Vacheron Constantin – Patrimony Contemporaine Lady Gold Bracelet, Patrimony Traditionnelle Lady Manual Winding & Patrimony Traditionnelle High Jewellery

This year, Luxury Swiss watch manufacture Vacheron Constantin dedicates most of the new watch collections to women. Unveiled at SIHH 2013, there are three major collections of timepieces – Patrimony, Malte and Métiers d’Art – that have been entirely conceived and designed for women.

Vacheron Constantin’s tradition as a producer of women’s watches started with the 19th century, when the first pocket-watches especially made for women appeared. Although smaller than men’s watches they were much more lavishly decorated and thus demanded skills in miniaturisation and decoration that only a few of the watchmakers of the time possessed. Vacheron Constantin was one of them. One of the first of the manufacture’s women’s watches was a quarter-repeater produced in around 1810 and which proves that watchmaking complications were not only for men.

It was an age when a lady was not expected to know the exact time, still less enquire of it in society. Vacheron Constantin therefore embarked on the creation of watches as real jewellery that came to symbolise the status of their owners. They were soon to become the indispensible accessory, worn chest high on a sautoir, hung on a chatelaine of keys, pinned to the dress or disguised as a brooch. Such objects stretched the imaginative capacities of the manufacture’s craftsmen and women, not only the elite watchmakers but also the engravers, enamellists, engine-turners, jewellers and gem-setters as they strived to meet the expectations of their wealthy clients.

Diamonds, turquoises, rubies, pearls, onyx, garnets and many other precious stones were mustered to frame eye-glasses, create the petals and pistils of flowers, or bring glory to a miniature in enamels or a finely chased and engraved scene. The Vacheron Constantin manufacture, attentive to the slightest detail, then attached as much importance to the case and mechanism as to ensuring the perfection of the chains, sautoirs or brooches accessory to the watch. Gradually the precious and semi-precious stones were no longer confined to frames and outlines, but constituted a decoration in themselves, progressively covering the entire precious metal of the case or bracelet and bringing jewellery to the peak of sophistication. When platinum started replacing silver, even finer monograms and other engraved motifs became possible.

The widows of Vacheron and Constantin took over control of the business in the 1870s. Although it was a critical period marked by economic crisis, the two women made an undoubted contribution to the development of the firm.

At the end of the 19th century, the wristwatch started to assert its claim as a legitimate and practical style. History tells us that it was initially designed for women before being adopted by men. Vacheron Constantin immediately appreciated the potential of the market for women’s wristwatches. In 1889, it brought out a wristwatch for ladies that vindicated the manufacture’s reputation for workmanship. It featured a revolutionary way of winding the watch and setting the time by simply turning the bezel, thus avoiding the need for a winding crown.

While it was launching its first wristwatches, Vacheron Constantin embraced the talents of one Ferdinand Verger, casemaker at the Place des Victoires in Paris. The partnership’s multitude of designs combining mechanisms with gemstones helped revive the jewellery watch. Then the 20th century introduced a new style that set an even higher level of miniaturisation. The baguette watch, based on a calibre that Vacheron Constantin introduced in 1914, widened the artistic scope for jewellery watches while meeting the standard of precision promised by the brand. Even today, some models in the Kalla collection are fitted with Vacheron Constantin’s calibre 1005 baguette movement, a direct descendant of those first baguette movements.

The Geneva style of watchmaking, ornate yet refined has never left the Maison. Contemporary fashions and artistic trends inspired a plethora of watches that today bear witness to women’s emancipation and the scale of the 20th century’s creative output. Some took the shape of the cameos that were fashionable from around 1900 to 1920; others came in a variety of forms: oval, octagonal or even a bowed rectangle. Vacheron Constantin’s creations for women rejoiced in the freedom to astonish as the years went by, from sinuous Art Nouveau to geometrical Art Deco with watches that hung from cuff-links, bracelets in woven chain, linked rods or that wrapped thrice around the wrist, and straps of satin ribbon or leather. Their pre-eminence is manifest from the numerous advertising campaigns featuring women from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Today, Vacheron Constantin pays a new tribute to women. The 2013 vintage, presented at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, shows the brand’s determination to dedicate their best work to women by combining the beauty intrinsic in artistic craftsmanship with the technical mastery of the mechanisms of time.

Three major collections each offer their own interpretation of time in the feminine gender. The Malte collection extends the celebration of its 100th anniversary with a seductive emphasis of its curvaceous case. Patrimony is home to original creations in the Contemporary and Tradition styles that extol the jewellery-making skills of the manufacture’s gem-setters. Finally the latest opus of the Métiers d’Art collection, called Florilège, draws from ancient knowledge to steal a woman’s heart with three outstanding models.

The Patrimony collection
The Patrimony collection is custodian to the true horological tradition and is thus part of Vacheron Constantin’s genetic make-up. The unvaryingly round cases express the enduring classic style in a renewed testimony to the Vacheron Constantin’s heritage. The innate elegance of these timepieces is distilled from centuries of expertise, today with the investiture of the Geneva hallmark.

While the Patrimony Contemporaine watches embrace the present, the Patrimony Traditionnelle models lay claim, as their name suggests, to a classic style in keeping with watchmaking’s historical legacy. Finally, the Patrimony High Jewellery timepiece is a reminder that the craftsmen of fine watchmaking can unite their talents with the most skilful jewellers.

Patrimony Contemporaine Lady gold bracelet
The Patrimony Contemporaine presents its ever-round cases with an understatement that has become a byword in the upper echelons of watchmaking. Timeless, yet in the spirit of the times, the collection this year hosts a lady’s watch with a diameter of 36mm. Two versions give free consent to the marriage between style and technique. In the new design, the clean lines of the case are softened by the warmth of pink gold, which goes admirably with the complexion of both models.

The first crowns an opaline silver-toned dial framed by a bezel circled with round diamonds. The original, diamond-set minutes scale is another feature that ties the watch to the spirit of the times. The fine applied hour markers and slender hands for the hours and minutes are curved to follow the external curve of the dial. The central seconds hand sweeps over diamonds and gold while the date display at 6 o’clock sets the finishing touch to a demonstration of harmony and balance. Urbane elegance extends to a pink gold bracelet with links that gently hold the wrist. The case’s display back gives a superb view of the mechanical self-winding calibre 2450 movement that was developed and built in Vacheron Constantin’s workshops.

The second version, paved with almost 800 diamonds, pays a further tribute to the Maison’s expertise in jewellery. The gems take over the entire surface of the dial and invade the bezel and the outside of the bracelet. The proprietary calibre 2460 shows off its exceptional workmanship through the display back.

These two Patrimony Contemporaine models comply with the new requirements of the Hallmark of Geneva (Poinçon de Genève).

Technical details
Reference: 85515/CA1R-9840 & 86615/CA2R-9839
Patrimony Contemporaine Lady gold bracelet
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces

Movement
Caliber 2450 Q6 / 2460 SC
Energy: Self-winding
Movement diameter: 26.20 mm (11’’’½)
Movement thickness: 3.60 mm
Jewels: 27
Number of components: 196
Frequency: 4Hz (28’800 vibrations per hours)
Power reserve: Approximately 40 hours

Indications
85515: Hours, minutes, center seconds and date at 6 o’clock
86615: Hours, minute and center seconds

Case
85515: Diamond-set bezel (68 round-cut diamonds, approx. 0.80 carat)
86615: Diamond-set bezel and lugs (76 round-cut diamonds, approx. 1.00 carat)
18K 5N pink gold
36 mm diameter
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water resistance: Tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
85515: Silvered opaline convex external zone, diamond-set minutetrack (48 round-cut diamonds, approx. 0.16 carat)
86615: Fully paved gold dial (606 round-cut diamonds, approx.1.80 carats), convex external zone
Applied gold hour-markers and leaf-shaped hands

Bracelet 
18K 5N pink gold polished / 18K 5N pink gold polished with diamondset external links (92 round-cut diamonds, approx. 0.63 carat)
Clasp: 18K 5N pink gold folding clasp

Patrimony Traditionnelle Lady manual-winding
The new Patrimony Traditionnelle pays a glowing tribute to women. Following the true watchmaking tradition, it brings to notice a conventional style with a timeless appeal, particularly to the most demanding clients seeking an authentic watch with a heritage. They will also appreciate the fine workmanship of a watch meeting the norms of the new Hallmark of Geneva that now applies to the entire finished watch rather than to its movement only.

Cut from pink or white gold, the slender case of the new Patrimony Traditionnelle for women is accentuated in its new diameter of 33 mm. A bezel set with 54 round-cut diamonds provides the illumination for the style markers of this collection: the minute track painted in brown or grey, applied hour markers and Dauphine hands made from solid gold circling over an opaline silvertoned dial. A strap made of Alligator mississippiensis, in midnight blue or taupe, signs off a watch that has left nothing to chance.

The high-grade mechanical manual-winding movement, calibre 1400, bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva is the true reflection of a genuinely artistic approach. The finish of this movement is done entirely by hand following a tradition passed down through the generations since 1755 and according to the most exacting rules of the art of watchmaking. The flat surfaces are adorned with Côtes de Genève (Geneva stripes) and the sharp edges chamfered and polished, even on the heads and slots of each screw.

Technical details
Reference: 81590/000G-9848 & 81590/000R-9847
Patrimony Traditionnelle Lady manual-winding
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces

Movement
Calibre 1400, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Energy: Manual-winding
Movement diameter: 20.65 mm (9’’’)
Movement thickness: 2.60 mm
Jewelling: 20
Number of parts: 98
Frequency: 4Hz (28’800 vibrations per hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: Approximately 40 hours

Case
Diamond-set bezel (54 round-cut diamonds, approx. 0.88 carat)
18K white gold / 18K 5N pink gold
33 mm diameter / 7.65 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water Resistance: Tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
Silvered opaline with grey / brown painted minute-track
18K white gold / 18K 5N gold hour-markers, Dauphine-shaped hands

Strap
Dark blue / Warm grey Mississippiensis alligator leather, square scales, stitched-tip
Second strap: Satin
Clasp: 18K white gold / 18K 5N pink gold buckle, Polished half Maltese cross

Patrimony Traditionnelle High Jewellery
This new jewellery model in the Patrimony collection is an another testimony to Vacheron Constantin’s skills in orchestrating the crafts of artistic watchmaking  Its 35 mm diameter stages an extraordinary spectacle of light. A dazzling 16.2-carat flooring of claw-set baguette diamonds makes time go on forever. This model also comes in a 40 mm dial.

Case, dial and clasp: not a speck of white gold is unpaved by diamonds. The round-cut stones radiate from the centre of the face in increasing circles to cover its entire surface. The effect is truly mesmerising.

The calibre 1400, of proven renown, has to reside in this glittering palace. The mechanical manual-winding movement is visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. The finish of this movement is done entirely by hand following a tradition passed down through the generations since 1755 and according to the most exacting rules of the art of watchmaking. The flat surfaces are adorned with Côtes de Genève and the sharp edges chamfered and polished, even on the heads and slots of each screw. There can be no truer expression of the watchmaker’s art.

There must be no exceptions for such an exceptional watch. The Patrimony Traditionnelle High Jewellery can thus boast the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.

Technical details
Reference 81760/000G-9862
Patrimony Traditionnelle High Jewellery
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces

Movement
Calibre 1400, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Energy: Manual-winding
Movement diameter: 20.65 mm (9’’’)
Movement thickness: 2.60 mm
Jewelling: 20
Number of parts: 98
Frequency: 4Hz (28’800 vibrations per hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: Approximately 40 hours

Case
18K white gold diamond-paved (124 baguette-cut diamonds, approx. 9.30 carats)
35 mm diameter / 8.34 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water Resistance: Tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial
18K gold diamond-paved dial (156 baguette-cut diamonds, approx. 6.00 carats)
18K gold hands

Strap
Black satin
Clasp: 18K white gold diamond-set buckle (12 baguette-cut diamonds, approx. 0.74 carat)

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