They say history tends to repeat itself and this statement has never rung truer than with Vacheron Constantin's Historique collection, albeit with an upgraded twist. In an unprecedented busy year for the Swiss maison — what with the inauguration of their groundbreaking Overseas collection in collaboration with Steve McCurry just a few months earlier — they'd most certainly broken a speed record by following up with the launch of three new heritage models.
A collection that holds a special place to the brand and to dedicated collectors the world over, these updated vintage timepieces are horology legends made real once again — pieces of classism and exclusivity at its finest. Not only a reminder of Vacheron Constantin's pioneering watchmaking know-how, the revival of the Cornes de vache 1955, American 1921 and the Ultra-fine 1955 injects the realm of haute horlogerie with a dose of inimitable prestige. A testament to the maison's visionary creativity that has been present in every facet of their legacy, the new Historique pieces make for a trio highly sought after by connoisseurs and horophiles alike. Trust us, you'll be tempted too.
Historiques Cornes de vache 1955
A sleek classic that takes inspiration from Vacheron Constantin's first water-resistant chronograph designed in 1955, the reimagined Cornes de vache affects the same mien of technical intricacy and elegance that made it an icon. The go-to watch that collectors reference when it comes to vintage timepieces of worth, the contemporary version also sports the distinct 'cow horn' lugs — hence its name in French — as a tribute to the horology aesthetics of the '50s post-war era.
Bucking traditional watchmaking that favoured two round pushbuttons with this generational originality, the maison established new boundaries with the Cornes de vache then and does so similarly in 2016, outfitting its stylistic exterior with a Maltese cross shaped column wheel and Calibre 1142. Wholly hand-finished, the manual-winding movement runs impeccably with a 48-hour power reserve that drives the hours, minutes as well as the twin small seconds and chronograph dials marked upon the centre of the silvered opaline dial. Highlighted by rose gold hour indexes and a tachymetric scale, the Historiques Cornes de vache is streamlined complexity touched with luxurious details even the everyday person will appreciate.
Historiques American 1921
Going back a little further in their extensive archives, the Swiss watchmaker pulls out the cushion-shaped American 1921 with its unique aesthetics that never fails to astound. Just like the Roaring Twenties that birthed the timepiece, the watch is a study in daring style coupled with an exacting technical superiority. Its modern counterpart mirrors these design codes, wearing an impressive cambered case with a diagonally aligned dial with a small seconds counter located between 4 and 5 o'clock.
Immediately arresting, a ball-shaped crown perched on a corner of the cushion case tops off the distinct visuals of the Historique American 1921. Atypical yet classic, the Breguet-type hands tick across a finely grained silvered watch face marked with contrasting navy numerals, beneath which beats Vacheron Constantin's Calibre 4400 AS. Manual winding with a 65-hour autonomy and exceptionally handcrafted to a fine finish, the movement boasts an additional 30-metre water resistance among its catalogue of capabilities. A dandy chic timepiece evocative of the innovative Americana spirit, this particular Historique is timeless novelty incarnated.
Historique Ultra-fine 1955
This is minimalist razor-thin like you've never seen before — evidence of the Swiss maison's prowess in crafting ultra-thin marvels as far back as the 1950s'. It goes without saying that the thinner the watch, the more extraordinary its complication will be and the Historique Ultra-fine 1955 undoubtedly lives up to its slim physique conferred by its celebrated ancestral model. Equipped with the mechanical manual-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 1003 — which is the precise movement used in the original watch, unaltered in its perfection — that comprises of 117 components, this astonishing micro-mechanism measures in at a width of only 1.64mm.
Encased within a platinum exterior that brings the thickness of the watch to just 4.13mm, the beauty of its slim profile is elevated by a neat opaline dial stamped only with blue hour markers. Backed by a 31-hour power reserve, this slender supermodel of haute horologerie measures among the top thinnest in the world, and its absolute refinement is set to garner it a following far and wide you might be considering joining right about now.
The Historique collection is available at Vacheron Constantin boutiques.