Vacheron Constantin surprised many this past week by releasing the revitalized Égérie line, the historical Swiss manufacture’s first new women’s collection in decades. The initial release of the Égérie family was in 2003; that tonneau-shaped iteration was designed, Vacheron says, to bring together the worlds of haute couture and haute horlogerie (high fashion and watchmaking). The revamped Egerie continues from that mission statement, aimed at a stylish, fashion-focused luxury consumer while also appealing to a growing population of well-informed, watch collecting women. Vacheron Constantin is dubbing this convergence as “haute manufacture.”
Altogether, the new collection comprises three new 37-mm moon-phase models in white gold, rose gold, and steel, each with varying degrees of diamond accenting; and two 35-mm automatic models in rose gold and steel. The overall design among the models remains consistent, with the exception of the most high-jewelry model with a full-diamond dial and a white-gold moon-phase.
The case of each Égérie watch uses short, curvy lugs that give them a somewhat compact appearance, and pebble-shaped crown, uncommonly positioned at 1:30, which seems to meld into the curves of the asymmetrical design. Surrounding the asymmetrically sectored opaline dial is a diamond-set bezel, which compliments the luxurious aesthetic. On the edge and center aspects of the dial you’ll find a pleated pattern, which the brand describes as taking its inspiration from fabric — though by its color and shape feels somewhat reminiscent of seashells and dinner plates. In between these areas you’ll notice a smoother guilloché section, adorned with Breguet-style applied hour markers, adding to the fluid and curvier touches throughout the design.
Toward the 1:30 position, diagonally in-line with the pebble crown and brand logo towards the bottom of the face, each watch features a signature subdial surrounded by a “halo” ring of diamonds. Here, as their name would imply, the moon-phase models host their delicate moon-phase displays, while the self-winding models fill the spot with a date indicator that is seamlessly integrated with both the invisible diagonal line cutting from the crown to brand logo, and with the main dial’s hour numerals. Sweeping over the dial are leaf-style hour and minute hands, accented with either a gold or blue central seconds pointer.
The self-winding models contain the automatic Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1088, which stores a 40-hour power reserve and winds its mainspring with a solid gold rotor. The moon-phase editions are powered by the Caliber 1088 L, which is a slightly altered 1088 but opts for a moon-phase indicator rather than a date window. Each of the models use a sapphire caseback to display the intricate finishing on the in-house movements. All of the new Égérie watches include quick-release mechanisms on their straps which makes adjusting their bracelets simple and straightforward.
The re-release of the Égérie collection speaks to a number of trends in the luxury market. At its forefront, the new line indicates a growing popularity and demand for fine watches among women, with Vacheron Constantin recognizing the value of revitalizing a focused collection to meet this demand. Furthermore, with the brand framing the new releases as bridging a perceived gap between fashion and watchmaking in the women’s market, it is bringing attention to the historical distinction between these two realms. Many other brands have brought together precious stones, metals, and watch complications in their women’s collections, but that Vacheron Constantin is being explicit in its intention of doing so is something novel.
At its core, the new Égérie collection — which has been widely reported as translating to “muse,” but is in fact simply the French spelling of Egeria, a nymph from Roman mythology — is an effort to win over the modern women that many watch brands struggle to appeal to: sophisticated but feminine, refined but strong in nature, and like the nymph that gives the series its name, somewhat “mischievous.” As Vacheron Constantin describes it, Égérie is a “feminine name for a watch inspired by women, from the famous nymph Egeria … to the contemporary muses who inspire artists, designers and other creative talents.”
The white-gold moon-phase model is priced at $62,000, rose-gold moon-phase at $32,700, and steel moon-phase as $24,800; the rose-gold self-winding is priced at $28,200 while the steel retails for $20,200; and the sole rose-gold quartz model is marked at $17,800.
The new Égérie collection will be available at Vacheron Constantin boutiques and authorized dealers worldwide starting in March.