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WATCH REVIEW Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Retrograde Day and Date

Editor's opinion
77 / 100
For some, Haute Horlogerie is synonymous with conservatism. The Patrimony Retrograde that I have tested proves the contrary. Display, movement and shape of the case... everything is innovative! Review.
Straight to the Point

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Retrograde Day and Date

Ref.: 86020/000G-9508
$33,000.00 US retail price November 7th, 2010
  • exceptional consistency and success of the whole case/dial/caliber
  • a useful double complication for daily life
  • the Poinçon de Genève certication
  • possible confusion in the legibility of the time, because of the too similar color of the hands
  • no night-time legibility
Brand Vacheron Constantin
Case material
White gold 18 carats
Case diameter (without crown)
42,5 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
44 mm
Movement type
Base Caliber
Retrograding date
Retrograding day
Camberred sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
22 mm
Length from lug to lug
49,50 mm
Case thickness
10,31 mm
Strap material
Clasp type
Deployment clasp
Clasp material
White gold 18 carats
Total weight
113 grammes
Retail price USA at November 7th, 2010
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) 17
Dial finishing (/6) 6
Case finishing (/6) 5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 3
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 2
Functionality (/20) 10
Diurnal legibility (/5) 4
Night legibility (/4) 0
Water resistance (/3) 0
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 3
Additional items (/10) 5
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 1
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 15
When to wear it ? Everyday and everywhere... but on the beach!
Users opinion
like this watch
Do you like this watch?

A useful double complication

The display of the day and the date is a classic of watchmaking.
But what is not, is that it is retrograde.
And let-alone doubly retrograde!

The dial of this Patrimony Contemporaine Jour et Date rétrogradants is sober and legible.
On its upper part, a specific arrow-shaped hand shows the date, on 180° at the periphery.
On the lower part, another smaller hand, which axis is positioned just on top of 6 o’clock, shows the day of the week.

Thus, these two indications inscribe themselves in two curves, one upon the other one, but without overlaying each other: the subtle balance that emerges is a true success.

A sober and elegant dial

Very slightly curved, the opaline dial is regulated by the classics of the Patrimony Contemporaine range: beveled markers (at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock) alternated with the stick applied markers and the pearl-shaped motion work.

And of course, without forgetting the polished Croix de Malte.

The whole is made of white gold.

In order allowing to embank the forces linked to the immediate return of the hands at the end of the period (in 1/10th second), they are made of a flexible and light alloy.

One might regret that the stick-shaped hands of the hours and the minutes are of a very similar color with the one that indicates the days, positioned on the same axis. A second glance is indeed sometimes necessary to avoid the confusion.

The whole is sober, elegant and shows a strong identity.


A gorgeous case

The white gold case is also very successful.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of the market – but it is a matter of taste!

With a 42.5 mm diameter, the case middle slims down to the wrist, allowing, thanks to the long lugs, to position itself naturally.

Despite this relatively important diameter for an elegant watch, it emerges a great visual presence, but no physical obstruction.
The comfort when wearing it is thus excellent.

On the other hand, the strap made of black alligator leather, enhanced by the folding clasp with the huge half Croix de Malte, offers a nice contrast with the wealth of details of the whole.


The in-house caliber of this VC is stamped with the Poinçon de Genève, which is not only a token of origin, but above all, of great quality.

A caliber for enthusiasts

The automatic movement of 11 lines ½ is conceived on the basis of the caliber 2460, launched by Vacheron Constantin in 2005.

In-house caliber, it is stamped with the Poinçon de Genève, which is not only a token of origin, but above all, of great quality.

It is an answer to some technical demands while being highly poetical – its flawless finishing being not all visible, contrary to the bevel or the grained finishing that you can see on the photos of the slideshow.

And all this for our great pleasure…

It has to be said that the ceramic balls that ensure the rotation of the guilloche worked rotor made of 22K yellow gold do not contravene the Poinçon de Genève’s technical specifications – which did not plan it.


What to remember

With this Patrimony Contemporaine Jour et Date rétrogradants, Vacheron Constantin offers both a classic and modern timepiece.

It will be able to answer the expectancies of the well-informed amateur, who is attached to the watchmaking traditional values and who wishes at the same time the technical and the aesthetic innovation.


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