A TIMELY ODE

The National - News - Luxury - - THE STYLE LIST -

O ne of the old­est lux­ury-watch man­u­fac­tur­ers in the world, Vacheron Con­stantin has a client list that has in­cluded the likes of Napoleon Bon­a­parte, Pope Pius XI and Ed­ward VIII. Cur­rent cus­tomers in­clude the ev­er­con­tro­ver­sial US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who owns a rare Vacheron Con­stantin His­toriques Ul­tra-Fine 1968 watch with a rose gold case.

Rose gold is also a defin­ing el­e­ment of the brand’s lat­est launch: a time­piece from its Over­seas col­lec­tion, in­spired by and ex­clu­sive to the Mid­dle East, pro­duced in a lim­ited quan­tity of about 35 pieces for men. There are also about 40 smaller watches, each en­crusted with 84 round-cut di­a­monds, for women.

“It’s very rare, ac­tu­ally, that Vacheron Con­stantin makes re­gional spe­cials,” says Alexander Sch­miedt, the Mid­dle East brand di­rec­tor for Vacheron Con­stantin. “Be­cause we can pro­duce only very few watches each year, there is a lot of de­mand for spe­cial pieces, and very rarely can we con­vince our HQ to cre­ate some­thing ex­clu­sive for a re­gion,” he says.

The Over­seas col­lec­tion launched in 2003 and, as its name sug­gests, is in­spired by travel. While sig­na­ture time­pieces from the range typ­i­cally fea­ture blue di­als, the new spe­cial-edi­tion pays homage to the Mid­dle East with rich shades of brown. “We found that the key colours you have in mind when you think of the re­gion are the dif­fer­ent shades of brown and gold,” says Sch­miedt. “The gold from the sun, and the brown that you find on the old build­ings, the desert sand, the camels, the cof­fee and in the eyes of the peo­ple. The beauty is that it’s not one colour of brown, it’s a kalei­do­scopic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of brown and gold.”

The men’s time­piece has a 42.5-mil­lime­tre di­am­e­ter case and fea­tures a cal­i­bre 5200, self-wind­ing chrono­graph move­ment com­pris­ing 263 com­po­nents. A col­umn wheel co­or­di­nates the chrono­graph’s start, stop and re­set func­tions, while a ver­ti­cal cou­pling clutch en­sures smooth func­tion­ing. The move­ment has a twin bar­rel that al­lows for more than 50 hours of power re­serve, and is pro­tected from mag­netic fields by a so iron ring. The time­piece is also wa­ter­re­sis­tant up to 150 me­tres.

Since the Over­seas col­lec­tion is travel-in­spired, Sch­miedt be­lieves it is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant to the UAE, es­pe­cially Dubai. “There are few other cities in the world that have this cos­mopoli­tan spirit, when in the same day you can be in the of­fice, on the beach and then trav­el­ling some­where around the world.”

For these cos­mopoli­tan men, adapt­abil­ity is key when watch-shop­ping, and the in­ter­change­able strap fea­ture of the Over­seas time­pieces caters to this need for con­stant vari­a­tion. The watch comes with three op­tions: a ro­bust metal bracelet; a sporty, tex­tured rub­ber strap in­spired by the Mal­tese cross; and a nubuck al­li­ga­tor leather strap. Cus­tomers can switch be­tween straps within a mat­ter of sec­onds, thanks to the brand’s patent-pend­ing fold­ing-clasp mech­a­nism.

“These peo­ple can change in one day, from some­thing that is very en­dur­ing and safe, to some­thing that is more for­mal, to some­thing that is ca­sual and sporty,” ex­plains Sch­miedt. “And the im­por­tant thing is the us­abil­ity and eas­i­ness, be­cause as soon as some­thing takes more than 30 sec­onds, peo­ple won’t do it.” www.vacheron-con­stantin.com

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