The epitome of technical complexity and restrained magnificence, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Extremely-Skinny was first introduced in 2011. Showing with a blue dial (2019) and a slate gray dial (2017), essentially the most classical interpretation is the current pink gold mannequin with a silvery opaline dial. Retaining the important styling of the Patrimony assortment that references VC’s minimalist Fifties watch designs, the watch is supplied with the legendary ultra-thin automated calibre 1120 QP. Let’s have a better take a look at this supremely elegant mannequin.
Vacheron Constantin produced its first perpetual calendar in 1884 (stock no. 10155), a double-sided gold pocket watch that robotically recognised months with 28, 29, 30 or 31 days. The principle dial indicated the time, whereas the hinged caseback opened to disclose 4 elegant counters with phases and age of the moon, the day of the week, months and intercalary year indicator and the date. By 1905, Vacheron had upped the complexity of an already complicated perpetual calendar and mixed it with a minute repeater and a split-seconds chronograph. Though the model had made calendar wristwatches for the reason that Nineteen Thirties, it wasn’t till the Eighties that it turned to perpetual calendar wristwatches with reference 43031 adopted a 12 months later, in 1984, by a skeletonised model (ref. 43032). Counting on the ultra-thin Jaeger-LeCoultre 920 ébauche, Vacheron Constantin turned to Dubois-Dépraz to assist with the perpetual calendar module ensuing within the calibre 1120 QP. Nonetheless used at the moment however produced in-house by Vacheron Constantin, the particularity of this calibre is the sub-dial with 48 months and the intercalary year. Able to dealing with all of the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar (see field under), the perpetual calendar is not going to want any changes till 1 March 2100.
Taming the calendar
The Gregorian calendar is a tough beast to tame and when English clockmaker Thomas Mudge determined to sort out a pocket watch that will grasp all of the vagaries of the Pope’s calendar he was confronted with a monumental activity. His masterpiece of mechanical engineering, completed in 1762, saved monitor of the completely different size of months (28, 30 and 31 days) and the additional day each 4 years throughout a intercalary year (29 days).
Pope Gregory was somewhat involved that the Julian calendar (launched by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE) had drifted a full 10 days off target interfering with essential dates like Easter, which had been out of sync with the seasons. To compensate for the discrepancies between the Julian calendar and the photo voltaic or tropical 12 months – the time required for a whole revolution of the Earth across the Solar – the Pope enlisted astronomers in 1582 to repair the mess and finally authorised the addition of a 29th day to February each 4 years. Nonetheless, it wasn’t fairly as simple as that. Apart from figuring out dates within the ecclesiastical calendar, the Gregorian reform set the rule for leap years and solutions the query why years like 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100 and 2300 are not leap years, however why 1600, 2000 and 2400 are leap years. In keeping with the Gregorian reform, yearly that’s precisely divisible by 4 is a intercalary year. Nonetheless, if the 12 months could be divided by 100 (centennial 12 months) it’s NOT a intercalary year… and right here is the trick: whether it is divisible by 400, although, it is a intercalary year. For this reason these of us fortunate sufficient to be alive with a perpetual calendar on our wrists should keep in mind to regulate the date on 28 February 2100.
For extra particulars concerning the several types of calendar watches, please seek the advice of this installment of A Technical Perspective.
The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar
The Patrimony assortment takes its design cues from Vacheron Constantin’s fashions produced within the Fifties and is characterised by watches with spherical instances and minimalist dials. It’s a group that favours sobriety, understatement and magnificence incarnated by fashions just like the Self-Winding 36mm or the spectacular Patrimony Extremely-Skinny Minute Repeater and the chic Moon Section Retrograde Date Excellence Platine.
The perpetual calendar follows the refined design cues of the Patrimony household and divulges its flowing strains and engaging symmetry with quiet confidence. Housed in a 41mm 18k pink gold case with a slim top of simply 8.9mm, the case is basic Patrimony with a barely sloping bezel and quick lugs. The case is polished all through to spotlight its elegant costume watch attraction.
Set in opposition to the domed silvery opaline dial, the structure of the calendar features is conventional and simple to learn with the date at 3 o’clock, the day of the week at 9 o’clock, 48-months and intercalary year indications at 12 o’clock, and the phases of the moon at 6 o’clock. The truth that the dial is a lightweight color makes it appear larger than its blue and gray siblings, and it attracts much more gentle.
Consistent with the refined Fifties classic air of the Patrimony assortment, the utilized hour markers are crafted in pink gold and accompanied by a discreet ‘pearl’ minute monitor. Wanting on the broader markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, you possibly can recognize the work that has gone into faceting their profiles. Just like the hour markers, the hour, minute and calendar palms and the moons are additionally crafted in stable 18k pink gold.
Calibre 1120 QP
The slim case top is made potential by an ultra-thin motion – the calibre 1120 QP – based mostly on the legendary automated calibre 1120 of 1967 with its 2.45mm top. Designed and manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre as calibre 920, the ultra-thin ébauche was utilized by Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin, however by no means by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Now manufactured in-house by Vacheron and authorized with the Hallmark of Geneva, the incorporation of the QP module leads to a top of simply 4.05mm.
Contemplating the complexity of a perpetual calendar motion that has to regulate to calendar irregularities mechanically, the diploma of miniaturisation obtained with this 276-part calibre is exceptional. The openworked Maltese cross-shaped rotor reveals the finely hand-decorated motion with Côtes de Genève, bevelled edges and round graining on the bottom plate. Beating at a sedate price of two.75Hz/19,800vph, the facility reserve is 40 hours.
The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Extremely-Skinny in pink gold comes on a darkish brown alligator strap with a pink gold folding clasp. It retails for EUR 83,000.
Extra data at Vacheron Constantin.