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Vacheron Constantin - Watchmaking with a Twist

Vacheron Constantin Watchmaking with a Twist

Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the American was first produced in 1919 in an extremely small run and officially released two years later in the USA, hence its name

Creativity comes in many forms at Vacheron Constantin this year with a unique historical revival timepiece, a new model in the Excellence Platine collection, and a series of Grand Feu enamel-dial timepieces inspired by the great maritime explorers of the 15th century.

Historiques American 1921

The show-stealing new Historiques American 1921 revives a charming model from the Roaring Twenties. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, the timepiece was first introduced in a very small production run in 1919 and officially released two years later in the USA, hence it the name “American”. This moment in history is renowned for its artistic experimentation and the birth of the surrealism movement that promoted exploration of the subconscious mind. It is also interesting to note that this was a period when pocket watches were giving way to wristwatches, and movements were getting steadily smaller, allowing for increased creative freedom. A look at the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 confirms that it is perfectly in tune with this era that encouraged the imagination to run free. The Historiques American 1921 timepiece comes in a choice of a 40mm platinum or a 36.5mm white gold cushion-shaped case that has been rotated by 45 degrees on the wrist. This unusual configuration aligns perfectly with the eyes, making it both aesthetically and functionally interesting. Its slender silhouette is paired with a grained, silver-toned dial bearing black painted Arabic numerals and a snailed small seconds counter. As an additional retrtouch, the circumference of the dial has been accentuated with a new minutes track.

Watchmaking with a Twist

Historiques American 1921 © Vacheron Constantin

The timepiece is powered by manual-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 4400 AS that has also been rotated from its traditional axis and involved shifting the crown to a position between 1 and 2 o’clock, above the number 12. This Manufacture movement includes a number of hand-crafted decorations that can be admired through the transparent caseback. It comes fitted with either a dark brown or burgundy patinated calf strap that has been crafted by Italian leather goods manufacturer Serapian.

Watchmaking with a Twist

Historiques American 1921 © Vacheron Constantin

Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin, Collection Excellence Platine

Since 2016, Vacheron Constantin has dedicated a special collection to the noblest of the precious metals – 950 platinum. Named the “Collection Excellence Platine”, this series of limited-edition timepieces is united by its platinum components that run through the design of the timepiece. Over the years, the collection has featured a range of different complications, while always following a design that is pure, understated and unmistakable.

Joining this prestigious collection this year is the Vacheron Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin Excellence Platine, which comes with a platinum case (42.5mm), a grained and sand-blasted platinum dial, a platinum folding clasp, and even silk and platinum thread for the strap. The collection is limited to 15 individually numbered pieces and combines the prestige of platinum with an elegant design and the performance of a Manufacture movement.

Watchmaking with a Twist

Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chrongraph Ultra-Thin, Collection Excellence Platine © Vacheron Constantin

The timepiece is powered by the split-seconds chronograph movement, Caliber 3500, that was first launched in 2015 to mark the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture. Comprising 473 components and endowed with a 48-hour power reserve, this ultra-thin self-winding movement is one of the thinnest split-second chronograph movements available today at only 5.2mm thick. This slender movement fits smoothly inside an equally slim case measuring just 10.72mm thick. This impressive thinness was further enabled by a 22K gold peripheral rotor and a non spherical differential that made it possible to maintain the power-reserve indication without adding to the movement thickness. Yet another delightful “Collection Excellence Platine” model that lives up to its name.

Métiers D’Art Tribute to the Great Explorers

A true master of watchmaking’s artistic crafts, Vacheron Constantin is also unveiling a new series of three ten-piece limited editions in Grand Feu enamel. These miniature masterpieces pay homage to the Portuguese sailors Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama, and Pedro Àlvares Cabral, who set sail into the unknown to discover new lands.

Watchmaking with a Twist

Métiers d’Art Tribute to Great Explorers © Vacheron Constantin

The three 42mm pink gold editions feature the maritime route taken by each of the explorers, as documented in the famous Miller Atlas. This incredible work of art and cartography dates back to 1519 and is kept in the Portuguese Maritime Museum in Lisbon. Each of the Miller maps is faithfully reproduced on the dial, paying attention to the exact hues and tones of this literary treasure, and including a red line that marks the maritime route taken. The dials are individually fired in the kiln 11 times, at temperatures exceeding 800°C, and take a full month to complete. As well as being artistically attractive, these limited editions also stand out thanks to their original time display that gives a digital reading. A satellite module enables the hours to sweep across the dial from top to bottom, traversing a fixed minutes circle in a 120° arc and indicating the time as they pass. This ingenious system is powered by the in-house Caliber 1120 AT and leaves all the space needed on the dial to truly pay tribute to these great explorers.

Watchmaking with a Twist

Métiers d’Art Tribute to Great Explorers © Vacheron Constantin


The brand

An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the watchmaker or craftsman, dedicating their knowhow to the birth of outstanding watches. The Manufacture also works within a social and environmental code of ethics, and has had Responsible Jewellery Council certification since 2012.

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