The luxury watchmaking brand Vacheron Constantin has strengthened its Qua de l’Ile collection with a new model which is quite affordable, at least when compared with the rest of its collection. New Reference 4500 S piece comes in a steel housing and features a new in-house automatic caliber with an extended power reserve. It sports a dial in black or silver color and it features a date display executed by a pointer. Vacheron Constantin Quai de L’Ile Reference 4500S has the price tag of around $15,000.
The Quai de L’Ile (which means the island dock in French) series has been around for nearly a decade. Based on the previously released models, it was distinguished among the other series of the Genevese manufacturer with its more modern styling. This is quite rare for the brand which predominately opts for the pieces that are made in accordance to traditional watchmaking values. The other distinguishing trait of the series up until now was the possibility of customization which allowed the buyers to choose the material or materials used for the housing (where varying sections of the case can be made of different metals), as well as to pick the type and the color of the dial and the attachment.
The latter characteristic that is reserved for the pricier models is not present in the novelty. This is because the newcomer comes in a stainless steel housing, unlike its predecessors which were presented in titanium, palladium or pink gold liveries. The choice of material is one of the main reasons why the newcomer is relatively affordable when compared to other pieces in the series (for examples Reference 86050 which has more or less the same functions like the newcomer, while the other ones are more complicated), as well as the timekeepers from the remaining collections of the Genevese manufacturer.
The first steel model in the Quai d’Ile series is placed inside a cushion shaped housing which is not that noticeable since the fixed bezel is circular in shape so it makes it appear as a round piece. The case is 50.26 mm long, 41 mm wide and 11.75 mm thick. It is waterproof to 30 meters.
Beneath the sapphire crystal of the watch lays a dial which features a chapter ring with alternating Arabic numerals and hour markers. Inside it, one can notice a mineral date disc which is paired with a triangle-shaped pointer that revolves around it and shows the current date. There are also hour and minute hands with luminous coatings, as well as a third central hand that is used to show seconds. When it comes to the dial colors, there are two options that are available for the model. While the version 4500S/000A-B196 sports a black opaline dial, the variant 4500S/000A-B195 is with a silver-colored face.
Vacheron Constantin Quai de l”Ile Reference 4500S is supplied with a new caliber 5100/1. It is a self-winding mechanical movement which integrates 37 jewels in its construction and which is comprised of 172 components altogether. The caliber is 13 ¼ lignes (30.6 mm) wide, just 4.7 mm thick, and it operates at the high frequency of 28,800. Thanks to the supported twin main-spring barrels, it has the pretty opulent power reserve of 60 hours. Its power storage is filled with an oscillating weight made of tungsten which goes along with the modern spirit that can be noticed throughout the collection.
Even though Caliber 5100/1 is not that intricate, especially when compared to other watches in the brand’s line of products, it is still fashioned in accordance with the strict standards that allow it to bear the prestigious Geneva seal certification of quality. The Geneva hallmark propositions refer to the materials that are used, the functionality of the movement, as well as to extensive hand-performed haute horlogerie finishes that are required.
Vacheron Constantin Quai de L”ile watch is paired with a brown alligator Mississippiensis strap which locks with a deployant buckle made of stainless steel. The buyers of the watch also receive an additional black rubber strap which fastens in the same manner.