Rolex has its Daytona. Audemars Piguet its Royal Oak. Patek Philippe its Nautilus and Aquanaut. Steel watches that might as well be made of unobtanium. Timepieces that command a huge price premium the moment they walk out the showroom door. Grail watches. So where’s the Vacheron grail watch? Which of their models qualifies? None. Until now . . .
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is a product of an extremely conservative segment in an extremely conservative industry. Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron, Jaeger-leCoultre, Piaget, IWC – luxury Swiss and German watches survived the quartz crisis by surviving. By not changing . . .
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas was late to the luxury steel sports watch party. Even as the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak made their mark, the oldest surviving Swiss watch manufacturer saw its strengths elsewhere. In a way, the Vacheron Constantin 222 of the 1970’s was a reaction to its competition. Unlike its peers, Gerald Genta’s pen had nothing to do with it . . .
Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet waiting lists are just as long as before the pandemic say authorized dealers. That’s the headline at watchpro.com. Which tells you nothing. Why would someone take themselves off a Rolex wait list for a panda-face steel Daytona? What have they got to lose by staying on it? The more important question . . .
When I was in college, I walked into a swanky downtown boutique to try on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for the first time. I put on my best shirt in hopes of making a good impression and asked for a face-to-face introduction. I wasn’t ready for the impression the watch would make on me . . .