Vacheron Constantin champions retrograde display in new watches unveiled at Watches and Wonders

Discover new watches from Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin watches
Left, Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde and, right, Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date
(Image credit: Vacheron Constantin)

Vacheron Constantin rethinks classic watch design codes in its new collections, released at Watches and Wonders 2023. Both the new Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date and the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface nod to the retrograde displays that first appeared in Vacheron Constantin timepieces in the 1920s, before briefly disappearing in the decades after. 

‘Vacheron Constantin decided to reintroduce such systems during the 1990s – the double retrograde time display of our Mercator wristwatch is a good example – and later, the year 2000, with the launch of the reference 47245 which showed a 31-days retrograde calendar,’ says style and heritage director at Vacheron Constantin, Christian Selmoni. ‘Since, our maison has been revisiting such systems which truly became a technical signature of Vacheron Constantin. In this context, we are celebrating this sophisticated calendar display through three novelties in three different collections.’

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date watch

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date 

(Image credit: Vacheron Constantin)

Offbeat design codes, from a salmon-coloured dial to the display, unite moments from the brand’s history over the last century. ‘Besides celebrating the retrograde indication itself in the Overseas and Traditionnelle collections, we are presenting the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date – a model launched in 2007 and one of the most recognisable of the collection – within a kind of capsule collection which combines platinum, for the watch case, and salmon colour, for the dial,’ adds Selmoni. ‘Such a combination was indeed present in our vintage watches, namely chronographs from the 1940s. This colour combination is particularly appreciated by watch collectors and was launched last year with the Traditionnelle perpetual calendar chronograph, and for the second year – 2023 – we are introducing it within Patrimony in limited production.’

Ultimately, the watches encapsulate the distinctive Vacheron Constantin classic-with-a-twist aesthetic. ‘If we turn our eyes to the maison’s heritage and legacy, we can see that we count numerous designs which encapsulate this less-is-more philosophy, with a particularly important focus on augmented readability. Retrograde displays are fully in line with this design philosophy.’

Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.