Vacheron Constantin Unveils The New Boutique Exclusive Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date Watch (Live Pics)

Vacheron Constantin's new boutique-exclusive dress watch is a real class act.


Hidden within the depths of Vacheron Constantin’s very swanky Watches & Wonders Geneva booth was a photo room with a few of the brand’s novelties ready to go. I must commend Vacheron for being one of the few brands with a dedicated photo area, it made my job much easier as there weren’t any direct spotlights like usual. That lighting makes watches look great in person, but it’s very hard to work with when you’re using a camera. 

Soft, diffused light is much better and brings out the natural characteristics of a wristwatch. Particularly fitting when that watch happens to be one of the classiest dress watches of the show, the brand new boutique exclusive Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date ref.4000U/000P-H003. You’ll be seeing the retrograde function again in Vacheron Constantin’s lineup, but let’s focus on the Patrimony for now.

Vacheron Constantin is very proud of the Patrimony range being their classiest, most formal dress watch. They have said they refuse to put big, chunky complications in it, as it’s meant to be a sleek watch that easily slides under the cuff of even the most form-hugging shirt. So, no chronographs or tourbillons here, but the minute repeater can be spaced out enough to fit into the super-thin Patrimony lineup. This watch, while lacking a chime, has charm instead.

The 42.5mm platinum case is surprisingly heavy at 127 grams, but it’s only 9.7mm thick, so it still works just fine as a dress watch. The salmon-coloured dial with its sunburst finish, works beautifully under the light and contrasts with the blue appliqués used around the place. Specifically, the retrograde hands, which fly back to the beginning once they reach the end of their arc, and the text they point to are all in blue, which matches the supple calfskin and alligator leather strap.

Powering the watch and visible through the caseback is the self-winding 2460 R31R7/3. A symbol of traditional horological craftsmanship, this movement has a 4Hz beat rate with a power reserve of 40 hours, which is most likely restricted from being longer by the need for the movement to be slim, meaning no space for a bigger mainspring barrel (the movement is 5.4mm thick). It also features the Poinçon de Genève, the Geneva Seal, which means that this movement is accurate and physically beautiful. I would need more time to show you how beautiful the movement is, but the solid gold rotor with a skeletonised Maltese Cross logo is a good start.

Vacheron Constantin hasn’t indicated that there’s a limit to the number of these watches that they’ll make, but as stated above, they will only be available for purchase through a Vacheron Constantin boutique. Price upon request.