Unveiled ahead of the SIHH 2017, the Patrimony moon phase and retrograde date is an invitation to raise our gaze skywards.
This new timepiece, with its pure lines typical of the Patrimony collection, features a dial on which the cycle and age of the moon are reproduced on a display that will require no corrections for 122 years. Vacheron Constantin is combining this elegant complication with a retrograde date indication, graduated from 1 to 31 across the upper dial arc. Equipped with a Manufacture movement, the Patrimony moon phase and retrograde date is certified by the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, a sure token of excellence.
The Patrimony collection reflects the watchmaking expertise of Vacheron Constantin. Its harmonious proportions, inspired by the models created by the Maison in the 1950s, testify to a minimalist approach to watch design that is echoed on the pure face of the Patrimony moon phase and retrograde date. In this model, the timelessly understated round case houses an original self- winding caliber powering a high-precision moon indication combined with a retrograde date display. To ensure optimal user-friendliness, all adjustments of these functions are performed via the crown. Vacheron Constantin is presenting this new timepiece in two precious pink gold and white gold versions.
A twin ballet gracing the dial
Appearing on a pink or white gold disc depending on the version, the moon gleams brightly against a star-studded backdrop, visible through an opening in the lower half of the dial. The age of the moon – meaning the number of days that have elapsed since the last new moon – can be read off on a graduated scale around this opening. This lyrical complication is displayed with extreme accuracy in accordance with the real lunar cycle around the Earth, which lasts exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. This sophisticated mechanism requires a one-day correction just once every 122 years.
The second horological complication, the retrograde date display, is a useful and elegant function that appears in the upper half of the dial. A central hand – whose colour is achieved by a black oxide process – tipped with an openworked arrow moves forward in one-day increments. Once the month is completed, a retrograde system returns it instantly to its initial position on the 1 numeral by means of a retrograde system and begins running along the same path.
The silvered opaline dial, subtly raised around the rim, features tapered applied hour-markers in pink or white gold depending on the versions, as well as a circular “pearl” minute-track. The emblematic Maltese cross on the dial, the slim hands, as well as the pin buckle of the alligator strap, are all crafted in pink or white gold according to the model.
The new 275-part Manufacture Vacheron Constantin Caliber 2460 R31L with its 40-hour power reserve drives the hours and minutes hands, the precision moon-phase display as well as the retrograde date. With this unprecedented movement, the Maison has succeeded in offering an easily adjustable mechanism. Its crown offers simple and smooth access to all three functions of the timepiece. In its first position, it serves to wind the watch. Once pulled out to the second notch, it can be turned clockwise to set the date or counter-clockwise to adjust the moon phase, while the third and last position controls time-setting. A transparent sapphire crystal reveals the 2460 R31L movement and its 22K gold oscillating weight, adorned with Vacheron Constantin’s signature Maltese cross motif. The hand-crafted finishing of the caliber reflects absolute mastery of the watchmaking art and traditional skills.
With the Patrimony moon phase and retrograde date timepiece, Vacheron Constantin associates the pure lines of the Patrimony collection with two masterful complications epitomising the art of watchmaking.