Hands-on with the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine (with live photos and pricing)

Launched just earlier this year, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine is a limited edition fitted with a platinum case and dial, and equipped with the stunning cal. 2260 movement.

Mechnically identical to the regular Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon, the Collection Excellence Platine is a limited edition distinguished by the generous use of platinum.  Like the other Collection Excellence Platine editions, the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine has a platinum case, dial, buckle – even the thread used for the strap is platinum wire. And inside the case is the beautifully constructed cal. 2260 tourbillon movement with a two week power reserve. 

Though the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine (CEP) is a largish watch at 42 mm, its monochromatic colour scheme gives it a subtle presence. The dial is almost devoid of colour, save for the tourbillon regulator at six o’clock.

The tourbillon demonstrates truly excellent finishing, with a rounded steel bridge and a black polished cage in the shape of a Maltese cross, which Vacheron Constantin (VC) adopted as a logo.

In between four and five o’clock is the discretely embossed “PT950” hallmark, signifying the alloy used for the dial is 95% platinum. The dial has a finely textured grained finish, probably achieved via sandblasting. It is simply designed and elegant, save for one detail. The minute track is very slightly off centre, being closer to 12 o’clock than six. This is not immediately apparent, most would probably miss it, but can be unnerving once it is noticed.

The applied markers are have very slight bevels on their edges lengthwise
The near invisible PT950 hallmark in between 4 and 5 o’clock

Turn the watch over and the view is gorgeous. The movement is fairly simple in layout, with two large bridges each covering half the main plate. But both bridges have elegantly curved edges, with sharp inward and outward angles purposefully included in the design so as to show off the polished, bevelled edges, or anglage.

The finishing of this calibre is impeccable, and appears superior to the more recent Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731 Minute Repeater. For one, the tourbillon has many more sharp angles on the edges of its bridges, and the anglage is more well defined. Everything visible is artfully finished. For instance the screws, which besides sitting in polished countersinks, are polished and bevelled on their heads and slots. And even the unseen parts underneath the dial are carefully decorated, as this stock image illustrates.

All of this comes at a price. The Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon CEP retails for US$323,500 and €240,900 before taxes, and is limited to 50 numbered pieces.

And for those who prefer form cases, Vacheron Constantin recently presented the Malte Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine, a tourbillon inside a tonneau-shaped platinum case.

– SJX 

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Pre-SIHH 2014: Introducing the Parmigiani Pomellato Tonda, a collaboration with the Italian jeweller (with specs and price)

Parmigiani has just announced its collaboration with Milanese jeweller Pomellato, along with the Tonda Pomellato collection, inspired by the baubles of the Italian firm.

Known of its use of colour stones and rose gold, Milanese jeweller and Parmigiani have created a line of timepeices based on the slim Parmigiani Tonda dress watch.  Available only in rose gold, the Tonda Pomellato retains the 39 mm Tonda case and PF701 micro-rotor automatic movement, but the dial and hands have been redesigned and given more feminine lines. Three of the four Tonda Pomellato models are inspired by Pomellato’s Arabesque line of jewellery. 

These timepieces feature a silk-screened arabesque motif on the dial, which is available in either white or dark grey. The white dial model is available without diamonds or with a diamond set bezel, while the graphite dial version is only available with diamonds set on the lugs.

The last model in the line-up is modelled on the Capri range of turquoise jewellery. This watch has a dial made of a thin slice of turquoise, along with a diamond-set case.

And the Tonda Pomellato Capri also has a ruby cabochon set in the crown.

All the Tonda Pomellato watches feature calf skins straps made by Hermes, which also makes the bands for most other Parmigiani watches. In Singapore, prices for the Parmigiani Pomellato watches range from S$30,500 to S$44,500 including 7% tax (about US$24,300 to US$35,500), with the most affordable being the Arabesque model without diamonds and the priciest the Capri with turquoise dial. And for comparison here is the men’s version of the same watch, the Tonda 1950, with the same case and movement.  – SJX

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