The Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921, a refreshed rendition of an exemplary watch from the prime of Art Deco, made only for the North American market, roused the fresh out of the plastic new’s Harmony assortment , the pad formed watches presented during the SIHH 2015. To comprehend where Vacheron Constantin found the motivation and to find the underlying foundations of the production, here is the full review of quite possibly the most wonderful yet unique Vacheron Constantin made with our associate of WatchTime .
The Roaring Twenties overcame any issues between the finish of World War I and the start of the Great Depression. As the United States economy blast, a prosperous populace looked for new delights and hobbies. It was a period of social discoveries and disturbances: jazz arose on the music scene, Europe’s Bauhaus and Art Deco developments impacted craftsmanship and engineering, “talkies” supplanted quiet movies on film screens and an ever increasing number of Americans possessed cars. The U.S. had immovably settled itself as the world’s driving financial and social power.
The decade’s sumptuous overabundance was likewise reflected in its watches. A couple of years prior, watches previously relocated from vest pockets to wrists. Wristwatches had scarcely shown up on the scene when they encountered their first complex twists: cases formed like square shapes, pads, barrels, trapezoids and other mathematical shapes got well known, communicating the temperament of a hopeful period. During this time, Vacheron Constantin delivered a little version of unpredictable wristwatches solely for the North American market. The development inside each cushion formed case was turned 45 degrees so that the crown was at the top corner of the case, and the subdial for the seconds was situated along the expansion of this hub. Vacheron made two forms of this watch in the mid 1920s: the development was turned counterclockwise in one and clockwise in the other. Both of these models impacted the plan of the Historiques American 1921 model, dispatched toward the finish of 2008. Its dial configuration comes from the main model, while the situating of the crown (and along these lines of the development) comes from the second. Both vintage models were produced in tiny numbers — as indicated by Vacheron’s files, just 12 units of each — and the couple of enduring pieces are energetically looked for authorities’ things that show up truth be told, infrequently at barters. One was on the square at an Antiquorum topical sale in 2005, Vacheron Constantin’s 250th commemoration year. At the point when the mallet fell, this restrictive watch changed hands for more than 70.000 Swiss francs (at that point, about USD 58.300).
The American 1921 is important for Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques assortment, which presents current renditions of unmistakable watches from the association’s 254-year history. The line was set up during the 1990s, suspended in 1998, and afterward relaunched in 2005. In every year since, Vacheron has added another watch to the assortment. The American 1921 is the third in the arrangement, following closely following the Toledo 1952 and the Chronomètre Royal 1907.
The little seconds subdial on the American 1921 is situated at 3 o’clock, which would relate to 4:30 on a customary dial. In contrast to its archetypes, which utilized a Lépine development with the little seconds and crown co-straight, this model contains a tracker type with the little seconds and the crown framing a 90-degree point with the focal point of the dial. From the outset, this is by all accounts the most striking distinction between the new release and its predecessors.
On closer assessment, more prominent contrasts become clear, some of which are evident upgrades. The new Breguet hands of dark oxidized gold with half-moon eyes are much more finely made than were their 1920s partners. The numerals applied to the dial’s surface are fairly bolder. With respect to the actual dial, regardless of whether the advanced rendition’s sandblasted, silver-plated metal one is an improvement over the vintage model’s finish one is carefully a matter of taste. The new form definitely flaunts more noteworthy life span and is substantially less sensitive. The entirety of this underscores the self-assurance of the watch’s architects, who selected not to carelessly recreate the essence of the first watch.
Giving the development a 45-degree clockwise contort fundamentally improves the dial’s clarity for individuals who wear their watches to their left side wrist. In this advanced computer period, a large portion of us sit with our lower arms resting straight across the work area or with the left elbow somewhat twisted. At the point when you look at this watch while in this position, the “12” will be practically vertical, which makes perusing the time simpler. It does, in any case, set aside some effort to get acquainted with this dial plan. One explanation is that the seconds subdial is moved from its typical situation at 6 o’clock to a more whimsical position opposite to the pivot of the repositioned crown. This made it more hard to peruse the dial in the testing phase.
Apart from the situating of the seconds subdial, there is next to no to reprimand about the dial. Its daytime intelligibility is fantastic gratitude to the reasonable differentiation between the dull numerals and white dial. The rich layer of polish on a superficial level gives it an alluring appearance and preferably suits the watch’s general extents. Likewise engaging are the railroad-style aligned circles that encompass the hour numerals and the seconds subdial. None of these delightful subtleties is obvious in obscurity, yet this was the correct choice: Super-LumiNova or comparable glowing substances would have detracted from this current watch’s vintage-style engage. Regardless, the difference is clear enough that you can in any case peruse the time in feeble light.
The lightweight, cushion formed case feels entirely comfortable when you put the watch on. Its 87 grams are failed to remember minutes after you close the pronged clasp with its split Maltese cross. Even extents experience superb craftsmanship here. The edges, points and planes fit so well together that you nearly think the case developed normally into this shape, and was culled from some horological stem before able hands gave its rose-gold body a delicate cleaning to smooth its surfaces. The watch is likewise slender enough to vanish tactfully under the sleeve of a shirt and suit coat — that is, on the off chance that you’d truly wish to shroud a particularly excellent timepiece.
Not even the strangely positioned crown degrades the standout wearing comfort. It adjusts near the edge of the case, where it’s far enough from the rear of the wrist that it doesn’t press into the skin. Be that as it may, don’t attempt to wind and set the watch while it’s tied to the wrist: the level crown is very hard to get a handle on in this position. It is a lot simpler, however still a bit testing, to work once the watch has been slipped off.
We were satisfied to find that Vacheron Constantin quickens the excellent outside of the American 1921 with an appealing and solid development. Type VC 4400, which makes a big appearance in this model, is a new expansion to the association’s developing portfolio of manufacture calibers.
The watchmakers might have made their lives simpler when building up this watch. All things considered, Vacheron’s portfolio previously included Caliber VC 1400, a hand-twisted development with a topsy turvy subdial for the seconds, which might have effortlessly fulfilled the requests of the American 1921. So for what reason did the originators select to build up a totally different type? Basically, in light of the fact that size matters. The VC 1400, which is simply 20.3 mm in width, would have peered lost inside the American 1921’s roomy 40-mm-distance across case. The 1400 is considerably more modest than the type in the first American, Caliber R.A. 11”’ 62 Nouveau (24.8 mm). The new development is completely 28 mm in width, a fantastic fit for a 40-mm case. Its first models had just been completely tried and exposed to constant enhancements in 2007, and the outcome is a steady type that is worked to last; its sole shortcoming is its absence of a stop-seconds work . One purpose behind the development’s life span is its utilization of 25 jewels — eight more than are needed for a standard hand-wound type. The additional gems lessen the quantity of potential contact focuses and guarantee that the whole development runs with more prominent steadiness. Type VC 4400 is additionally built so the entirety of the significant parts are simple for a watch repairer to get to. Vacheron Constantin expects to utilize this development as the base for new ones in the coming years.
The development bears the Geneva Hallmark and satisfies the entirety of its elevated requirements of value. All edges are neatly inclined, all screw heads are splendidly cleaned, an accurately executed wave design makes gleaming lighting consequences for the extensions and cocks, and fastidiously executed roundabout graining enhances the profundities of the plate. After the mainspring has been physically wound, the huge barrel of the VC 4400 stores sufficient energy to save this current watch’s hands moving for up to 65 hours.
The managing screws are determinedly created and profoundly exact. Luckily we didn’t need to utilize them on our tried model, in light of the fact that our test on the circumstance machine uncovered that the watch kept time with a normal every day gain of under two seconds. Those qualities were marginally higher when the watch was worn on the wrist, yet exceptionally great: just three seconds’ benefit. The circumstance machine test found a critical rate contrast between timekeeping in the “dial up” and “dial down” positions.
In the regions of both innovation and plan, the Historiques American 1921 is best in class. As one would expect, the exertion that went into growing such a watch affects its cost. Vacheron Constantin has valued this model at EUR 34.600, which makes it one of the most affordable in the Historiques assortment yet at the same time pricier than comparable watches like the Gondolo or Ellipse d’Or from Patek Philippe. The American 1921 is probably going to increment in worth more rapidly than these others, yet it would be a pity to see this watch exclusively as a venture to stow away in a bank vault for supervision. This is an excellent wristwatch that ought to be worn and admired.
- New manufacture caliber
- Excellent workmanship
- Distinctive vintage design
- High level of wearing comfort
- Slightly hard to work crown
- No stop-seconds function
- Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
- Reference Number: 82035/000R-9359
- Functions: Hours, minutes, topsy turvy little seconds
- Movement: VC 4400, hand-wound; 28,800 vph; 25 gems, Kif stun assimilation; Triovis fine change; approx. 65-hour power save; distance across = 28 mm, stature = 2.8 mm, Geneva Hallmark
- Case: Rose gold, sapphire precious stone, caseback held set up by six screws, sapphire gem in back, water-impervious to 3 ATM
- Strap and clasp: Alligator tie with treated steel pronged buckle
- Strap and clasp (max. 10 focuses): The extravagantly hand-sewn lash suits the style of the watch. The normal Maltese cross catch is among the most wonderful pronged clasps we’ve seen – 9
- Operation (10): The shortfall of a stop-seconds work makes it more hard to set the watch with to-the-second exactness, and the crown isn’t not difficult to hold – 3
- Case (10): The case’s plan is impacted by those of its chronicled archetypes, however in fact, this watch is totally current. Indeed, even the littlest subtleties exhibit the great of the producing – 10
- Design (15): The vintage style is maintained almost all through the plan. Our lone analysis is the odd point picked for the position of the little seconds subdial – 14
- Legibility (5): Large numerals and clear differentiation make the dial simple to read. However, the moved direction of the dial takes some becoming accustomed to – 4
- Wearing comfort (10): Ideal extents guarantee that this watch fits entirely on the wrist. Put it on and forget about it – 10
- Movement (20): Caliber VC 4400 makes its presentation here, yet the development is as of now develop from a specialized outlook. The originators have effectively overcome any issues among magnificence and simplicity of servicing – 16
- Rate results (10): Very great rate execution, yet observable contrast between the “dial up” and “dial down” positions. The qualities were additionally superb in the wrist test – 9
- Overall value (15): The tremendous plan, great craftsmanship and low quantities of units created legitimize the exorbitant cost – 13
- Total – 88 points
This story was first distributed by WatchTime and republished here with authorization.