A “jumpy” character:
Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Moon Phase and Retrograde Date

Patrimony Moon Phase & Retrograde Date Display

The dial of this self-winding wristwatch displays two popular complications: an especially precisely constructed moon-phase display and a retrograde date indicator.
  • Material: 18 k rose gold
  • Movement: Automatic, Calibre 2460 PDL
  • Diameter: 42.5 mm
  • Special features: Moon phase, moon age, retrograde date
  • Wempe reference: VC210118

Sufficient energy for extra jumps


Since time immemorial, people, both bidden and unbidden, have philosophized about the essence of time, the most precious of all human values. One fact is beyond debate: time is a constant and unending cycle of coming and going. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that nearly all clocks and watches use revolving hands to display time’s passage. The resulting circles correspond outstandingly well with Vacheron Constantin’s self-winding Caliber 2460 PDL – and naturally also with the similarly round shape of the new Patrimony Moon Phase and Retrograde Date’s case. Time can also be defined as a departure from origins and a return to them, a viewpoint first embodied around 1820 in pocket watches with unconventional indicators equipped with hands that traversed only an arc and not a full circle. When a hand reached the end of its appointed arc, it jumped back to its starting position. Connoisseurs describe this as a retrograde display, a “jumping” system that puts extreme demands on technicians because watch movements are usually inherently not strong enough to trigger such abrupt actions. This means that the necessary energy must be accumulated gradually in a snail-shaped cam element. As it rotates, its rising curvature acts on a lever system with connected hands. A plunge down a steep step after a 360-degree turn liberates sufficient energy to power the fast retrograde motion. The slow pilgrimage resumes afterwards, as it does on this wristwatch’s unusual date display with hand indication. The date requires manual correction at the end of all months with fewer than 31 days, but the moon phase display won’t err by one full day until 122 years have passed. No fewer than 275 components combine to form the brand’s own Caliber 2460 PDL, which boasts a 22-karat gold rotor. All its setting and correcting tasks are accomplished using the crown, while its barrel stores enough energy for 40 hours of autonomous power. The Geneva Seal guarantees quality and precision.
The Art of Horological Complications
The Art of Horological Complications

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