The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony celebrates 20 years of refined minimalism The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony celebrates 20 years of refined minimalism

The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony celebrates 20 years of refined minimalism

Buffy Acacia
  • For the 20th anniversary of the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, the Maison explores minimalism again.
  • The ‘old-silver’ dial colours explore depths of both warm and cool tones.
  • There’s a 39mm time-only version with a hand-wound movement, or a 42.5mm watch with a moonphase and retrograde date.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony collection, the brand is celebrating “watchmaking minimalism.” It brings up an interesting discussion of what minimalism in watchmaking actually is, because as far as I can see, these watches have enough detail to have you staring for hours. Among the new releases are two time-only watches with manual winding, and one moonphase watch with a soaring retrograde date.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Handwinding WW24 1

Minimalism is fairly self-explanatory, and is often summed up with the phrase “less is more.” That may be the case, however true minimalism almost carries with it a defiant expression, as if it’s daring you to think there should be more to it. Plain white dials and hour markers with no minute tracks come to mind, but in contrast, the 39mm Vacheron Constantin Patrimony watches seem to be more about classicism. Everything is given room to breathe, however there isn’t a single millimetre of space which hasn’t been given attention. Let’s start with the dials of the time-only watches. The surface is very slightly domed, which cooperates with the sunburst finish to accentuate a depth of colour. As the dial drops off towards its edges, the shadows get deeper, darkening the warmed tone of aged silver to a desaturated taupe. If the ‘empty space’ has that much going on, can it really be minimalist? The applied markers are rather simple and easy to read in conjunction with the baton hands, all of it made from 18k gold.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Handwinding WW24 2

Its movement is the in-house, manually-wound calibre 1440, which is probably the embodiment of ‘less is more.’ The 42 hours of power reserve and 4Hz beat rate won’t be breaking any records, however it is a recipient of the Hallmark of Geneva which indicates its top-level quality and finishing. The only shame is that the solid caseback hides the movement, without even a nice engraving to admire. I understand the appeal to keep things modest and classical, however I think it would be nice to show off the movement when it’s almost always hidden on your wrist. It does have benefits for the watch’s height though, topping out at 7.7mm thick. Available in either pink or white 18k gold, the watches are paired with blue or olive green alligator leather straps with curved springbars and gold buckles.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moonphase Retrograde Date WW24 1

Adding complications definitely strays away from the minimalist theme, but that doesn’t make the Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde Date any less elegant or beautiful. The same ‘old silver’ colouring drapes across the dial, which draws the eye to the rich starry-blue and gold of the moonphase display. The retrograde date occupies the top half of the dial, with a blued hand with a skeletonised arrow to point to the date as unobtrusively as possible. This model is powered by the calibre 2460 R31L, with automatic winding and a moonphase which only needs correcting once every 122 years in theory. Thankfully this model does have an exhibition caseback, because it displays a truly gorgeous moment which has been granted the Hallmark of Geneva. This watch is a little bit larger than the 39mm watches too, with a 42.5mm diameter to accommodate the added functionality without seeming cramped.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 20th Anniversary Collection pricing and availability

The new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 20th Anniversary watches will be available from Vacheron Constantin boutiques and retailers. Price: TBC

Brand Vacheron Constantin
Model Patrimony moon phase retrograde date
Patrimony manual-winding
Reference No. 4010U/000G-H070
Case Dimensions 41.5mm (D) x 9.7mm (T)
39mm (D) x 7.7mm (T)
Case Material 18K white gold
18k white gold or pink gold
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal Sapphire
Dial Old-silver
Strap Alligator leather strap
Movement 2460 R31L
Power Reserve 40 hours
42 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, moon phase, retrograde date
Hours, minutes
Availability Now
Price TBC