The Vacheron Constantin Quai de I’Île debuted in 2008 as a sort of high-end customizable watch line with contemporary design. I recall the complex, multi-part case and the idea being that the purchaser could select the specific color/metal for each of the various components, thus having a custom watch of sorts. The Quai de I’Île (the name refers to the historical site of Vacheron Constantin) always struck me as an odd platform — interesting in concept, but less interesting in the real world. Vacheron did/does of course have “contemporary” models & collections, but I do not believe the Quai de I’Île watches ever became highly sought after relative to other Vacheron offerings. line never went away, though, and what we have here today — the “new” Quai de I’Île — is interesting to me. Particularly under $15,000 where these new ref 4500S models are launching at (approximately half the price of the higher-end Quai de l’Îles).
Vacheron Constantin Quai de I’Île Ref 4500S
41mm x 11.75mm steel case
While retaining most design elements of the original, the new Quai de l’Île Ref 4500S has been relaunched as a simpler, more affordable offering from Vacheron. Two new models are being offered, both in a 41mm stainless steel case and either white or black dial.
The dial of the new stainless steel Quai de l’Île model is distinguished by a multi-level construction interpreted in two versions – silver-toned or black – with an opaline finish. Another distinctive feature is the replacement of the traditional date aperture with a two-level date indication. The dial construction includes a transparent mineral glass disc on which the dates of the month are inked. Beneath this glass, the date disc of Caliber 5100 appears and displays an indicator which points towards the correct date. The date is indicated by a pointer moving around the date scale on the dial, accompanying basic hours/mins/seconds indication.
The dial arrangement is clean and the overall look is pleasing to my eye.
Inside is Vacheron’s new in-house caliber 5100. This automatic mechanical caliber provides a 60-hour power reserve, as wound by a tungsten rotor. The watch carries the Geneva Seal, a testament to its quality and finishing, and overall it does not seem Vacheron has skimped in dialing this back to a more “entry level” option for the revered manufacture.
Looks like one can get a good amount of watch for the money here. I like it.