Ah, the delights of Watches & Wonders, low on pandemic measures but big on revenge spending. Even while much of the world is still struggling with the pandemic aftermath, events are back. And sadly, while Europe is not peaceful as it used to be, isn’t this just the right time to daydream? Vacheron Constantin shows us that this is a very real possibility, even a rule.

And Vacheron Constantin is never short on material to feed your inner daydreaming child, or rather, watch-obsessive. My wife seems to think there is a deep correlation between the two, and frankly, I see her point. Vacheron Constantin shows the best of what the brand is good at, from the minimalist lux of the Patrimony to beguiling paper-thin complexities.

Vacheron Constantin shows us

Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin

There are dwindling numbers of complex ladies’ watches, and that is not because the demand isn’t there. Far from it. The rise of interest in wristwear is tangible, but above a certain point in the complication stakes, there’s little to choose from. Why should perpetual calendars only exist in 38-40mm cases with monochrome dials?

Vacheron Constantin shows us

They shouldn’t. And while it might be slightly politically incorrect to market new references purely for the female clientele, these new Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar models hit the mark. I dare you to name any 35-37mm ultra-thin perpetual calendar from a top-tier brand with a summer-fresh pastel look. There are none. I’m tempted to call these breezy summer-colored pieces casual, but at 87,500 I might be stretching the truth.

Vacheron Constantin shows us

Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton

These are two references worthy of either a short announcement laden with slightly factual praise or a 5,000-word essay. As this is a round-up from an already-full internet of Watches & Wonders, I’m going for the former. That doesn’t make this any less exciting, as these are Vacheron Constantin’s flagship references. We know the Overseas as a serious alternative — for me, perhaps the best — but to what? The integrated-bracelet lux of the Royal Oak and Nautilus, that’s what. The in-house 2160 SQ-caliber imbues these two with ultimate horological flex, giving them prime grail status. The intricate skeletonization of the Overseas lends a deep, new dimension to this 42.5mm watch within a slim 10.39mm case.

Vacheron Constantin shows us

Unusual material

A sub-11mm thickness is not groundbreaking in itself, but with a tourbillon as the main draw, it is jaw-droppingly fascinating. And this watch has another peculiarity to it. We can all see the allure of the glowing 18K pink gold version, but its partner in crime is neither white gold nor steel. No, the darker tinge here comes from Grade 5 titanium, giving the Tourbillon Skeleton a more techy twist. This metallurgy takes on a deeper meaning too. There’s nothing wrong with the glitz of gold. But, the intricate chamfers and brush of the Maltese cross-inspired bracelet and case are harder to achieve with titanium. Top this appreciation for craftsmanship with the elegant depth of the monochrome dial with its prima ballerina at 6 o’clock, and I feel all kinds of love for these two. A two-watch tourbillon collection perhaps? The prices for the watches are available on request.

Patrimony Self-Winding

The ’80s term “unisex” does spring to mind, but here it works, and I think my wife would be happy with all four. Me, I do fancy the dark blue dial. A sweet-sized 36.5mm version of the Patrimony with its slim bezel will wear more like a 38mm watch does. The blue reference, with its superb gradient dial finish and paired with a night-blue alligator strap, is a welcome twist to the standard Patrimony. And despite its self-winding 2450 Q6/3 caliber with a fine-looking guilloché rotor, it comes in at a very slim 8.45mm. The Geneva Hallmark movement comes with the top-tier decoration it deserves, though it is somewhat obscured by the rotor. For me, this 18K reference awakens the desire for a classic dress watch, and I’ll try not to show the blush-pink-dialed version with diamonds to my wife — bye-bye, new family car. But seriously, this is a strong play by Vacheron and a superbly executed foursome. These models are available starting at 35,100.

Impressions and more to come

Vacheron has only furthered my love of the brand, especially with its fresh new gradient dials and the unusual touch of a top-tier tourbillon reference in titanium. Yes, there is more, but this taster selection was chosen for its juxtaposed cards from the Vacheron Constantin deck. It might seem far-fetched to call an 18K pink gold gem-set Patrimony freshly casual, but that’s the impression I’m left with, and it’s cool. This is far from everything from this storied brand, so don’t be surprised if another story pops up later this week. There is a delightful surprise from the brand’s archives that has a really good chance of stealing the show big time!

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