Introduced at SIHH but in stores now — just in time for the fall and holiday season — is the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase and Retrograde Date watch. The complicated yet classically elegant self-winding watch is actually user friendly and carries the highest seal in Switzerland: the Hallmark of Geneva.
The Patrimony, as the names suggests, is a collection that exemplifies Vacheron Constantin’s rich history in watchmaking prowess. This new model boasts a moon phase complication and retrograde date. The retrograde function or complication is not always seen in wristwatches. In this watch, the retrograde date is displayed on a semi circle or arc on the dial. Once the end of the month has been ticked off, the hand will jump back to the beginning of the sequence to start again. Vacheron has constructed this particular piece with a display that will require no adjustments for 122 years.
The piece will be offered in two different precious metals, pink gold and white gold. The dial of the watch is incredibly legible. In addition to the hours and minutes, as well s the retrograde date arc, there is a beautiful moon phase display on the lower portion of the dial. For the moon phase, the moon and stars are set against a black backdrop which allows it to pop when contrasted on the background. Around the arc of the Moon Phase indicator is a graduated scale that displays the number of days that have passed since the last new moon. The lyrical complication is displayed in accordance with the lunar cycle around the Earth, which lasts 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The complication will require a one day adjustment just once every 122 years. The silver opaline dial is subtly raised around the rim and features a pearl minute tracker and tapered applied hour markers in either pink or white gold depending on the base metal selected.
Powered by the new self-winding calibre 2460 R31L, the watch movement consists of 275 parts and offers 40 hours of power reserve. The first position of the crown is used to wind the watch. While in the second position, when the crown is wound clockwise, the user is able to set the date, and when wound counter clockwise the moonphase can be adjusted. The third position sets the time. The reverse side of the watch offers a sapphire display back that allows a view of the Calibre 2460 R31L. The 22k gold oscillating weight is decorated with the symbol of the brand, the Maltese Cross.
This watch makes for a heck of an upgrade in a dress watch. The seldom-used retrograde date feature guarantees the piece will standout even more with a harmoniously balanced dial and a bit of classic vintage appeal. I must admit, I have a soft place in my heart for the elegance of a well done Moon Phase complication, but the moon and stars on this dial shine just remind me subtly of the infinity of space and time itself. Yes, I really like this watch. Nothing else left to say.
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Caliber 2460 R31L
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
27.2 mm (11’’’1⁄2) diameter, 5.4 mm thick Approximately 40 hours of power reserve 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Indications Hours, minutes, retrograde date, precision moon phase, age of the moon
Case 18K white gold or rose gold
42.5 mm diameter, 9.7 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
Dial Silvered opaline Convex external zone
18K white gold (or rose gold) moon disc
18K white gold (or rose gold) applied hour-markers and 18K circular “pearl” minute-track
Strap Black Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Buckle 18K white gold or rose gold
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped