The last year’s Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph is finally available in an 18-karat white gold case. Sold as reference 47192/000G-9504, the new model is designed for those who consider the rose gold variety a bit too blingy for a modern gentleman.
Inside, there is the well-known VC 1141 caliber, which is the same 1950 Lemania 2310 hand-wound chronograph movement decorated and re-adjusted to fit Vacheron Constantin’s higher standards. Judging by the photos, VC also replaces some original parts with its own. The movement uses a traditional column-wheel control and features gold-plated bridges.
The base caliber (including its version cal. 2320 that features a swan neck regulator and four additional jewels) enjoys a great reputation for its reliability and accuracy (and it also looks marvelous, especially if you invest some time and money into decorating its numerous bridges) and is used by such esteemed brands as Breguet, Patek Philippe and if memory serves well, Roger Dubuis.
There could probably be more, but, being more difficult to come by and also not so easy to work with as the well-known ETA work-horse calibers, the mechanism slowly becomes a real rarity thus increasing the collectability of timekeepers that are powered by this exceptional classic caliber.
The dial features a traditional for the 1940s layout a chronograph totalizer at 9 o’clock, which is perfectly balanced with a small second hand at 3 o’clock. The tachymeter scale, which is printed right on the dial, is also a blast from the past.
With its large and high-contrast Arabic numerals on the sub-dials and faceted applied hour markers, the dial is perfectly legible in the good light, but, lacking luminescent substance on these elements as well as on the hands, is a real pain to look at at night or even in the twilight.
The version in rose gold is a bit better in this regard since its rose gold hour markers and hands look more contrasting over its silver dial.
At 42 millimeters in diameter, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph is a bit large for a dress watch and takes a lot of space on a normal wrist. Still, thanks to its relatively short and ergonomically shaped lugs, the timekeeper feels comfortable after you get used to its impressive mass.
Also, thanks to the use of a hand-wound caliber, the case is relatively thin measuring just over 10.5 millimeters from top to bottom. Combined with its nicely sculpted bezel, this is a perfect dress watch even for those who prefer to wear shirts with narrow cuffs.
As for the controls, I, too, had a hard time trying to find even a minor flaw here.
The winding crown’s diameter allows to get the movement winded in a fast yet precise manner and the part is just long enough to offer an adequate grip, but not to hurt the back of your palm if you prefer to wear the timepiece lower on your hand.
The chronograph push-pieces are rather standard, there is nothing special about them.
All in all, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph is a beautiful gadget and is a nice choice if you are in the market for a vintage chronograph in a case made of precious metal and which is priced around $55,000.
Photos: Vacheron Constantin
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph specification
Movement: VC 1141 caliber, base Lemania 2310, hand-wound, 21 jewels, 18,000 vph, 5.60 mm high, 27.0 mm in diameter, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: White gold
Transparent back: Yes, sapphire
Size: 42.0 mm
Case height: 10.60 mm
Dial: Silver opaline
Hands: White gold
Strap: Black hand-stitched, saddle-finish square-shape scales alligator leather with 18-karat white gold buckle polished half Maltese Cross
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated
Water resistance: 30 meters