This particular piece was originally done as a prototype in Le Brassus, and the decision was made not to put it into standard production, but to only release it as a limited edition of 5 pieces.
One dealer took all five pieces.
Notice the leap year window in the 12:00 sub-dial. The main dial is the classic white
opaline thick dial that BP first used in their original, Classique line. Note the thickness of the dial, apparent in the frame of the moonphase window.
I normally am not a fan of romans, my favorite combination being either leaf and dot (UN; IWC Portugieser) or Pomme and Breguet arabics (the PP 3820 is my favorite implementation of this, with its tear drop lugs completing the package) Strangely, the romans on this piece seem to work. Taken in isolated elements, the romans are too small, but as part of the overall dial design, it works very well, giving the busy dial boundaries so that it does not appear too cluttered.
The hands of a watch are very important to me, and can make or break a design in my opinion. In this regard, even most high end watches fall down.
This piece uses my favorite type of watch hand, the feuille or leaf style, for all except the GMT indicator. All the leaf hands have a subtle radiusing to give them a perceived depth and thickness than conveys a feeling of substance and solidity. This is a quality only Vacheron seems to get consistently right. Even the GMT hand, though not radiused, exudes this feeling of substantial quality.
The large crown is signed, and the roman numeral markers are applied white gold.
The case is based on the classic 2100 style stepped bezel design, expanded to a 42mm diameter case size, but without the engraved Blancpain name on the case side. Calendar functions are controlled from the side mounted pushers.
The watch looks great on an 8 inch wrist, BUT...
also looks good on a thinner, 6 1/2 inch wrist. It is about as thick as my BP tourbillon chronograph, but because of the wider diameter, the proportions seem to work better. Great case design!
It has a plain back, which seems to be enjoying a resurgent popularity.
All in all, a very elegant, substantial watch.
All five pieces were originally acquired by one dealer. List was $43,000.
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