of luxury. It is also the elemental link in the relationship between a customer and brand, between expectations and service. It is to strengthen this link and to offer a unique experience to its clientele that Vacheron Constantin has developed a concept of personalization that is totally new in Haute Horlogerie, a world first in fact. Thanks to the Quai de l’Ile case and its remarkable seven-piece middle, the customer can choose from three metals, two dials and two different finishes on the movements to realise the watch of his dreams. While the cushion-shaped case allows for an infinite number of combinations, Vacheron Constantin is offering almost 400 for this year’s launching.


Quai de l’Ile: a name, a history, a symbol

The Quai de l’Ile has been Vacheron Constantin’s historical address in Geneva since the 19th century, ever since Jean-François Constantin (1829-1900) had a building constructed there in 1873-1874. A visionary, he already felt the need to give the manufactory a place which would help it stand out in the world of Geneva’s Haute Horlogerie and give it a more international dimension. It has been from this busy place, located between the right and left banks of the Rhone, that Vacheron Constantin has continued to meet the ever more stringent demands of its customers.

This address soon became the symbol of an incomparable quality of service with the creation of personalized Haute Horlogerie timepieces that reflected the brand’s motto, “Do better if possible, which is always possible”. Kings and queens, aristocrats and powerful, leading families of the period followed each other to the Quai de l’Ile to order watches that met their dearest wishes.

It is from this enduring commitment to offer our customers ever more exceptional timepieces, which are faithful to the spirit of our founders, that the idea for the Quai de l’Ile line was born, a totally unique concept of personalization in the world of Haute Horlogerie.


Dynamic character
Designed in the dynamic of a sophisticated and contemporary line, the instantly identifiable Quai de l’Ile case expresses the tradition behind Vacheron Constantin’s 250+ years of history as well as the line’s resolutely innovative character. The case is cushion-shaped in the spirit of several historical models and its modernity is underscored by its dynamic character, fluid lines and original shapes, all of which give it a subtle balance.


Avant-garde technologies
The Quai de l’Ile’s complex mechanism can be seen through the line’s semi-transparent dials, which are an innovative blend of the world of watchmaking and the sophisticated, top-secret technologies of security printing. Art and cutting-edge technology, extreme precision and aesthetic creativity come together in these exclusive and secure dials, which have four patents pending.


The Manufacture’s signature

The new Quai de l’Ile line will be launched with two models: the Quai de l’Ile Date Self-winding and the Quai de l’Ile Day-Date and Power-Reserve Self-winding. Both movements are stamped with the prestigious Geneva Hallmark. Designed, developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, these state-of-the-art movements are coated with rhodium or ruthenium and visible through the dial. As well as indicating the hours, minutes and central seconds, the 2460QH calibre displays the date by means of a disc, while the 2475SC/1 calibre displays the date, day of the week and power reserve with hands.


Pair of straps
Each Quai de l’Ile model is delivered with two straps: one in black or dark-brown hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square-scaled alligator leather; the other in dark-brown or black vulcanised rubber, with a refined and elegant design. Both types of strap come with a new triple-folding, double-safety clasp with a half-Maltese-cross flap. Specially designed for the Quai de l’Ile line, this clasp matches the heart of the case and has a polished (palladium or pink gold) or satined (titanium) finish.


Secure environment
Vacheron Constantin was determined to push to the limits the concept of security that is the hallmark of the Quai de l’Ile line. The innovative product environment is an integral and extended part of the security and inviolability that characterise the dials. A Vacheron Constantin passport offering similar standards of protection and quality as a Swiss passport will accompany every watch in the line for its lifetime. An innovative box, a USB key and a multimedia tool - all very original elements for a Haute Horlogerie watch - have been designed to correspond in every way to the watch’s contemporary character.


Pushing back the limits

With its sophisticated and contemporary character, the new Quai de l’Ile line (identified by its cushion shape) will develop alongside Vacheron Constantin’s two main pillars, the Malte (tonneau) and the Patrimony (round). It will be distinguished by its sophisticated technologies and its distinctive concept of personalization. The launching of the Quai de l’Ile line represents a milestone in Vacheron Constantin’s history, with the concept of personalization pushing back even further the limits of exclusiveness that the Geneva-based manufactory has made its own.

Quai de l’Ile The ultimate luxury of personalization

With its novel concept of personalization, the Quai de l’Ile line has given Haute Horlogerie a new dimension.

Sophisticated, bold and resolutely innovative, this contemporary line has achieved the feat of marrying the most sophisticated technologies to over 250 years of horological savoir-faire. As a result, Vacheron Constantin is determining the shape of tomorrow’s watchmaking.


An ambassador of horological excellence for over 250 years, Vacheron Constantin has always endeavoured to give its customers excellent service, just as it has always been a point of honour to give its movements the finest finishing. Vacheron Constantin has always considered these special decorations, whether they are visible or not, as hallmarks of Haute Horlogerie.

By linking the notions of service and personalization in this new line, the Geneva-based manufacture has taken a further step in this direction. And giving customers the opportunity to create their own watch revives the spirit of the Cabinotiers, which is so important to the brand. This is a watch that will forge an instant and privileged relationship between designer and brand and one that, at the end of the creative process, will assert its unique character.

Participating in the creation of such a personal object and playing an active role in determining its final aspect will be an unforgettable experience. In this sense, Vacheron Constantin is placing the customer right at the centre of the process and thereby determining the shape of tomorrow’s watchmaking.

Vacheron Constantin is a pioneer through and through. Giving concrete expression to the innovative concept of personalization in the Quai de l’Ile line is further evidence of this. But this is personalization of a new kind, a world first in the world of Haute Horlogerie, and is only made possible by the very complex construction of the 7-part case middle.


Transparency and architecture
A watch from the new Quai de l’Ile line makes an immediate impact. Its semi-transparent dial is fascinating, its suspended displays astonishing, its distinguished, modern case appealing and its combination of materials intriguing. The case has been designed and developed in a resolutely avant-garde and architectural dynamic and lies at the heart of the personalization process. With a dial embodying the very latest security-printing technologies and a cushion-shaped case, the designers opted for a theme of transparency and avant-garde design. The technology invested in the case, as well as the vigour and power that emanate from it, will satisfy the most demanding enthusiasts of technical prowess, luxury and exclusiveness.


rose gold automatic with cal 2460:

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

cal 2460:

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

Day/date with power reserve in Paladium

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

Palladium-titanium

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

RG-titanium

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

Titanium

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

cal 2475

SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!

04/06/2008 - 11:35
Doc
04/06/2008 - 13:03
Doc
04/06/2008 - 13:42
04/06/2008 - 15:04
04/06/2008 - 13:05
LN
04/06/2008 - 13:13
04/06/2008 - 13:34
04/06/2008 - 16:02
04/06/2008 - 20:30
04/06/2008 - 21:52
04/06/2008 - 23:14
04/07/2008 - 11:46
04/07/2008 - 00:24
04/07/2008 - 01:05
04/07/2008 - 14:14
04/07/2008 - 15:48
04/07/2008 - 20:08
KCC
04/08/2008 - 03:00
04/09/2008 - 18:19
KCC
04/08/2008 - 03:00
I am falling in love...
04/06/2008 - 11:35

... AMAZING watch

In my opinion and of what I saw Basel or SIHH novelties of this year, this Quai de l'Île is the most wonderful "simple" watch

I love it I love it I love it!!!!!!

All is breathtaking, the case's line, its size; the dials; the movement finishing.

Have you got some other pics with the rubber strap please Alex? ...and info on the price?

To make a small criticism, I am more perplexed on the packaging, passport, usb key etc.

I look forward to being in next Saturday to go to see this in SIHH

I think it's fantastic !
04/06/2008 - 13:03

It's a completely new line, still with the history deeply embedded,  wow!

I can figure it with a more classic dial.

But just have a look at this Vacheron&Constantin from early 60's,

a Royal Chronometer, and compare that with the front picture,

of the Day/date with power reserve in Paladium 

It will be a hit, and we will see a new trend developing

Cheers

Doc

and I'm scared!
04/06/2008 - 13:42

It's love at first sight, this has happened to me once, exactly 30 years ago,

when I met my wife (!), but never with watches

I got her, and I feel I got to get one of these

Doc  again...

Re: and I'm scared!
04/06/2008 - 15:04

I hope your wife doesn't read TheHourLounge!

FAN-TA-STIC!
04/06/2008 - 13:05

This is a wonderful Timpe piece
04/06/2008 - 13:13

I hope that I will be able just to try it

AMAZING, SUPERB!!!!!
04/06/2008 - 13:34

What a wonderful creation!!! I think VC has really outdone itself this done!!

Beautiful, modern, powerful, cool... I am in love again...

The dial is to die for, and so is the case. And size, at 41mm, is just perfect!

Congrats to VC for introducing the concept of personalization - I had been waiting for a long time for this to happen...

And it is a VERY good news that this model will be affordable (I can´t wait to see what the MSRP will be). I really can´t wait to try it on tomorrow...

Looks stunning! VC has new models, yes!
04/06/2008 - 14:07

The paladium version looks beautiful! Thanks Alex.

Indeed a very beautiful watch,
04/06/2008 - 14:16

Looking forward to see it in the flesh on time.

Cheers,

Michel

"Oldest In Tradition Foremost In Progress"
04/06/2008 - 14:41

Is a solgan from there ads in the late 40's earlty 50's. It seems there trying to get back to this. While I reserve judgement till I see it in the metal I like the direction VC has been going from since there 250th anniversiry collection.

Hopefully I was seated when I looked at the pics.
04/06/2008 - 14:56

I cannot describe my feeling so much that those watches are astounding!

Of course, it's necessary to see them in the flesh, but from your report, description and those few pics, it is worth to go ahead more closely.

Size is just large enough to feel well to wear, the choice of combining metals/dials/movement is some kind of luxury, and a great opportunity for VC aficionados.

Just wait for more pics, discussion... and price level of course...

Re: SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Ile!!
04/06/2008 - 15:01

These timepieces are stunning .

Ouchi Mama !
04/06/2008 - 16:02

What a timepiece !! Day after day, due to the way you teased, I was more and more scared to fall in love with this new one; and I was right...

The whole watch is consistant, with this mix of tradition and modernity; I specially like the lugs which keep the VC touch. I'm looking forward to seeing one in the flesh... Please give us a.s.a.p. the retail price in order to determine if this love will remain platonic or not.

WOW... this opens up a new chapter of
04/06/2008 - 19:40

casual yet elegant timepiece in the watchworld. Definitely worth the wait. Very unique and great design (especially looking from side shot).

Good stuff. Keep them coming :)

Two questions
04/06/2008 - 20:30

A wonderful new line of watches...

But now I have two questions : when will we be able to touch them and what will be the price of the dream ?

available starting Sept/Oct as for prices I do not have them yet but
04/07/2008 - 11:44

should start at around euro 20k

Thank you Alex
04/07/2008 - 15:19

It let me time to save money...

Quai de l'Ile!!....worth the wait: FANTASTIC
04/06/2008 - 21:05

When this new range will be available ...in the Geneva boutique for instance??

Just incredible: VC back on top!

Thanks for all this info Alex!!

Best.

Kiko.

Re: SIHH:Vacheron Constantin introduces a new collection: Quai de l'Il
04/06/2008 - 21:06

I think this is a fanastic looking watch and a great concept for personalization.  By providing all the choices, VC gives the aficionado a wide range of budget possibilities. I look forward to more details! Congtaulations V C!

Fascinating watches!!!!!!
04/06/2008 - 21:52

Love the time and date, first pic, fantastic case, inventive, beautful.

WOW! This is really interesting. Bravo VC!!

Bold architecture - very avant garde!
04/06/2008 - 22:40

nt

You said it, avant garde is the word ! nt
04/07/2008 - 17:10

vc

What the......???
04/06/2008 - 23:14

Very, very, very interesting.  Where does the line form on Monday to order one of these puppies?  But which one & in which combination.  My head is spinning.  The articles mentions 400 are to be available the first year.  Are some already made & waiting for sale, or is it truly a personal order?  Has a special staff been employed to handle assembly of these orders?  And what is that rotor made from?  It's not the usual gold we expect.

I note from the article that Malte is now defined as "tonneau", Patrimony "round" & Quai de l'Ile as "cushion".  But there are so many Malte round-shaped models.  Malte also has its signature lugs.  Has this changed?

So many questions & Alex is off having fun..... 

Congratulations, VC, on these spectacular new masterpieces & an innovative new relationship with your customers. 

Nicholas 

some answers
04/07/2008 - 11:46

the QdI will be available in 400 different combinations and the Malte line will slowly phase out the round models and become exclusively tonneau

I like the cushion ...
04/07/2008 - 00:24

as a concept, and the new Quai de l'Ile collection reminds me of the these from 30's and 40's, which I love but couldn't yet get my hands on:

(Internet sources)

At first sight, I like better the version of Date/Day PR in RG-titanium. It seems cleaner. Looking to seeing them in flesh.

Oh my, VC hits the nail again!

Cheers,

Jian

Cushion or not cushion...,
04/07/2008 - 17:09

or if it wears the lines of the Royal Chronometer wristwatch,

that's not the most important, Jian !

In fact it's both and a lot more

The most important is that Vacheron&Constantin have at last created a NEW LINE !

A line from which several followers hopefully will follow,

and that it is once again, avant garde

No other modern watch is looking like these,

it's pure VC all the way, with it's unique history in every detail

But, it will probably not be an instep model

Anyhow, we are at last both happy,

that I know, my friend !

Cheers

Doc

love the cushion shaped doctor's chronographs...
04/09/2008 - 20:51

any more info on them, Jian?

Extremely nice
04/07/2008 - 01:05

My favourite is the Pink gold one !

The skeleton dial but with a great time reading, is a great achievement

Vacheron did a marvellous job !

Bernard

All I can say is quantum leap! PP be scared
04/07/2008 - 05:23

KC

I'm in love!
04/07/2008 - 14:14

Amazing!!! - Well done VC!
04/07/2008 - 14:18

I love them

Amazing!!!!!
04/07/2008 - 15:48

I have as a rule to dedicate my weekends to my wife and not to deal with work or go anywhere near my computer unless it is absolutely necessary. During the last 20 days I broke this rule twise. Once for the Hl anniversary and again yesterday for the introduction of the new VC models. When I saw the Quai de l'Ile I justified myself. It is amazing.

IMHO to make a watch that is extremely modern and at the same time elegant and classy, a watch that is refresingly new but at the same time incorporates VC's history, in order to produce a totally original line that is distinctivey VC you need a huge accumulation of talents. Just check Doc's and Jians posts or this minute repeater pw from, believe it or not, 1906. Yes this piece is 102 years old.

George

Yes, isn't nice, V&C avant garde again ! nt
04/07/2008 - 16:53

vc

Incredibly beautiful new watches!!
04/07/2008 - 19:22

I think the design and beauty inside and out of this new model is just fantastic! Does anyone know what the retail prices may be for the different variations of the Quai de l'Ile? Great job VC, I cannot wait to see one in person!

Best Regards,

Mike

I'm still undecided...
04/07/2008 - 20:08

It looks like a lot of people love these new pieces and the new line, but I am still a bit undecided.... Maybe I am too traditionalist to like the titatium and "mechanics" look of the piece, I don't know... I like "uncomplicated dials...

I would pick the day/date version over the other one if I had to choose.

Alex, can you elaborate on the following:

"The case is revolutionary, the dial incorporates a whole range of security-printing technologies, the two self-winding mechanical movements – stamped with the Geneva Hallmark – have been designed and developed at Vacheron Constantin, and the product’s accessories – box, passport, USB key and multimedia elements – break new ground in the world of watchmaking. "

What are these box, passport, USB key, multimedia elements, etc, they are refering to?

What does it say on the dials?
04/07/2008 - 20:11

It looks like there is a lot of texts on the two different dials. Can anyone read them, or knows what is written?

This
04/08/2008 - 03:00

Metallization is the act of covering a surface with a fine metallic deposit, in this case sprayed white gold. Illegible without the aid of a magnifying glass, the metalized micro-texts on the dial of the Quai de l’Ile Day-Date and Power-Reserve Self-winding model – around the day and date counters in a horizontal eight symbolising infinity – reproduce an extract, translated into English, of a letter written by Jaques-Barthélémy Vacheron to his associate François Constantin on 21 March 1829, complimenting him on the acquisition of new clients in Italy: Geneva 21 March 1829, “ …we continually work to improve our quality so that you will often have this kind of rich news, you may rest assured that our watchmaking is worth more in quality if only by all the improvements that we have made, and we still have much more to do before reaching the goal we set ourselves.” The Quai de l’Ile Date Self-winding model bears a second extract, also translated into English, from the annals of Vacheron Constantin. The letter was sent from Italy by François Constantin in July 1819. This is right at the beginning of the Vacheron & Constantin partnership and the unwavering confidence that François Constantin expresses in his letters for his friend and associate Jaques- Barthélémy Vacheron is already apparent here: "With your able assistance, I promise you that we will make as much from watchmaking as all the commercial travellers together.... I assure you that we will be strong: our watchmaking is highly esteemed here, by continuing to do better if possible and that is always possible."

Thanks!
04/09/2008 - 18:19

That's a lot of writing on those dials! I thought it was going to be just a small little text.

You really can't read it without a magnifying glass? Is it just for the aesthetics on the dial then?

This
04/08/2008 - 03:00

Metallization is the act of covering a surface with a fine metallic deposit, in this case sprayed white gold. Illegible without the aid of a magnifying glass, the metalized micro-texts on the dial of the Quai de l’Ile Day-Date and Power-Reserve Self-winding model – around the day and date counters in a horizontal eight symbolising infinity – reproduce an extract, translated into English, of a letter written by Jaques-Barthélémy Vacheron to his associate François Constantin on 21 March 1829, complimenting him on the acquisition of new clients in Italy: Geneva 21 March 1829, “ …we continually work to improve our quality so that you will often have this kind of rich news, you may rest assured that our watchmaking is worth more in quality if only by all the improvements that we have made, and we still have much more to do before reaching the goal we set ourselves.” The Quai de l’Ile Date Self-winding model bears a second extract, also translated into English, from the annals of Vacheron Constantin. The letter was sent from Italy by François Constantin in July 1819. This is right at the beginning of the Vacheron & Constantin partnership and the unwavering confidence that François Constantin expresses in his letters for his friend and associate Jaques- Barthélémy Vacheron is already apparent here: "With your able assistance, I promise you that we will make as much from watchmaking as all the commercial travellers together.... I assure you that we will be strong: our watchmaking is highly esteemed here, by continuing to do better if possible and that is always possible."

Absolutely beautiful! V&C is on a roll!
04/07/2008 - 21:08

e

I appear to be in the minority, but I have my doubts.
04/09/2008 - 11:50

With all those parts, is it water-resistant and will it stay that way? What about accuracy? Couldn't the performance have been improved if Vacheron had used a movement the filled up more of the case? Is counterfeiting such an issue that the whole passport business is really functional? A pretty face is nice, but (a) horological standards must be maintained and (b) Vacheron's marketing should make clear that those standards remain of paramount importance. Harumph.

some answers / thoughts
04/09/2008 - 21:11

The water restistance is 30m, which basically is enough for humid weather and rain but not for swimming, the reason is that the case parts ar fit and not soldered.

Regarding accuracy the movements used are the same as in the Patrimony Contemporaine Automatic (40mm) or the Jubilé 1755 (40mm). I'm not sure in what way the movement size vs case size could adversley affect accuracy.

The counterfieting issue is more a sales/marketing statement in my opinion however I do not see in which way VC's horological standars are not mantained as the watches not only use inhouse calibers finished to the nth degree with the Geneva Seal but the finish can for once be seen via the transparent dials.