Highlights from the early 20th century get an update.
Well ahead of its 2018 debuts, Vacheron Constantin introduces two reinterpretations of its own widely admired calendar watches from 1942 and 1948. In addition, the Geneva watchmaker adds another option to its Historiques American 1921 collection, which now includes a smaller (36.5mm) size.
The debuts place a steel triple calendar timepiece and a pink gold triple calendar with moon phase in the spotlight. The two models are the Historiques Triple Calendar 1942 and the Triple Calendar 1948, and each is made in a case that, while updated in diameter (now 40mm) retain typical Vacheron Constantin styles of the decade from which they are named. These features include sunburst dials, the watchmaker’s distinctive “triple gadroon” case with claw-type lugs and a box-type crystal.
Vacheron Constantin first debuted its calendar wristwatches in 1920, but it was its designs from the 1940s that today are considered among the company’s finest– and most collectible. Vacheron Constantin’s 1940s-era calendar models greatly contributed to its worldwide expansion and reputation.
As the owner of a Vacheron Constantin watch from this era, I can attest to the attraction of this style of lugs. They are noted with interest by nearly everyone who spies the watch on my wrist.
Historiques Triple Calendar 1942
The first model, cased in steel, is inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s reference 4240 that originally was made in yellow gold, pink gold or steel. The same functions seen on that earlier watch have been retained here: hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, along with hand-type date and day and month by aperture. With a two-tone and silvered dial that echoes the original, the new model however offers a choice of a burgundy or a dark blue calendar indication The aforementioned sunburst satin-finished central dial is accentuated, and beautifully balanced, by the Arabic numerals around it.
Historiques Triple Calendar 1948
Like the original model, the new Historiques Triple Calendar 1948 is crafted in an alloy of pink gold that appears closer in color to the original version. Issued in two limited series of 200 pieces each, the new watch revives Vacheron Constantin reference 4240L from 1948 and retains that model’s features: a triple calendar, astronomical complication (with a particularly high-precision lunar cycle function, a feature designated by an L in its name in 1948), along with small seconds at 6 o’clock.
The contemporary version offers a dial with a pleasing silvered opaline center and sunburst satin-finished external zone. The display then adds applied Roman numerals, triangle hour-markers and baton-type hands. Its calendar functions and its moon disc appear in a choice of burgundy or dark blue, teamed with a brown or dark blue leather strap secured by a pin buckle.
Both the new Historiques Triple Calendar 1942 and Triple calendar 1948 are certified by the Hallmark of Geneva, and both are powered by the firm’s Caliber 4400 QC, a manual-winding movement with approximately 65 hours of power reserve.
In addition to the above debuts, Vacheron Constantin has now added a smaller option to its collection of popular Historiques American 1921 cushion-shaped watches. A new size in pink gold, 36.5mm in diameter, is now available.
The new model, like the larger existing options, looks very much like the original, which made for American tastes in the 1920s. But the new versions features modern materials, notably a slightly domed sapphire crystal and the thin Vacheron Constantin 4400 AS manual-winding caliber, visible via the transparent sapphire caseback.
Vacheron Constantin is making the watch available with a hand-stitched dark brown alligator leather strap with large square scales, fitted with a pin buckle-shaped half Maltese cross (the historical logo of the company). As this size is considered likely to be worn – or shared with – a woman, the package also includes a second red alligator leather strap.
Prices: Historiques Triple Calendar 1942 $19,500
Historiques Triple Calendar 1948 $35,000
Historiques American 1921 Small Model $29,200
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendar 1942
References: 3110V/000A-B425 and 3110V/000A-B426
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
Movement: Caliber 4400 QC, manual-winding, approximately 65 hours of power reserve, 4Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, complete calendar (day of the week and month by aperture, date by hand)
Case: 40mm stainless steel, 10.35 mm thick, sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistance tested at 30 meters
Dial: Silvered, sunburst satin-finished black-painted Arabic numerals in burgundy /blue painted date-track
Strap: Brown or dark blue alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Historiques Triple Calendar 1948
References: 3100V/000R-B359 and 3100V/000R-B422
Movement: Caliber 4400 QCL, manual winding, approximately 65 hours of power reserve, 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes, complete calendar (day of the week, month and date indicated by hand), moon phases
Case: 40mm pink gold, 10.35 mm thick, sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistance tested to 30 meters, “N°X/200” engraved on caseback
Dial: Silvered opaline with satin-finished external zone, 18-karat gold applied hour-markers, red/blue painted date-track
Strap: Brown/dark blue Mississippi alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales, 18-karat gold polished half Maltese cross-shaped buckle
Limited edition of 200 individually numbered pieces
Historiques American 1921 small model
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Movement: Caliber 4400 AS, manual-winding, approximately 65 hours of power reserve, 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case: 36.5mm pink gold, 7.25 mm thick, sapphire crystal caseback, water-resistance tested to 30 meters
Dial: Grained finishing, black painted Arabic numerals and minute track, applied Maltese cross in polished 18K 5N pink gold
Strap: Brown Mississippi alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales. Piece is delivered with a second red Mississippi alligator shiny leather with alsavel inner shell, stitched-tip, square scales, both with polished 18-karat gold buckle in half-Maltese cross shape.