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Private Preview 2014: Playing Coy

James D. Malcolmson

Those who admire valuable yet understated objects will naturally be drawn to Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Contemporaine Calibre 1731 minute repeater. On its surface, the $369,300 watch appears to be little more than one of the brand’s elegant dress models; yet its interior workings are as highly engineered as those of any modern complicated watch. The company managed to optimize the sound of the strike mechanism while producing the thinnest movement of any minute repeater on the market. The case construction and gong placement have been carefully designed to maximize airflow and metal-on-metal contact, improving volume and tone. To ensure that the mechanism governing the frequency of the hammer strikes does not interfere with the sound of the gongs, the watch is equipped with Vacheron Constantin’s latest silent regulation system. However, the skill of the company’s watchmakers remains the primary factor in eliciting from the movement’s challengingly thin parts such a balanced strike—a sound that only a privileged few will have the opportunity to appreciate.

Vacheron Constantin, www.vacheron-constantin.com