The first thing we notice about this watch is the division of the dial into two halves, showing the retrograde date display at the top and the moon phases on the bottom, with enlarged indexes at 3 and 9 as if to make further distinction between this day/night separation.
Vacheron Constantin has chosen a central arrow hand in a grey colour for the retrograde date. This contrasts with the gold hour and minute hands for easy read-off. The moon phases are similarly legible thanks to a scale graduated from 0 to 29½ days to measure the age of the moon.
Both the date and the moon phases are adjusted by turning the crown, in its second position, either forwards or backwards. This may not seem like much, but it’s a clever solution and one that the wearer will appreciate for daily use.
The beauty of Vacheron Constantin’s movements is well-established, and so it’s a pleasure to be able to admire this 2460 R31L automatic calibre through the sapphire caseback. The gorgeous finishing reflects the standards required by the Poinçon de Genève certification. The movement is exactly the right size for the 42.5-mm case, dimensions that are suited to regular wear. This is a clean-looking case, and Vacheron Constantin has respected this with minimal crown protrusion.
Because it’s such a lyrical complication, a moon phase display makes a natural addition to the Patrimony collection, and gives life to a dial which lacked that little extra distinction to really make it stand out.