Up Close With The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph Boutique Exclusive Edition (pricing and live photos)

Vacheron Constantin did not unveil many new men’s watches at SIHH 2013, but did add some variants of existing models, including this boutique exclusive version of the Patrimony Traditionnelle chronograph with a grey dial. This has a vintage style, two-tone case in white gold with rose gold crown and pushers.

Ordinarily available in a two-tone case with silver dial (and also with an all white or rose gold case), the boutique exclusive edition of the Patrimony Traditionnelle chronograph has grained, grey dial.  The subtle tone of the dial matches the rose gold hands and indices well.

Inside is the cal. 1141, which is actually the Lemania 2310. VC finishes the calibre to its high standards, thus qualifying it for the Geneva Seal. The movement is attractively and wonderful in its details, though it is too small for the 42 mm case.

20 years ago the Lemania 2310 was the only refined, manual wind chronograph movement available, and practically every high-end brand used it, including Patek Philippe, Breguet, Daniel Roth, Roger Dubuis and of course VC.  Today as most brands have in-house chronograph calibres, it has become uncommon and VC is one of the few brands outside of the Swatch Group (which owns Lemania and has since merged it into Breguet) to use the movement. That being said, I have heard rumours for several years that VC is working on its own hand-wind chronograph movement. The latest news is that the development is already finished, and VC is now working on testing and industrialisation of the movement. In the realm of high-end chronograph, Patek Philippe arguably has a longer, and richer, history. And Patek also has a track record of being first, for instance with the ref. 1518 which was the first chronograph with perpetual calendar wristwatch. VC needs an in-house chronograph movement to put it on equal footing in contemporary watchmaking. The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle chronograph Boutique Exclusive retails for CHF54,362.88, or about USD58,000. It is only available from VC boutiques. – SJX

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