These days we deliver you two sides of the triangle identified as the Holy Trinity to encounter off versus each and every other, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.
And, just to retain factors pleasant and neat, we will be deciding upon a luxury sports enjoy from each and every brand name, the group of timepieces invented by the 3rd facet, Audemars Piguet.
Needless to say we are searching at the extremely prime finish of the horology business, a position in which the elite go, ordinarily with a blank look at, to purchase watches that tacitly proclaim their position and replicate their achievements.
But the pair of designs we’re focusing on in this post are as close to laidback and (dare we say it?) fun as either manufacture provides the Patek Aquanaut and the Vacheron Abroad.
Let us see what’s what.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Vs . the Vacheron Constantin Overseas: Heritage
Every single of the watches highlighted listed here have appear along quite not long ago, at least in relation to the duration of time their respective manufacturers have been in business.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut to start with appeared in 1994, quite significantly a remodeling of the famous Nautilus from two many years prior to, and a check out looking to seize a younger, hipper clientele. The remaining 10 years of the past millennium experienced seen the ‘Dot Com’ boom create (and just as rapidly obliterate) huge fortunes for a new breed of youthful tech savvy entrepreneur and the Nautilus, when found as the most disruptive and rebellious form in the 1970s, was now way too near to the establishment to charm to these recently minted millionaires.
Patek’s respond to was a fresh choose on the luxurious sports look at, one particular which retained a great deal of the Nautilus’s visuals but with a totally contemporary twist.
So, the circumstance was still around the exact same porthole-shape, but the hinged ‘ears’ which experienced been so distinct on the before piece were dispensed with. What is much more, so was the built-in bracelet, the aspect which had arguably accomplished the most to individual the unique watch’s genre from any other. Up entrance, the dial was presented a textured checkerboard complete, echoed throughout on to the sporty ‘Tropical’ rubber strap—a very first for any Patek.
The debut reference, the 5060A, arrived completely in black and measured 35.6mm, scaled-down than the Nautilus of the time. Crucially, it was also solid in steel, which was specified a instrument check out-like brushed complete.
The release of the Aquanaut came at exactly the proper time and it hit the floor jogging. The meant audience snapped it up, loving the everyday luxurious which perfectly captured the spirit of the time. Major collectors ended up not so confident, lumbering it with the title of ‘Nautilus Junior’.
However, the early good results bred additional innovations and Patek have launched a host of variations above the decades. Yellow gold products followed as did those fitted with a metal bracelet.
The design and style was revamped in 2007 on the 10th anniversary, with far more rounded grooves to the dial texture and the 3 o’clock marker eliminated to make way for the date display screen.
The 1st complication didn’t arrive along till 2011, with the introduction of the Travel Time ref. 5164A. That was adopted by the ref. 5968A in 2018, the Aquanaut’s 1st chronograph model.
These days, the 17-powerful collection is mostly produced up of very simple time-and-date items, even now with a handful of chronos and two Vacation Time illustrations thrown in.
But it is nevertheless a far much more energetic and vibrant family of watches than everything else in the Patek lineup, and has successfully fulfilled its remit of maintaining the brand top rated of mind amongst all properly-heeled kids.
Vacheron Constantin’s contribution to this contest was unveiled in 1996, but can essentially trace its roots again 20-yrs, to 1977.
That was the yr VC threw its hat into the luxury sports check out ring, bringing us the ref. 222 to contend with the AP Royal Oak and Patek’ s possess Nautilus.
Named just after the selection of decades the manufacturer had been in operation at the time (they were being founded in 1755, creating them the longest continually-managing Swiss marque in historical past) the ref. 222 had a likewise Genta-esque styling to it, even even though it was built by a younger Jorg Hysek.
It was introduced in 3 variants a 34mm and a 37mm mechanical model (both equally powered by the extremely-flat Caliber 920 from Jaeger-LeCoultre, which could also be observed in the Royal Oak and the Nautilus) and a 25mm quartz variation. Materials made use of had been pure steel, a two-tone combine and all gold.
All followed the now accepted form—a ‘futuristic’ spherical bezel on a barrel-formed scenario, sweeping into an built-in bracelet. It identified a deal of good results at the time, but as typically occurs, classic examples are now vastly prized by collectors. So significantly so, in point, that Vacheron released a faithful copy of the ref. 222 into their Historiques Selection very last 12 months.
That piece was outdated by the ref. 333 in the 1980s, with a rounder scenario and far more troubles.
But equally products have been primary up to the initial of the three generations of the Overseas, introduced in 1996 with a tonneau design and style scenario which was genuinely a mix, aesthetically, of the other two. The 37mm steel enjoy experienced a dynamic seeking fluted bezel created to resemble the brand’s emblem of the Maltese Cross.
The 2nd era arrived alongside in 2004, with a redesigned bracelet and the elimination of crown guards, an raise in dimensions to a much more era-suitable 42mm and some new patterned dials.
Ultimately, the present crop was launched in 2016, and reveals the business is getting the Overseas along much more refined roads. Its at the time angular lines are now softer and far more fluid, the Maltese bezel is toned down and the variety comes with VC’s strap improve program which enables house owners to switch bracelets in seconds as the mood takes them.
There are 38 examples in the assortment, with a slew of capabilities and in a array of metals.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Compared to the Vacheron Constantin Overseas: Selections
As you can see from the higher than, the Abroad collection is superior stocked than the Aquanaut, equally in resources and troubles.
Out of the 38 on supply, around fifty percent are cast in metal, with the rest manufactured up of rose or white gold, or titanium.
Sizing-sensible, the Overseas operates from the greatest at 43.5mm down to the smallest girls items at 33mm and there are a variety of diverse problems to choose from.
The entry degree watches are, of system, the easy time-and-date products in advance of we head into much more haute horlogerie territory with twin time, planet time, perpetual calendar and, at the toppermost of the top close, 4 breathtaking tourbillons, two of which have been skeletonized. But each and every example carries around the range’s styling cues, in certain the Maltese Cross-inspired bezel and the unique bracelet links (on the watches with metal bracelets).
With the Aquanaut, there is essentially much less complexity than you might think about from Patek. Out of the 17 in the collection, all but 5 are time-and-date styles, with the most basic, the ref. 5167 (40.8mm) and the ref. 5168 (42.2mm) symbolizing the gateway into the assortment. After that, there are three chronographs and a pair of journey time illustrations and…that’s it. It seems unusual for the firm that invented the minute repeater, the perpetual calendar, the yearly calendar (and the precise wristwatch itself) that they have not infused the Aquanaut family with some sexier problems, but it might be in order to not acquire emphasis away from the Nautilus selection, which has a bit more scope.
As for elements, the watches adhere to the Overseas really carefully, with a great deal of steel and a several in rose and white gold. Nevertheless, there are no titanium items as of yet.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut As opposed to the Vacheron Constantin Abroad: Prices
As reasonably lighthearted as these two watch strains are, 1 matter you can count on with both of those is that purchasing them is normally going to require parting with a sizeable amount of money of alter.
Commencing selling price about at Patek is about $21,650 for the ref. 5167A on a rubber strap. At the large conclude, the ref. 5062450R, an insanely bejeweled 38.8mm females check out, with 248 diamonds in 25 diverse dimensions swamping its dial, bezel and hour markers, will established you again all over $217,640.
With the Vacheron, these commence at approximately $15,000 for the quartz-driven ref. 1205V/100A and go north until they achieve the ref. 6000V/110R-B733, the 5N rose gold tourbillon piece, providing for all-around $170,000.
Of course, as with everything when we reach this degree, the two brands’ respective selling price lists are fundamentally just guidelines. We have all listened to the horror stories concerning the ready moments for the most popular watches when trying to obtain via official channels, and it holds real currently additional than ever, with COVID taking its toll on production—which was not precisely fast to begin with.
For the most desirable references from both marque, hope to possibly sit twiddling your thumbs for upwards of five decades in the U.S. (if you can even get on the record in the initial area) or fork out anything at all up to four or even 5 periods the price on the preowned sector for this year’s styles.
The Aquanaut as opposed to the Abroad is an intriguing contest, between two of the largest models in the market.
Both will make the perfect each day don for any one with a excellent offer of money to splash on the ideal of the best, and both equally established you aside as a connoisseur of wonderful watchmaking.
Unusually, it would be the Vacheron which carries additional aficionado standing. The enterprise is even now not a home title in the exact same way as Patek, and they have a specific total of discreet, under-the-radar cachet. Only these with a deep desire in the matter will recognize the enjoy and how it demonstrates on you as its owner. The Overseas is acquired by all those articles with a minimal profile, even as they appreciate horological artistry.
With the Aquanaut, the ‘stripped again Nautilus’ mother nature of its visuals are however as fresh new and enticing as ever and it remains the watch for the younger crowd—or at least, those who want to look youthful.
Two complete giants of the company, you just cannot really go wrong with possibly.
— Showcased Picture Credit: BeckerTime’s Archive.