Everyone makes a watch with a platinum case, only Vacheron makes a watch with a platinum case, dial, hands, crown, buckle, and stitching. Yes, this watch is 100% platinum, and the coolness doesn’t end there. In fact, this ultra-thin Vacheron uses arguably the most famous automatic movement ever made, at least according to watch nerds like us. But, let’s start at the beginning.
In 2006, Vacheron Constantin announced a new line of watches dubbed the “Collection Excellence Platine” which are a special series of pieces built entirely out of platinum. They are typically limited to 150 units in each execution, and while the cases, crown, hands, and buckle are all in platinum, it is the sandblasted platinum dials of these watches that get the most attention. See that little “PT 950” between 4 and 5 o’clock? That’s the platinum grade, in this case meaning that this alloy is 95% platinum.
And, as we mentioned above, even the buckle and stitching on this watch is platinum. You might be wondering how stitching can be platinum, and well, so are we, but we’ll take Vacheron’s word for it.
The watch you see in these pictures is a brand new model in the Collection Excellence Platine, one that we actually discovered in the new Vacheron boutique before it became official. It is, in our opinion, the coolest piece of this all platinum line yet. And the reason? Well, you are looking the dial and seeing there is no date or seconds hand, so you probably assume this watch uses one of Vacheron’s beautiful manually wound calibers. You’d be wrong. It uses this:
Any half-way serious watch guys knows exactly what he’s looking at here, it’s an ultra-thin automatic movement built on a track. In other words, it’s the most famous automatic movement of all time, the movement that has gone by several names including the JLC 920, the AP 2120, the Patek 28-255 C, and when inside a Vacheron, the VC 1120. In even simpler terms, it’s the automatic movement used by Patek Philippe in the very first reference of their Genta-designed Nautilus, the movement that Vacheron itself used in its Genta-esque 222, and of course, the movement used in the original Royal Oak from AP.
These movements were all built on an ebauche from JLC called the 920, and when Jaeger was sold by AP to Richemont, AP retained the rights to the movement. They still use it in the Reference 15202 “Jumbo” and as the base of most of their complicated pieces, but they also sell the 2120 to Vacheron for limited use. Though, in most cases, Vacheron uses these movement as the base for their complications, they have decided to let the simple automatic movement stand alone in this limited edition, all platinum dress watch.
This new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Auto Excellence Platine is a very special watch. The limited nature, the all platinum surrounds (we really can’t get over the platinum stitching), and of course, the use of one of the most desirable automatic movements of all time make this piece a true collector’s dream. Retail is around $53,000 and if interested in purchasing one, we suggest you contact Vacheron as quickly as possible.