Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Excellence Platine Collection
A classic, understated timepiece enhanced by the most precious metal of all.
The indigenous peoples of pre-Columbian America used platinum to make everyday tools and utensils, because they found it easy to hammer into shape. The Hispanic invaders named the new metal platinum or “little silver” because the scientists of the time believed it to be an impure form of silver. The Spanish authorities, greedy for gold and silver, discarded their finds in the river.
Today, platinum is far more valuable than gold. It is thirty times rarer, and deposits are found in very few places in the world (South Africa produces 80% of the world’s annual output, followed by Russia and North America). It is complex and difficult to produce: dozens of tonnes of ore are extracted and refined over a period of months, in order to make just one ounce of pure platinum.
Its rarity explains some of the prestige platinum enjoys today, but not all. A noble metal with a purity of 95%, platinum has many qualities: it is harder and denser than other precious metals, but it is also extremely ductile (a platinum wire almost 2 km long can be extruded from just one gram of metal); it does not oxidise, it is resistant to abrasion, chemically inert (its radiant white lustre will never tarnish) and hypoallergenic.
This is the symbol of eternity that Vacheron Constantin has placed at the heart of its Excellence Platine Collection, created in 2006, which provides discerning collectors with limited-edition watches (never more than 150 of each) from various different collections. From the Malta Tourbillon to the Patrimony Quantième Perpétuel, not forgetting the Traditionnelle Heure du Monde, and even a pocket watch, the Excellence Platine watches have more to offer than just a Pt 950 platinum case. Their dials are made of the same precious metal, given a sand-blasted finish, as is the clasp, in the shape of half a Maltese cross. The midnight blue alligator strap is hand-sewn, and topstitched with silk and platinum thread.
This year, the aesthetics of the Excellence Platine line grace a Patrimony model (already available in rose and white gold) which offers hours, minutes and a small second at 6 o’clock. Its apparent simplicity is a tribute to the meticulous attention to detail that ensures that every element of the watch is in perfect harmony. The sword-shaped hands sweep over the powder-coated dial, dot minute markers and slender 18K white gold applied indices. The contrast between the brushed and polished surfaces enhances the impression of depth, which is further accentuated by the gently bevelled 42 mm case, a detail that continues onto the dial, hands and indices. The collection’s signature, a discreet “Pt950”, is located between 4 and 5 o’clock. On the back is the limited edition number, out of 150, and a sapphire window reveals the hand-wound Calibre 4400 AS decorated with Geneva striping and the Poinçon de Genève seal, providing a power reserve of 65 hours.
An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the watchmaker or craftsman, dedicating their knowhow to the birth of outstanding watches. The Manufacture also works within a social and environmental code of ethics, and has had Responsible Jewellery Council certification since 2012.Find out more
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