On Tuesday, I wrote about the latest entries in Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Baumatic collection and how blue dials continue to remain in demand by collectors and enthusiasts. In that article, I mentioned Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre as two of the other Richemont brands that exhibited an extensive selection of blue-hued timepieces at SIHH 2019. Today, we’re going to take a look at the number of blue-focused releases for Vacheron this year.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon is the latest complicated update to the brand’s fan-favorite sport lineup. It follows the Chronograph, Dual Time, and Perpetual Calendar models within the collection and is a strong example of the brand’s commitment to offering a wide range of options for collectors of all calibers. The new Overseas Tourbillon borrows the Ultra-Thin Caliber 2160 with a peripheral rotor and an impressive power reserve of 80 hours from last year’s Patrimony Traditionnelle Tourbillon. The usage of a peripheral rotor helps keep the watch thin. It’s so slim in fact that it lands at just slightly thinner than the standard time-and-date Overseas at (10.39 mm versus 11 mm). However, as you might expect, the diameter of the new model is slightly larger at 42.5 mm. Surrounding the large tourbillon aperture is a lacquered blue dial with a satin finish that works well with the stainless steel case and offers a tranquil contrast to the kinetic action of the tourbillon with its openworked, Maltese Cross-inspired carriage. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon comes with three total bracelet and strap options that are easily interchangeable thanks to the brand’s quick-change system. Price: $103,000
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is one of my personal favorite watches that the firm makes today. Joining the ranks this year are two new options in rose gold. The model that matches a blue lacquered dial with a rose gold case is our focus for today, although the other new model that has been enhanced with a rose gold bracelet is quite compelling as well. Other than the new dial, the new Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is practically the same watch as previous iterations, but there’s something so engrossing about adding a blue dial to the mix. It certainly calls more attention to the watch while on the wrist, yet it is able to maintain the overall seriousness of the piece as well. I expect this one to be a hit among the brand’s younger clientele. Price: $75,000
FiftySix Complete Calendar
For Vacheron Constantin, 2018 was all about the FiftySix. Billed as the new entry-level collection for the brand, the range was initially introduced to mixed reviews from horological purists, but thanks to a new dial option for the FiftySix Complete Calendar and Self-Winding models, it feels like the lineup is starting to come into its own. Vacheron developed a brand new colorway called Petrol Blue for the update that maintains the classic appeal and elegance of the Complete Calendar — which was directly inspired by the iconic Ref. 6073 from 1956 — while adding a dash of youthfulness. I personally appreciate the sector dial mixed with the applied Arabic numerals and symmetrical layout of the calendar functions. It’s sized at 40 mm by 11.6 mm and features automatic Caliber 2460 QCL/1, previously seen in the Traditionelle Complete Calendar. Price: $22,800
The FiftySix Self-Winding also received a Petrol Blue dial in this update. When it was launched last year, this automatic model in stainless steel was noted for being the most affordable way to get a new Vacheron on the wrist. With this new dial dressing, I think the strength of the watch has only been enhanced and it should help attract an even wider range of enthusiasts. Price: $11,600
Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date
For its final run of blue-dialed pieces this year (at least so far), Vacheron chose a selection of models from the Patrimony family to build out. The brand developed a new colorway called “Majestic Blue” that really pops in person. The first of these models that we’re going to discuss is the Retrograde Day-Date, a truly funky watch that I think deserves more attention than it currently gets. At 42.5 mm in diameter and just 9.7mm thick, the watch offers a retro aesthetic thanks to its slightly domed dial and diamond-polish gold pearls that serve as the minute track. The date and day of the week are separated into two semicircles on opposing halves of the dial. All adjustments are handled via the single crown that protrudes at 3 o’clock. Inside the polished gold case is automatic Caliber 2460 R31R7/2 that offers up a 40-hour power reserve. Price: $44,800
There are currently 18 different versions of the Patrimony Self-Winding in Vacheron’s catalog that all differ in color, material, and size. This is the first one of those 18 to feature a blue dial. It comes in a polished rose gold case that is sized at 40 mm and features a small, color-matched date aperture at 6 o’clock. Inside the Patrimony Self-Winding is Caliber 2450 Q6 with a 40-hour power reserve. Price: $27,000
For those that prefer to hand wind their watch, Vacheron has added a “Majestic Blue” take on its Patrimony Manual-Winding as well. The classic dress watch is strictly time only with no date aperture and epitomizes the formal style of the Patrimony collection as a whole. It’s quite thin at 6.8 mm and lands at 40 mm in diameter. A polished rose gold case protects manufacture Caliber 1400 with a 40-hour power reserve. Price: $19,100
Les Cabinotiers Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater
In addition to the Mécaniques Sauvages collection that we profiled in December, Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers department quietly released a pair of Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendars with a movement that fans of ultra-thin watchmaking should remember. In 2013 — before Bulgari and Piaget began their ultra-thin tug-of-war — Vacheron introduced the Patrimony Contemporaine Minute Repeater, then the thinnest minute repeater to come to market thanks to Caliber 1731 with a thinness of 3.9 mm. The hand-wound movement makes a triumphant return inside this run of two unique pieces with the addition of a perpetual calendar complication. The addition of a QP increases the height of the caliber from 3.9 mm to only 5.7 mm, for a total thickness of 10.44 mm. The two watches come in white gold with an opaline blue dial or pink gold with a brown dial. Price upon request.