Vacheron Constantin : Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date


It seems to be the year of retrogrades of Vacheron Constantin as they introduce a new color in platinum for the Maisons quintessential dress watch at Watches and Wonders 2023 – the platinum Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date with a salmon-colored dial.

A Background

In 1935, Vacheron Constantin received an order from its official retailer in Madrid, for a wristwatch featuring a minute repeater and calendar indications, with a retrograde hand. Four years later a tonneau-shaped wristwatch in yellow gold, distinguished by a crown at 12 o’clock and a minute repeater with deliberately low tones were delivered – Reference 3620, now known as the Don Pancho.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 3620 - the Don Pancho.
Vacheron Constantin Reference 3620 – the Don Pancho.

Another remarkable model unveiled in 1994 was the Mercator watch. A tribute to the 16th-century geographer Gérard Mercator, this creation featured a double retrograde display of trailing hours and minutes on an enameled or engraved dial. The positioning of the hand axis at 12 o’clock provides an ideal surface for expression on this model from the Métiers d’Art collection.

Vacheron Constantin - Mercator watch
Vacheron Constantin – Mercator watch

That was then, this year at Watches & Wonders 2023, the Maison has introduced a rare combination of retrograde complications with the iconoclastic displays of the 1920s and 1930s, the Patrimony retrograde day-date.

From the very first glance, this watch exudes the refined style of the Maison. A 42.5mm platinum case that frames a salmon-colored dial with a sunburst pattern in limited annual production. Corresponding to the Bauhaus principles of “less is more”, Vacheron Constantin has paid meticulous attention to detail combining minimalism and technical excellence.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrogade

Every detail of the Patrimony retrograde day-date is designed to reflect the aesthetic characteristics of the Maison. Beneath the 12 o’clock hour marker is the Maisons facetted Maltese cross in 18K 5N pink gold, with sandblasted facets on one side and polished on the other. In further keeping with tradition, the two retrograde (day and date) indications are made with blued steel hands. In classic 1950s style, the white gold hours and minutes are subtly curved to match the shape of the domed dial with its intense reflections. This era also inspires the circular-grained peripheral minutes track in a revisited version.

The Dial

Colorful dials have been seen on Vacheron Constantin’s watches since the 1940s. The combination of platinum case and salmon-colored dial was picked up in the 1990s, in conjunction with complications, such as the classic chronograph Reference 47101 and the 1992 self-winding perpetual calendar chronograph Reference 49005. This alliance between platinum and salmon is thus part of the Maison’s heritage. Since last year, a new aesthetic has been added across its various collections in limited annual production. This new Patrimony retrograde day-date features iconoclastic displays of the 1920s and 1930s on a salmon-colored dial with a sunburst pattern that contrasts beautifully, much as most white metals would.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony retrograde day-date - The dial
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony retrograde day-date – The dial

In-House self-winding caliber 2460 R31R7/3

The Patrimony retrograde day-date is driven by caliber 2460 R31R7/3 operating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. It is fitted with a 22K gold open-worked oscillating weight with a design inspired by the Maltese cross emblem and has an approximately 40-hour power reserve. Keeping up with the tradition of in-house calibers, the bridges on the Patrimony retrograde day-date are finished with hand-polished angles. Straight-graining, which consists of perfectly smoothing the component flanks, is also performed by hand, while the screws are meticulously polished. The mainplate is circular-grained on both sides, while the bridges are adorned on the back with the Côtes de Genève motif.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony retrograde day-date - Caseback
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony retrograde day-date – Caseback

The spirit of the new Patrimony retrograde day date thus draws its aesthetic and technical inspiration from tradition while revisiting it. A new dial on an old favorite

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony RetrogadeTECHNICAL DATA
Patrimony retrograde day-date
Reference : 4000U/000P-H003

Calibre : 2460 R31R7/3
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Mechanical, self-winding
25.6 mm (111⁄4’’’) diameter, 5.4 mm thick Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
276 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications: Hours, minutes, retrograde day of the week, and date

Case: 950 platinum
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: Salmon-coloured with sunburst finishing
Convex external zone with external minute-circle composed of fine diamond-polished 18K white gold pearls
18K white gold applied hour-markers and hour & minutes hands
Blued steel date and day hands

Strap: Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with calf inner shell, tone-to-tone stitching, square scales
950 platinum pin buckle

Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques

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