Going about my daily routine while wearing an exotic, solid gold tourbillon was an experience that was memorable in a way that other lengthy test drives might not have been. Friends, on more than one occasion, actually reached out to grab my wrist mid-air so as to have a closer look at what to them surely seemed the ne plus ultra of luxury wristwatches. There is something about a tourbillon that gets this kind of incredulous reaction from people. A perpetual calendar or a split-seconds chronograph can muster an air of functional plausibility that a baroque, early early 19th-century mechanism cased up in solid gold, it seems, cannot. In a way this is a simple watch – its only indications are for the time, after all – but it’s an exceedingly well-executed one.

The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionelle Tourbillon is priced at $118,000 in rose gold. A second, platinum version will be made in a limited edition of 25 and will join the Excellence Platine Collection. Find out more about the Traditionelle Tourbillon at Vacheron-Constantin.com.