Last year when Vacheron Constantin unveiled its Métiers d’Art Collection, La Symbolique des Laques, it gave the word “painstaking” a new meaning, as the collection combined ancient Japanese lacquer painting technique with fine watchmaking tradition. At SIHH 2011, Vacheron Constantin will be launching a new model for its Quai de L’Ile Collection with a decidedly modern take on Haute Horlogerie: personalisation. Besides this, the new Quai de L’Ile watch also offers a brand new calibre and a dynamic silhouette.
The 326-part Calibre 2460 QRA is a new mechanical self-winding complicated movement designed, developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. It powers the annual calendar and a retrograde date display, a rare combination of complications. The innovative annual calendar handles both 30-day and 31-day months, so it only needs to be adjusted for February. The retrograde date display is useful too, along with a moon phase display which needs to be corrected only once every 122 years. Sounds exaggerated? Well, short-term solutions aren’t what this 255-year-old watch company is about.
Make It Your Own
The Quai de L’Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar has a more streamlined look, and is available in pink or white gold. Moreover, it comes in a new 43-mm size, with a cushion-shaped case and a screw-down back fitted with a sapphire crystal pane. If you are looking for a more radical departure from the watch’s original trappings, then personalisation would be the next step.
The Quai de L’Ile case, lateral flanks at 3 and 9 o’clock, lugs at 12 and 6 o’clock, the inter-lug pieces at the same positions, the support plate, the bezel, the back and the crown, as well as certain dial elements – all this can be personalised with pre-established options. The number of possible combinations come to about 700 within the entire Quai de L’Ile Collection.
And if you have yet to be impressed by this horological masterpiece, hear this: between 4 and 5 o’clock, there is a sun motif (inspired by the clock tower of the Tour de L’Ile) printed in invisible ink, seen only with ultra-violet light!