Seventeen years after launch, the Égérie is reimagined, ditching cushion-shaped cases for circular designs and diamond-set bezels
24 February 2020
Despite constituting one of what collectors like to call the ‘Big Three’ – the oldest and most revered maisons in the whole of Swiss watchmaking – Vacheron Constantin is a brand that flies mostly under the radar.
Unlike the other two members of that holy trinity, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, of which even the greenest of horologic neophytes will be aware, Vacheron Constantin has always been a watchmaker valued by those who know their in-house movements from their ébauches.
The brand doesn’t do celebrity ambassadors – unless you consider British artist and poet Benjamin Clementine to be a household name – nor will you see its name emblazoned on F1 paddocks or the sides of polo pitches. In a game of guess the logo, only the nerdiest of watch geeks will identify the brand’s Maltese Cross.
Yet while Vacheron Constantin might constitute the smallest of those most venerated of watchmakers – it produces around 25,000 timepieces a year compared to Audemars Piguet’s 40,000 and Patek Philippe’s (rumoured) 58,000 – it is by far the oldest. Vacheron Constantin is, in fact, the oldest continually operating of any watchmaker, with an unbroken line of production dating back to 1755.
The brand launched Égérie, a standalone, tonneau-shaped ladies collection with oversized diamond numerals and mother of pearl dials in 2003. Seventeen years later, the family resurfaces, ditching the cushion-shaped case for circular designs and bezels set with diamonds.
Comprising three models – the Égérie Self-Winding, Égérie Moon Phase and Égérie Moon Phase Diamond-Pavé – the high jewellery collection draws inspiration from the intricate craftsmanship employed in couture fashion. The watch dial features a pleated effect, redolent of delicate fabric finishing; halos of diamonds, reminiscent of braiding; and Arabic numerals daintily scalloped to look like lace.
The entry-level 35mm Égérie Self-Winding features a bezel overstitched with 58 diamonds and a delicate dial of intertwined textures made of opaline silver. The Moon Phase variant sports the same textured dial but has been upped to 37mm in order to incorporate at two o’clock the complication from which it takes its name. Both models are available in steel or 18K rose gold. The gold option arrives with three interchangeable leather straps that can be switched-up without the use of tools. Choose between pink, brown and blue leather.
Topping the collection is white gold Égérie Moon Phase Diamond-Pavé, a full-on haute couture creation with 802 diamonds – 292 on the bezel and case; 510 on the dial – intended to mimic the intricacy of precious embroidery. All three models are equipped with an in-house self-winding movement, providing 40 hours of autonomy once fully wound. Each arrives with a sapphire crystal case-back, revealing a hand-crafted Côtes de Genève motif, as well as a delicately openwork 22K gold oscillating weight shaped in the fashion of the brand’s Maltese cross. The collection will be available in all Vacheron Constantin boutiques – and authorised points of sale – from 1 March 2020.
Égérie Self-Winding, from £18,500; Égérie Moon Phase, from £22,800; Égérie Moon Phase Diamond-Pavé, £56,800, 37 Old Bond Street, vacheron-constantin.com