News October 2006

Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique

Upholding the spirit of Vacheron Constantin's tradition

The Watch Quote™ - October 26th, 2006



Haute Horlogerie is most powerfully expressed in the classical form. An elegant shape and timeless style combine with refined, harmonious lines to make "classic" timepieces the true standard-bearers of an age-old tradition.

Vacheron Constantin's Patrimony Contemporaine, with its pure lines and a diameter of 40 mm, has become the brand's most emphatic example of this style. Following a hand-winding version introduced in 2004, Vacheron Constantin has now been expanded the line to include an automatic model.

Thanks to the introduction of the new calibre 2450 automatic movement - stamped with the prestigious Poinçon de Genève and designed and developed exclusively by Vacheron Constantin - the brand's Manufacture is now proud to present the Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique. This model exemplifies the traditional, time-honoured craftsmanship and expertise of the oldest watch Manufacture in Switzerland, which has enjoyed over 250 years of uninterrupted activity.


The Patrimony line
or the quest for elegance and refinement

The Patrimony line is a true expression of classicism. While it unambiguously asserts its affiliation with Vacheron Constantin's founding values, it is also distinguished by its aesthetic qualities, making it one of the brand's emblematic lines.

Designed to be worn at all times, looking just as smart with city clothes as with evening dress, the Patrimony is the watch of preference for men attached to traditional values.

By housing a whole range of movements, from the simplest to the most complicated, the Patrimony models are clearly evolving. At the same time, they continue to reflect the brand's expertise.

Proving that innovation is an ongoing process and that safeguarding the traditional values of the Patrimony line is a major concern for Vacheron Constantin, the Manufacture introduced the new Patrimony Contemporaine line, the worthy successor of this long tradition, in 2004.


Introduction of the Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique

With its ultra-pure lines and a diameter of 40 mm, the Patrimony Contemporaine has become the most emphatic example of Vacheron Constantin's classical style; the hand-wound version introduced in 2004 has now been joined by an automatic version, the Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique, which brings its own merits to the model.

Designed without any concessions and with great integrity, this model reflects the natural development of the line. A magnificent illustration of the authenticity of a style still recognised as the most perfect affirmation of horological savoir-faire, its contours, proportions and elegance instinctively bring to mind the pure, harmonious and timeless lines of a Vacheron Constantin timepiece.


A dial, a date - a pure and timeless design
An open back to admire the Poinçon de Genève movement

In designing the Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique, Vacheron Constantin remains absolutely faithful to its philosophy.

The Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique – introduced this year in white or yellow gold versions - is an emphatic declaration of contemporary elegance. With its fine lines and a diameter of 40 mm, it proudly conveys the strength and simplicity of contemporary classicism.

The brand has brought all its expertise to bear on this model. With its soldered horns, hand-polishing and hand-finishing, it is a supreme example of the fine execution and craftsmanship of all Vacheron Constantin timepieces and meets the most stringent criteria of the brand.

Other clear references to this heritage are the curved dial, directly inspired by the watches of the 1950's, and its sunray effect; this is obtained by satin-finishing.

To respect the criteria of the Patrimony Contemporaine line, the hour circle is decorated with polished 18K gold triangular hour markers and a circular-grained minute-circle. The hour markers and central baton hands are curved, by hand, to follow the shape of the dial.

As a final concession to contemporary aspirations, a date window, slightly chamfered to create the effect of a well of light, has been placed at 6 o'clock so that it does not interfere with the reading of the time and respects the overall aesthetic harmony of the watch.

Finally, the open back has been fitted with a large sapphire crystal, making it possible to admire the new calibre 2450 automatic movement stamped with the prestigious Poinçon de Genève, the decorated 22K gold rotor, and all the finishing on the movement's various parts.

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Technical Features

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique


References:85180/000G-9230 and
85180/000J-9231
Movement:2450, automatic mechanical, stamped with the Poinçon de Genève.
Height of movement:3.60 mm
Diameter of movement:25.60 mm (11½ lignes)
Jewels:27 rubies
Frequency:28,800 vibrations/hour
Indications:Hours, minutes, centre seconds, and date window.
Case:18K white or yellow gold, 40 mm in diameter.
Water-resistance:Tested at a pressure of 3 atm (equivalent to 30 metres).
Dial:Light, silvered, opalescent sunray, curved exterior zone, 18K gold hour markers, circular-grained exterior minute-circle.
Strap:Mississipiensis alligator leather, hand-sewn, black or chestnut brown.
Clasp:Classic 18K white or yellow gold buckle.

Introduction of the new calibre 2450 automatic movement


Vacheron Constantin is proud to present its new calibre 2450 automatic movement, designed and developed exclusively by the Vacheron Constantin Manufacture.



The quality of its design and the excellence of its finishing have earned it the Poinçon de Genève, a hallmark guaranteeing the exceptional level of a product's technical nature, finishing, construction and durability.

The fruit of the Manufacture's Research & Development department, the new calibre 2450 automatic movement is a valuable addition to the range of Vacheron Constantin movements.

A highly strategic development, it will be used to create a family of complicated movements, ranging from the simplest to grand complications.

Faithful to the extreme technical nature of Vacheron Constantin's classic extra-thin watches, it will make its debut in the new Patrimony Contemporaine Automatique.


A long research and development process

What could be more natural for an Haute Horlogerie brand backed by over 250 years of history than to delve into its past for the inspiration needed to create new movements. The calibre 2450 automatic movement perpetuates the Vacheron Constantin tradition by drawing on the richness of its history while displaying its capacity for innovation.

Inspired by the benchmark calibre 1120 movement introduced in the 1960's, the new calibre 2450 movement has preserved the same resolutely modern approach in both design and manufacture and has remained faithful to its concept, which was based on technical perfection and a set of time-honoured values.

To celebrate its recent 250th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin produced a remarkable number of outstanding movements and timepieces. Conspicuous among them was the calibre 2475 automatic movement, which was housed in the Jubilee 1755.

While similarities exist between the 2475 and the 2450, these two automatic movements are different, with the 2450 designed from the outset to receive additional plates so that it can be used to equip a whole range of timepieces, from simple watches to grand complications.


A movement with longer life expectancy

The calibre 2450 movement was designed and developed exclusively by Vacheron Constantin's engineers and manufacturers.

It harmoniously integrates watch and calendar functions, displaying the date, hour, minute and, by means of a central hand, the seconds. Its proportions - 3.60 mm high and 25.6 mm in diameter (11½ lignes) - are perfectly suitable for men's range of models.

Beating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations an hour - the ideal frequency for precision and long-term reliability - this movement has a power reserve exceeding 40 hours.

The use of ceramic ball-bearings in the rotor system dispenses with the need for lubrication, giving the movement a longer than average life span.

The movement also has a stop-seconds, a small device for stopping the watch and adjusting the time to the exact second.


Hand-finishing makes each movement unique

At Vacheron Constantin, quality workmanship is an ongoing, constant criterion. While technology can meet virtually any of today's manufacturing requirements, nothing can ever replace the artistic skills and sensibility of the men and women working at the Manufacture.

The new calibre 2450 movement, therefore, is manufactured at Vacheron Constantin, hand-finished in the Manufacture and benefits from the age-old techniques and expertise of its experienced and dedicated craftsmen and women.

Meeting the highest standards of craftsmanship, these men and women have paid meticulous attention to the finishing and decorating of every single part.

To begin with, the 22K gold rotor, which turns automatically with the wearer's movements and winds the barrel spring, is decorated extensively and displays the scrupulous attention to detail that is synonymous with Vacheron Constantin. It is polished and engraved – with a guilloched effect – in accordance to the exclusive Maltese Cross design with an exterior brushed sunray finish to reflect the light.

The movement plate is circular-grained - in other words, decorated - with 650 small circles. These are produced manually by using small, abrasive pegs carefully selected on the basis of the diameter of the circles to be made. These silky, full, slightly overlapping circles create a very beautiful and decorative finish.

In the purest Genevan tradition, the hand-chamfered bridges are decorated by using a small abrasive grinding-wheel covered with emery paper. They have the famous Côtes de Genève pattern perfectly aligned when the pieces are assembled. The gear-trains and the heads of the screws with their chamfered grooves are highlighted with a highly polished finish.

As in all Vacheron Constantin movements, the teeth of every wheel, every pivot and every sharp angle are patiently polished, burnished and chamfered, conveying the values of interior beauty so cherished by the brand as well as the quality workmanship of the watchmakers and craftsmen whose savoir-faire is passed down from generation to generation.

Some of the manual finishing, however, like the chamfering of the steel parts, the moulding of the wheels and the polishing of the pinions, is not carried out for aesthetic reasons alone, but to meet indispensable functional requirements.

One of the brand's fundamental values is that everything should contribute to the overall reliability and good working order of the watch.

Throughout the manufacturing process, therefore, the parts are washed several times, with each kind of metal (steel, brass, silver nickel, etc.) undergoing very specific and effective cleaning operations. These must be vigorously applied to protect the decorations from deteriorating and to lengthen the life of the movements.

During these operations, each part is inspected by the experienced eye of a master craftsman to ensure that it corresponds perfectly to the criteria laid down by Vacheron Constantin and the rigorous standards set by the Poinçon de Genève, the most prestigious official distinction that can be given to a mechanical movement.

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