In 2006, Vacheron Constantin decided to introduce a line of watches cased in the noble metal platinum. Another recent entrant into this special collection is the Patrimony Contemporaine self-winding watch. Vacheron takes the platinum concept very seriously and even has integrated platinum into the thread on the watchband! How this is done only Vacheron can tell us or else a wily seamstress.
Do you know why platinum is so prized and cost more than gold? While 18K gold only contains 75% precious metal, platinum contains 95%. Therefore, the metal is much more durable than others.
A common theme to the Platine collection is the dial, made of finely grained sandblasted platinum. Vacheron marks this special attribute discreetly “PT950” between 4 and 5 o’clock. The rest of the dial had a beaded minute circle and contains applied hour markers in 18K gold for a sophisticated yet understated look that will enhance any wrist.
Vacheron chose to house a very special movement in the 42mm case, the self-winding Caliber 1120. What makes this movement so noteworthy is that the rotor moves on a rail around the perimeter rather than using ball bearings. This Caliber was originally developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre and is so good that Audemars Piguet put in the Royal Oak and Patek Philippe in the Nautilus. Although Audemars Piguet now owns the rights to this movement, they provide a limited amount to Vacheron.
In a limited edition of 150, this Patrimony Contemporaine in the Collection Excellence Platine collection retails for $53,000, a hefty sum for a time only watch, but if you consider the pedigrees, it’s bound to get collectors’ heads swirling.