Monday, January 18, 2016

The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
I would like this to be solely about a wonderful new watch - and we will get to that, I promise.  But at the heart of this is why I REALLY appreciate Vacheron Constantin and the way they go about their business.

Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
Look at Audemars Piguet and you get a "who wore us on the Red Carpet" piece of fluff-laden chicken shit.  IWC does everything short of trotting Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer out in tight shorts, oiled up to play topless volleyball to reinforce the connection they want you to feel that they have with the movie Top Gun.  And the on to Jaeger LeCoultre and every film festival known to man.

I have often wished that brands would take the path of Patek Philippe.  Anyone who can tell me the last time Patek sent out a press announcement informing us of their latest celebrity partner?

And perhaps ask the same question about Vacheron?  Vacheron is part of a huge group, they have plenty of money to spend.  But ask yourself how they spend it?  On making beautiful watches.

Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
So without further messing about, here are the pertinents:

Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Collection Excellence Platine

A stellar complication – the perpetual calendar – joins the Collection Excellence Platine. This Haute Horlogerie classic is powered by the legendary Caliber 1120 QP, an ultra-thin mechanical self- winding movement revealing the elegance and finesse of the Patrimony collection.

Caliber 1120 QP developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin drives the hours and minutes hands, the moon phases at 6 o’clock along with a perpetual calendar displaying the day of the week in a counter at 9 o’clock, the date in a counter at 3 o’clock, the month and leap year in 48-month counters at 12 o’clock. Acknowledged by connoisseurs as one of the most iconic existing perpetual calendars, it will smoothly cope with all the vagaries of the calendar without requiring any corrections until March 1st 2100. Unlike simple calendars requiring manual correction after every month with less than 31 days, the perpetual calendar takes account of the leap-year cycle with its 31-, 30- and 28-day months, as well as the quadrennial recurrence of February 29th. This sophisticated function requires prodigious miniaturisation to mechanically adjust it so as to keep track of calendar irregularities. This miniaturisation has been taken to extremes in order to achieve an ultra-thin perpetual calendar. Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1120 QP measures just 4.05 mm thick, beats at the frequency of 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour), and has a 40-hour power reserve. The oscillating weight cut out in the shape of a Maltese cross further embeds the design codes of the Maison at the heart of the movement.
In keeping with the aesthetic codes of the Collection Excellence Platine born in 2006, this new Patrimony Perpetual Calendar is crafted in 950 platinum case, as is the dial. The latter features a finely grained sand- blasted dial discreetly bearing the inscription “Pt50” between 4 and 5 o’clock. The slightly convex external zone is adorned with a circular “pearl” minute-track and 18K white gold applied hour-markers. The hours and minutes hands are in 18K white gold, while the calendar pointers are in blued steel. Setting the finishing touch, the saddle-finish dark blue alligator strap is hand-stitched with silk and 950 platinum threads, and secured by a folding clasp in the same metal.

Revolving beneath the dial, the moon disc depicts the heavenly vault in white gold enhanced by a blue galvanic treatment. Each star has been delicately crafted so as to provide an exact map of the sky.  Fitted with a sapphire back enabling one to admire Caliber 1120 QP, the 41 mm-diameter case is water- resistant to 3 bar (approximately 30 meters.

This exceptional model will be launched in a strictly limited and numbered 100-piece edition. 

Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin


Patrimony perpetual calendar
Collection Excellence Platine


Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece


1120 QP
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Mecanical, self-winding
29.6 mm (12’’’1⁄2) diameter, 4.05 mm thick Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour)
276 components
36 jewels 


Hours, minutes
Perpetual calendar (day of the week, date, 48-month display with leap year indication)
Moon phases 

Platinum 950
41 mm diameter, 8.9 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters) 


Platinum 950
“Pt950” hallmark between 4 and 5 o’clock
Convex external zone with circular “pearl” minute-track 18K white gold -applied hour-markers 


Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched with platinum 950 and silk, saddle-finish, large square scales


Platinum 950 folding clasp Polished half Maltese cross-shaped 

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