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WATCH REVIEW Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine automatique Collection Excellence Platine

Editor's opinion
83 / 100
Vacheron Constantin entrusted The Watch Observer with one of its 150 copies of the Patrimony Contemporaine automatique from the Collection Excellence Platine. We tested it for you. Review.
Straight to the Point

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine automatique Collection Excellence Platine

Ref.: 43150/000P-9684
$40,900.00 US retail price September 1st, 2011
  • an exclusive and highly elegant piece
  • the exceptional quality of the finishes
  • the quality of the movement, stamped with the Poinçon de Genève
  • a case with a slightly large diameter
  • potential sensitivity to scratches
Brand Vacheron Constantin
Model name
Patrimony Contemporaine automatique Collection Excellence Platine
Case material
Platinum 950
Case diameter (without crown)
Case diameter (crown included)
Movement type
Base Caliber
Camberred sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
Length from lug to lug
Case thickness
Strap material
Navy blue alligator with stitches made of platinum 950 and silk
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Platinum 950
Total weight
85 grams
Retail price USA at September 1st, 2011
Comfort (/15) 15
Movement (/20) 15
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 5
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 5
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 3
Power reserve (/2) 0
Complications (/5) 2
Finishing (/20) 19
Dial finishing (/6) 6
Case finishing (/6) 5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 2
Crystal quality (/4) 4
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 2
Functionality (/20) 12
Diurnal legibility (/5) 5
Night legibility (/4) 0
Water resistance (/3) 0
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 7
Limited edition (/3) 3
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 0
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 15
When to wear it ? Dressed-up with a smoking or with a pair of jeans!
Users opinion
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In 2006, Vacheron Constantin launched its limited edition Excellence Platine series.
The concept behind these limited series goes beyond the production of platinum pieces.
It covers the entire presentation of the watch.

So, here’s the review of one of the 150 copies of the latest creation from this collection, the Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique.

A pure design

Right away with the initial encounter, the case catches the eye.

The case’s sparse and fine design is very elegant, thanks to its slender proportions due to its thinness (7.22mm) and its large diameter (42mm excluding the crown).

Given the density of platinum, you’ll appreciate the strong, but comfortable presence of this Vacheron Constantin on your wrist.

The case's sparse and fine design is very elegant, thanks to its slender proportions.

Besides, the case’s polished finish visually reinforces this presence thanks to the warm reflections given off by this noble metal.
The peripheral components of this watch, like the bezel or the pin buckle on the strap, are also made of platinum.

But the material itself should not overshadow this Patrimony’s design, very meticulous thought up in all of its details.

The Maltese Cross, the brand’s symbol, is classically located on the crown, but especially, shapes the pin buckle.

More surprising, the stitches on the navy blue alligator strap are made of silk and platinum.
This could be seen as unnecessary or even superfluous…

But the result is truly different, and aesthetically very well-done, adding to the exceptional and exclusive nature of this Vacheron Constantin.
It puts the strap in tune with the watch itself, which is not always the case in the watchmaking world, while preserving the harmony and consistency of the whole.

An exceptionally high-quality finish

The subtlety and character of this limited edition are maybe best illustrated by the hands and dial of this Vacheron Constantin, also made of platinum.

More surprising - and aesthetically very well-done, the stitches on the navy blue alligator strap are made of silk and platinum.

We have two hands, no date display, a watch with a slightly substantial diameter, and a very
open dial…
On paper, all the characteristics of a dial that is too empty or dull appear to be present.

Yet, the sword-shaped hands – very slender, polished, and faceted – further emphasize the simplicity of the design and harmoniously animate the dial of this Patrimony.

Furthermore, the circular-grained minutes markers – located slightly on the inside of the dial, the 12 applied gold hourmarkers, the Maltese Cross, the brand name, and above all, the powdered-platinum dial, all succeed in creating some relief, and using the natural light to produce deep and changing reflections.

Movement: caliber 1120

The Maltese Cross-shaped skeleton rotor, very openworked, lets you admire the movement in its entirety.

The caliber that outfits this limited edition is on par with the exceptionally-high level of the finish on the overall presentation of the watch.
This is the 1120 caliber.

Entirely manufactured and decorated by Vacheron Constantin, this movement, based on the rough sketches of the Jaeger-LeCoultre 920, possesses interesting characteristics making it a high-level movement.

For example, the balance, beating at a rate of 19,800 alternations per hour, is driven by a
free-moving hairspring.
The free-moving hairspring is an alternative to the traditional adjusting mechanism for the movement’s accuracy.
Most of the time, this adjusting is done by changing the length of the spiral, which allows you to adjust the balance’s oscillating frequency.

The decorating work on the caliber 1120 is exemplary: the Côtes de Genève, the beveling, and the sunray patterns are all of an extremely high quality.

On the 1120 caliber, the length of the spiral is fixed. The adjusting is done by taking advantage of the balance’s inertia, using weights screwed in the periphery.

If this solution requires more attention during the adjustment, it also provides more stability.

Using our “chronocomparator” on this Vacheron Constantin tested here, we were able to confirm the impressive rigor of the adjustments in all five positions.
All the data obtained in this fashion ranged between 0 and +3 seconds per day, keeping in mind for comparison purposes that the tolerance level accepted by the C.O.S.C. is itself -4 to
+6 seconds per day.

The gold oscillating weight rotates in the movement’s periphery, with four ruby wheels to ensure a perfect rotation.

This de-centering of the weight results not only in maximizing its inertia – and thus a more efficient rewinding of the movement – but also in a noticeable thinness for the caliber – only 2.45mm!

Finally, the decorating work is exemplary: the Côtes de Genève, the beveling, and the sunray patterns are all of an extremely high quality.

As a testimony to the quality of this Vacheron Constantin, the Poinçon de Genève is applied on the movement as a validation of the excellence of the work achieved by the brand.

To see a video of this Vacheron Constantin (or click HERE if you are unable to access the linked video):

What to remember

The Vacheron Constantin’s Pratrimony Traditionnelle product range already offers us very
high-quality models.
With this Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique from the Collection Excellence Platine, the bar has been raised even further.
The great sobriety, elegance, and exceptional quality of the finish of this watch will thrill a few demanding (and lucky!) collectors.

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