Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!


For those interested on a feature article on the Quai de l'Ile : Vacheron Constantin's Bohemian Rhapsody

I'm not doing an owner's review but you can read an excellent article by Duncan Wang: Duncan's review


I love the Quai de l’Ile! For me its one of the coolest watches from a mainstream brand (read not an independent artisan) launched in ages. And to put my money where my mouth is, a few weeks back I purchased a time only model in palladium.

Sometimes when you meet a person, listen to a song or see a painting it just clicks, that special cord in you is hit and you just know that this is it! This was definitely the case when I saw the first CAD drawings of the Quai de l’Ile and later the actual watches… both a breath of fresh air and a huge smack in the face. The chord was strung and I was hooked…or doomed depending on how you look at it Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

I know that the QDI is a love/hate design and something so different from the typical classical watches we are used to seeing from Vacheron Constantin but let’s face it, we have entered a new era in watchmaking where those in their 30s-40s who are starting to get interested in horology want something different from what their fathers were wearing: enter the world of design. However the problem was that until now you rarely (if ever) had high horology mixed with design and a prestigious name.

I think that the image we have from VC is rather warped from what we have seen in the 90s where the brand produced very classical watches but if you look back at the brand’s historical pieces you will see that they were always on the forefront of design and creativity: playing with lugs, sizes and shapes : a short article on VC's avant garde designs


With the Quai de l’Ile VC actually created a new market: design oriented haute horlogerie (put aside the niche brands such as Mille, MB&F or Urwerk), and they had the courage to actually create a whole new collection and not just apply this design to a few concept watches or ultra limited pieces…

I think kudos should be given to VC for having had the guts and courage to do something like the Quai de l’Ile. It is always easy not to ever take risks and stick to old and tested designs but here VC is opening a path and a few years down the line the Quai de l’Ile will be like David Lynch’s Eraserhead or Massive Attack’s Blue Lines: creating a new genre, becoming a classical that many would want to copy but never reaching the same level.

The watch itself is fascinating; the case is just amazing with its brushed and polished surfaces. I love the way the white paddle rotates around the dial highlighting the date. Depending on the angle the dial is looked at, it can look grey, brown or even aubergine…it really has an original effect! I wear it with a brown rubber strap and believe me it has hardly left my wrist for the past month. So what’s the next step? I definitely do want a day/date model either in titanium/palladium or titanium/rose gold, and from there on I would love to build a QDI collection and if what I think will be launched next year will be launched then I definitely want one Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!


Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!

Why I love the Quai de l'Ile and why I got one!
Nice one
02/18/2009 - 20:46
Alex, Nice one; how did you get it passed your chicken?
chicken? (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:12
e
You know
02/20/2009 - 18:51
"Chick" en
Simple. I told her it was a prototype that I was testing!!! (nt)
02/21/2009 - 09:38
.
I definitely looked more on your wrist than face!
02/18/2009 - 23:14
But a question, isn't it uncomfortable with rubber, I always feel that when sailing, and having rubber at my wrists! I suppose you have leather also, which do you prefer, in wearing, not style ? Hej! Doc
I don't like the croc strap with the QDI, just doesn't look
02/20/2009 - 11:14
right! I would love to see maybe a more modern composite strap though....
Most definitely the QdI is one of my favorite VCs. It is everything...
02/18/2009 - 23:41
I have expected of the brand. It is by far the best watch concept in decades IMHO. I love it as much as you do or even more and am green with envy. I have seen the watch in the metal and it looked really cool on your wrist Enjoy every second of it BTW, your writing skills and the suspense are getting better and better  
My friend we are on the same wave lenght :-) (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:15
e
Congratulations Alex! Welcome to the club...
02/19/2009 - 00:34
I know exactly how you felt when you first saw the Quai de l'Ile and when you said "that special cord in you is hit and you just know that this is it".  I still vividly remember my initial reaction in Geneva upon seeing the watches and the first word out of my mouth was "Wow!"  I knew immediately that I wanted this timepiece and since getting mine last year, it has been one of two watches that have had almost exclusive wrist time. Congrats again!  I know that you will wear and enjoy it for many years to come and I am with you on the next one being a customized Day-Date model. Cheers, Duncan
its a good club to be a part of :-) (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:15
e
Thank you, Alex!
02/19/2009 - 02:47
A terrific write-up on the watch and fantastic pics. You've almost got me convinced. Joseph
almost convinced? C'mon take the plunge :-) (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:16
e
your enthusiasm is contagious. QDI is a milestone in VC history
02/19/2009 - 16:31
NT
agree with you Tourbillon (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:17
e
Congrats, Alex!
02/20/2009 - 06:14
I was finally able to handle the QdI when I was in NY recently. Alas, I don't anticipate joining any QdI owner's club. While I appreciate all the design elements, especially the case of the palladium and gold models, the whole just doesn't sing to me. I guess I have a bias towards the more classically designed watches. It is neat that VC can cater to both our tastes. Bill
I know what you think of my tastes Bill :-) (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:24
e
Just beautiful Alex......
02/20/2009 - 07:20
wear it in the best of health! Best regards, Tom
Thanks Tom (nt)
02/20/2009 - 11:25
e
Congrats on the new addition!
02/21/2009 - 16:23

For me the jury is still out as I have not seen one in person.  I find the dial might be a bit too modern or adventurous for my tastes.  Still the case is very handsome and I love the side profile pix that show all the intricate details and angles of the case and lugs.  I look forward to seeing one in person maybe the next time I'm in New York.  Congrats and again and enjoy it in good health. Best regards, Dino

Thanks Dean, I can only urge you to have a closer look at the QDI (nt)
02/23/2009 - 11:10
e
Looks great on that rubber strap! nt
02/23/2009 - 18:25
nt