Beloved by collectors for their classical approach to watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin is the most traditional of the three Holy Trinity watchmakers thanks to their old-time aesthetic, heritage-inspired design, and traditionalist view of mechanics. With this, some of Vacheron's timepieces offer a wonderful view of the timepieces that came generations before the modern watches of today and the Ref. 46009 Day-Date Moonphase I have here today is one such fine example.
Starting with the Ref. 46009’s understated, 34mm 18-carat yellow gold case, I personally find it quite well-proportioned. While I understand there may be a few who argue that the case size here is somewhat on the diminutive side, its slightly elongated straight lugs ensure that it remains wearable by today’s modern sizing standards. Featuring a beautiful stepped bezel design, this perfectly round case is interrupted solely by a discreet small crown and three adjustment pushers.
Following the case design, the Ref. 46009's dial also exhibits a well-balanced format, thanks to its symmetrical dial layout. Positioned at 3 o'clock, you will find the date indication register, while the day indicator is situated at 9 o'clock, and a moon phase indicator graces the 6 o'clock position. Upon closer inspection, you will also find that the dial is adorned with a discreet Clous de Paris guilloché, which imparts an elegant tapisserie-like motif to the off-white colored dial's surface. Adding to its charm, the dial also features slender gold baton-style hands and appliqué baton indexes serving as hour markers, seamlessly complementing the overall balanced case design.
A splendid watch on the outside, the Ref. 46009 is an alluring piece of work on the inside too. While fitted with a solid caseback, it houses Vacheron Constantin’s self-winding Cal. 1126 QS, a workhorse movement celebrated for its overall reliability, durability, and precision.
As a complete ensemble, the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 46009 offers an incredibly delightful wearing experience. Its unassuming 34mm case size lends it an understated quality, allowing it to remain inconspicuous on the wrist without drawing too much undue attention. For me, the pinnacle of luxury lies in this discreet demeanor – a sense of opulence that doesn't need to flaunt itself but is appreciated by those who recognize it. That’s just the way I like it, but I digress.