A watch like this is for a commander, a leader who needs information at their fingertips. That might sound like a cliché self-aggrandizing remark a high-end Swiss watch brand might say about their products, but this new piece from Vacheron Constantinis more about information than it is about the traditional minimalism you might consider when thinking of the brand. In fact, I find it is somewhat ironic that the term “Traditionnelle” is part of the watch’s name.
It is true however that the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time watch has a certain retro aesthetic to it. It reminds me of something that would be in a mid 20th century war room. This is especially the case with the centrally mounted map of the world as seen from above – they call this a “Lambert Projector” style map. Emotionally it offers a unique feeling – as though you, the person wearing the watch, are looking down on the world. This map is also where the complications in the movement begin. A semi-opaque sapphire crystal disc moves over the map indicating where it is day and where it is night. Also note the theme of concentric circles on the face of the watch that extend all the way to the edge of the round case.
Past the map is a busy looking ring of city names. Vacheron Constantin could have hidden this ring under the dial, offering an opening for the reference city, but that would have defeated the purpose of the watch. The Patrimony World Time makes it possible to know the time in any time zone from just looking at the dial. All you need to do it use the city ring with the 24 hour ring right beyond it and line up the little arrow with where it is pointing. Vacheron Constantin adds further complexity by having the watch take into consideration those cities that have “irregular” time zones outside of the typical 24 zone count. Those cities on the city ring printed in red feature regional 30 or 15 minute time zones. In total, the watch takes into consideration a total of 37 different time zones around the world. In the event time zones change or new ones are created in the future, Vacheron Constantin can service the watch to take the new ones into consideration.
The watch also tells the time of course. The slick looking hands are polished on one side and brushed on the other, done in gold. Unlike other world time watches, Vacheron Constantin wanted a “no hassle” version for the Patrimony Traditionnelle collection. As such, a complete reading of each time around the world can be done with no adjustments. While the dial is information rich, it is also busy. Given that all the rings are on the same plane, the dial also looks a bit flat – though the hour and minute marker ring located at the edge of the dial is a bit higher up with applied gold hour markers.
Powering the watch is the new in-house made Vacheron Constantin 2460 WT automatic movement with a guilloche machine engraved solid gold rotor. It is viewable through a sapphire exhibition caseback. The watch case itself is larger for Vacheron Constantin Patrimony models being 42.5mm wide – a size I however prefer. For the time being the Patrimony Traditionnelle Watch Time watch comes in 18k pink gold case matched to a brown alligator strap. Price is $39,900. www.vacheron-constantin.com.
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.
- 42.5mm wide 18k pink gold case
- World map with day/night indicator
- City indicator with 37 time zones for world time reading
- 24 hour GMT indicator ring