In my view, a 247th anniversary celebration should not be the rager. 250th deserves the splash. And while Vacheron Constantin’s 2005 Esprit des Cabinotiers (the golden clock-egg) was incredibly impressive, I like unique wristwatches. For reasons I cannot surmise, in 2002, Vacheron arrived a few years early with this incredible Patrimony retrograde. Who among us can say they haven’t experienced a similar over-eagerness. I find their 2002 release one of the most attractive of that decade. Today, one of the two-hundred and forty-seven just surfaced.
The standard Patrimony 31-Day Retrograde was openworked (a word you may normally associate with AP, for its rarity in VC & Patek), hewn in platinum, and finished to an even higher standard. Its 37mm case retained the fluted, stepped lugs and extreme round profile of the original. The back is equally opened to display its impressive caliber 1126/1 (JLC 889 ébauche). The front and back feature rhodium-plating, Cotes de Geneve, fausses cotes, and hand bevel polishing. The movement incorporates an anti-shock casing, monometallic balance adjusted to five positions at 28800 vph, blued screws, 21K gold rotor, and 38-hour reserve. I’d kill for the chance to watch that retrograde do its thing. Perhaps the next time one is auctioned and COVID is past.
The celebration model was limited to 247 pieces and mostly sold to ‘VVIP’s, in the traditional VC/AP/Patek LE fashion. As such, merely mortal collectors didn’t really have a chance. There have been a few auctions and a slow trickle in private sales, but, for the most part, these are . . .whatever the category above rare is. This example comes with its original box and papers. The watch itself is strong also. This is in a lightly-worn condition, platinum wears marks well (not terribly soft). It’s a rare chance to acquire a reference that would be the envy of any VC collector.
Find this Patrimony Retrograde 247 here from Phillips Perpetual for 21750 USD.