Diamonds really are this Vacheron Constantin Patrimony’s best friends Diamonds really are this Vacheron Constantin Patrimony’s best friends

Diamonds really are this Vacheron Constantin Patrimony’s best friends

Borna Bošnjak

Vacheron Constantin have cemented their position in the Holy Trinity as the kings of the understated, as even the most complicated, precious-metal clad watches in their catalogue tend to be kind of restrained. That being the case, I wonder what prompted them to take their most conservative collection – the mid-century modern-inspired Patrimony – and bling out its 37mm case with nearly six carats of diamonds. Befittingly named the Patrimony Self-winding Jewellery, this Vacheron Constantin flipped my expectations upside down. While it’s not quite in the realm of watches that are more akin to bejewelled cuffs, it does certainly stand out, to put it mildly.

The dial

vacheron constantin patrimony self winding jewellery wrist close up

Dressy, gem-set watches are nothing new, especially in smaller sizes, but there are few so concerned with classicism as the Patrimony that also sport a snow-set diamond dial. Rather than something like a pavé setting, where all the diamonds are the same diameter and arranged in a row, snow-setting involves round-cut diamonds of different sizes covering the dial in a completely random pattern.

Apart from the gem-setting, the rest of the dial is classic Patrimony, with tooth-like indices at the cardinal points complemented by stick ones elsewhere. Elegant feuille hands are tasked with time-telling, though considering the ultra-shiny diamonds and the polished surfaces of the white gold dial elements, legibility clearly wasn’t the main consideration here. And honestly, to people that buy this watch, I’m guessing it won’t be a primary concern either, considering they’re likely to have a personal time-teller.

The case

vacheron constantin patrimony self winding jewellery wrist

As I’ve alluded to previously, the Patrimony Jewellery isn’t a large watch, measuring in at just 37mm in diameter and 9.25mm tall. In my book, that’s pretty much spot-on for a modern dress watch, if a tad thick, but if you’re concerned at all about its smaller-than-average size – don’t be. The 18k white gold case and 331 round-cut diamonds more than make up for it. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s a big round-cut diamond set into the crown, too.

The strap

vacheron constantin patrimony self winding jewellery strap

The most toned-down aspect of the Patrimony Jewellery is the square-scale alligator leather strap. It’s lined with a beige calfskin, and doesn’t feature regular spring bars, instead opting for a proprietary quick-exchange system. This is great to see, as it’ll reduce the likelihood of scratching the inside of those soft, gold lugs. To top it all off, it’s fitted with a half Maltese cross pin buckle that’s naturally bedecked with round-cut diamonds.

The movement

vacheron constantin patrimony self winding jewellery movement caseback

Taking into account the giveaway in the model name, it’ll come as no surprise to find the golden oscillating rotor of the calibre 2460 SC/3 peering through the sapphire caseback. Though the 40-hour power reserve isn’t the most impressive these days, this movement stands out with its looks, some highlights being the côtes de Genève-adorned bridges and their hand-finished bevels. Like some of the finest Swiss movements, the 2460 SC/3 is certified with the Poinçon de Genève, which is awarded for excellent finishing of movements made in the Canton of Geneva.

The verdict

I won’t lie – this is not a piece I’d ever purchase for myself. I do love the Patrimony collection, and don’t mind the occasional bit of bling, and the Patrimony Jewellery’s 37mm size fits me perfectly, but the snow-set dial is just a bit too flashy. That being said, I’m absolutely not opposed to the existence of such a watch in the Patrimony collection, in fact, I think it makes perfect sense. Considering that Vacheron Constantin have surely satisfied the proper, stiff-upper-lip-collector with their other models, why not have something so outlandish? They’re not skimping on the tech either, and I actually think the 2460 SC/3 is a better fit for this smaller case compared to the 40mm Patrimony inside which its date-equipped variant seems undersized. Considering the price tag and unique proposition, the Patrimony Self-winding Jewellery was never meant to attract a wide audience, but for the select few, I’m sure it’ll be perfect.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-winding Jewellery pricing and availability

The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-winding Jewellery is available now. Price: A$137,000, US$82,000

Brand Vacheron Constantin
Model Patrimony Self-winding Jewellery
Reference 4116U-000G-B909
Case Dimensions 37mm (D) x 9.25mm (T)
Case Material 18k white gold, diamonds
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and caseback
Dial 18k white gold, diamonds
Bracelet Blue alligator leather, 18k white gold, diamond-set ardillon buckle
Movement 2460 SC/3, in-house, automatic, Poinçon de Genève
Power Reserve 40 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds
Availability Now
Price A$137,000, US$82,000