1921 – 2021, 100 years of boldness and a playful twist.
Three watches celebrate a signature design
In 1921, Vacheron Constantin seized the powerful momentum of the Roaring Twenties to create a watch with an avant-garde design produced primarily for the American market. In 2021, the Maison is celebrating the anniversary of this icon, particularly appreciated by collectors and connoisseurs of Haute Horlogerie, with three new interpretations of the American 1921 model. A contemporary take on a legendary watch, honouring the visionary boldness of the Manufacture. These novelties presented at Watches & Wonders 2021, as well as the historical models epitomize the Maison’s ‘classic with a twist’ theme for 2021. They embody Vacheron Constantin’s creative energy, guided by an identity that celebrates heritage and dares to deliver the unexpected.
It is distinguished by its elegant and classic yet quirkily original appearance. More than just a watch, it is a symbol, an emblematic expression of Vacheron Constantin’s creativity. Introduced exactly a century ago, the American 1921 model is one of the most outstanding landmarks in the heritage of the Manufacture, which celebrates its avantgarde spirit through three new variations dedicated to vintage watch collectors and connoisseurs.
A cushion-type case, the diagonal display, the crown positioned between 1 and 2 o’clock are all visual twists testifying to an aesthetic that appeals as much by its offset design as its timeless nature. Three new versions of the American 1921 are presented to mark the 100th anniversary: two models in 18K white gold and a 100-piece limited edition from the Collection Excellence Platine, powered by the in-house manual-winding movement, Calibre 4400 AS. With its generous 28.50 mm diameter magnified by the transparency of the sapphire caseback, this calibre is offset from its usual axis, while its imposing barrel ensures an approximately 65-hour (three-day) power reserve.
A Roaring Twenties icon
The origin of the watch can be even traced back to 1919. At the time, the Maison experimented with numerous case shapes, always in small series. The wristwatch became then a genre in its own, which found its style notably in the shapes it adopted, especially the cushion one. Few pieces were manufactured in 1919. Two years later, Vacheron Constantin produced another small series for the USA, hence named American 1921, which defined the re-design of the current Historiques model.
Behind the unusual design of the 1920s creation lies the quintessence of the Roaring Twenties, which for nearly a decade brought a wind of renewal to the United States and Europe. Synonymous with artistic and cultural effervescence, the period was a time for boldness and overturning conventions. Economic growth was in full swing; a scantily clad Josephine Baker danced wearing a barely-there banana skirt; clubs and dance halls throbbed to the sound of Charleston dance music and jazz; the surrealists took centre stage on the art scene… In Vacheron Constantin’s workshops, the powerful inventive surge of these years also gave rise to new perspectives. At a time when pocket watches were beginning to give way to wristwatches, the miniaturisation of watch movements paved the way for a burst of creativity. All kinds of fanciful touches were permissible on the wrist, as witnessed by the vintage 1921 model, a clever blend of sobriety and irreverence in a classic with a twist.
A sought-after watch
The American 1921 model stands out first and foremost in terms of design, with an elegantly understated cushion-shaped case defining its look. It is also distinguished by a stage-setting approach to the path of time. Unexpectedly offset by means of a 45-degree counter-clockwise rotation, the calibre enables a diagonal reading of time, while the crown is placed between 1 and 2 o’clock in the upper right-hand corner of the case. The result is a watch that is as strikingly original as it is appealing.
The initial versions produced were notably appreciated by driving enthusiasts who could thus read the time at a glance without having to take their hands from the steering wheel. The perfect gentleman driver’s watch, it was also adopted by elegant and avant-garde circles. A look through the archives reveals that two such watches belonged to American writer and clergyman Samuel Parkes-Cadman. Renowned for his fight for racial equality and the struggle against anti-Semitism, the man was a pioneer at heart. He is notably known to have been one of the first to use radio to broadcast his sermons to several million listeners; and is thought to have opted for this watch because it allowed him to read the time easily and discreetly while preaching. One of the two timepieces he owned is now part of Vacheron Constantin’s heritage collection. This extremely rare model served as direct inspiration for the three new timepieces presented in 2021.
Historiques American 1921 – white gold 40 mm
With its 18K white gold case, offset dial and crown boldly positioned between 1 and 2 o’clock, this American 1921 model reprises the aesthetic codes first outlined 100 years ago in the Vacheron Constantin workshops. The chic retro look of this watch for the vintage-loving dandy adorns the wrist with its generous 40 mm proportions framing a finely grained silver-toned dial. This extremely pared-down face bears Arabic numerals and a black-painted minutes track, along with slender 18K gold Breguet-type hands and a baton-type hand on the seconds counter – all three in black. This distinctive appearance is complemented by a brown calf leather strap crafted in the Milan-based workshops of Serapian, the Italian leather goods company founded in 1928.
Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, the manual-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 4400 AS is offset from its usual axis. This reliable and accurate in-house movement, developed in 2008, drives the display of hours, minutes and small seconds while ensuring a comfortable 65-hour power reserve. It is graced with hand-crafted finishes reflecting the noblest Haute Horlogerie traditions.
Historiques American 1921 – white gold 36.5 mm
With its 36.5mm case, the American 1921 fits even the slimmest of wrists. Sculpted in 18K white gold, its slender silhouette frames a grained silver-toned dial with black-painted Arabic numerals and a snailed small seconds counter with slender black 18K gold open-tipped hours and minutes hands. Adding a retro touch in tune with the original design, the circumference of the dial is accentuated by a minutes track.
Beating off the hours, minutes and small seconds, the manual-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 4400 AS is also offset from its traditional axis and extended by a crown positioned at 1:30 am. In addition to a comfortable 65-hour autonomy, this in-house movement features hand-crafted decorations visible through the transparent caseback and typical of Haute Horlogerie timepieces such as this new American 1921 watch. The finishing touch is set by two dark brown or burgundy straps in patinated calf leather, crafted by Italian leather goods manufacturer Serapian.
Historiques American 1921 Collection Excellence Platine
Entirely sculpted in 950 platinum, the American 1921 Collection Excellence Platine comes in a 100-piece individually numbered limited edition available exclusively in Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
The well-proportioned 40 mm case in 950 platinum frames a 950 platinum dial with a sandblasted finish, punctuated by applied 18K white gold hour-markers and a minutes track reminiscent of traditional watch designs. Sandblasting the dial is a particularly sophisticated operation on an inalterable material such as platinum. The crown and buckle also feature the unique brilliance of this rare metal, while the platinum and silk thread stitching on the dark blue alligator strap constitutes a final refined detail.
Behind the scenes, watchmaking sophistication is the order of the day with a manual-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 4400 AS which, in addition to driving displays of the hours, minutes and small seconds, offers a comfortable 65-hour power reserve. Visible through the sapphire caseback, this movement reveals delicately hand-finished details representing the unmistakable signature of an Haute Horlogerie watch.
Born of an intimate dialogue between aesthetic refinement and mechanical sophistication, the Traditionnelle collection is distinguished by a rich palette of watchmaking complications, enhanced this year by the in-house ultra-thin split-seconds chronograph movement. An avant-garde technical repertoire highlighted by eminently horological aesthetic codes, and timepieces honouring Geneva’s Haute Horlogerie traditions inherited from the 18th century. Mainly crafted from 950 platinum, this model produced in an individually numbered 15-piece limited series is powered by a self-winding calibre from a noble lineage. This new model, presented at Watches & Wonders 2021, is part of the theme of the Maison for 2021: entitled Classic with a Twist, it highlights Vacheron Constantin’s creative energy, guided by an identity that celebrates a heritage and dares to deliver the unexpected.
Through its blend of elegant design and technical excellence, the Traditionnelle collection embodies the spirit of Haute Horlogerie cherished by Vacheron Constantin. Combining the refinement of its style, the prestige of platinum and the performance of in-house Calibre 3500, the new model Traditionnelle split-seconds chronograph ultra-thin Collection Excellence Platine immediately finds its natural place at the very pinnacle of this watch line.
Collection Excellence Platine
Highly appreciated by collectors, the Collection Excellence Platine is exclusively composed of limited editions crafted from 950 platinum: case, bezel, dial, crown and folding clasp are forged in this noble metal, right the way through to the alligator leather strap sewn using woven platinum and silk thread. The other elements of the watch, such as the 18K white gold hands and hour-markers, reflect the same refined universe.
While the 42.5 mm-diameter case ensures the watch radiates an assertive presence on the wrist, its pure lines and very sober dial lend it an aura of unmistakable distinction.
The use of a split-seconds chronograph is ideal for measuring two different times. When the crown is pressed, the centre sweep-seconds hand and the split-seconds hand began running while remaining superimposed. Activating the push-piece at 2 o’clock makes the split-seconds stop, while the sweep-seconds hand continues running. A first time can thus be memorised. Another press on the 2 o’clock push-piece enables the split-seconds hand to catch up with and once again place it itself over the seconds hand. The operation may be repeated as many times as necessary to ensure several successive timings during the same event.
Classic with a Twist
Vacheron Constantin’s creativity has always remained closely attuned to its time while evoking its memories. This byword for elegance, adopted by each watchmaker, artisan and designer throughout the years and centuries, celebrates heritage and dares to explore the unexpected. Poised at the intersection between technical virtuosity and aesthetic refinement, the enduring allure of Vacheron Constantin timepieces makes its way unscathed through passing eras.
Because timelessness cannot be achieved merely by complying with the canons of traditional watchmaking, each creation is tinged with a touch of boldness revealed in the smallest details. Special displays, offset indications, specific chamfering of all components, hand-crafted finishing and the complexity of a mechanism are just a few examples of this expertise. The result is a very personal field of expression where technique and style converge in a subtle harmony between the conventional and the atypical.
Vacheron Constantin‘s watchmaking muse appears in a stunning new variation gracing the wrist with a supple new bracelet in 18K 5N pink gold. Thus attired, this self-winding Égérie model – an ideal companion for both daytime and evening wear – exudes a seductively precious allure.
A bracelet as smooth as a second skin
The Vacheron Constantin ladies’ collection revealed at the beginning of the year has continued to flourish with a new variation of the Égérie self-winding model. Boldly contemporary and delightfully classic, it now pairs its exquisite curves with an 18K 5N pink gold bracelet. Delightfully supple and soft as a second skin, feeling like leather on skin, its links the feminine wrist with infinite elegance, making one almost forget it is even there. Draped entirely in gold, this watch presents a seductive composition, capturing the spirit of the times and perfectly suited to all outfits and every occasion, ranging from super-casual to ultra-formal.
A very stylish look
Inspired by the world of haute couture and the aesthetic sophistication inherited from Vacheron Constantin’s heritage, the Égérie self-winding watch celebrates the collection’s unique style. Flowing seamlessly into a new 18K 5N pink gold bracelet, its case is a dainty 35 mm 18K 5N pink gold pebble rimmed with 58 diamonds. Its silvered opaline dial features a “pleats” pattern created using the time-honoured tapestry technique.
Using a machine dating from 1904 and resembling a pantograph, it is finely engraved thanks to the expertly applied touch of the guillocheur, revealing a subtle play of textures and depth evoking a precious fabric. It is against this backdrop that time performs its fascinating choreography, punctuated by leaf-type hands sweeping across gracefully scripted numerals recalling finely scalloped lace embroidery. Setting a final distinctive touch, the beautifully rounded diamond-set date display is offset along a diagonal line running between Vacheron Constantin’s signature and the crown, perkily adorned with a moonstone.
This asymmetry enhances the personality of this extremely chic watch with an audacious contemporary twist.
Through its sapphire caseback, the Égérie self-winding model reveals the hand-crafted Côtes de Genève fine watchmaking finishes and delicately openworked oscillating weight – inspired by the shape of the Maltese Cross – equipping the Manufacture self-winding 1088 calibre.
Ten of these watches will be available exclusively on Net-à-Porter as of November 19th 2020, one month before the models arrive in Vacheron Constantin points of sale.
Vacheron Constantin is enriching its Égérie women’s collection unveiled at the beginning of 2020. Graced with a slender 35 mm 18K 5N pink gold case set with 58 diamonds, the Égérie self-winding model enhances the wrist with a softly flowing 18K 5N pink gold bracelet featuring a mesh-type effect that makes it feel like a second skin. Thus entirely draped in gold, this watch picks up the collection’s key aesthetic and technical identity codes: a silvered opaline dial with a pleated pattern developed after several months of testing and achieved using the time-honoured tapestry technique; an offset date; as well as a Manufacture self-winding movement.
The Overseas perpetual calendar ultra-thin skeleton was awarded the “Calendar and Astronomy” prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) 2020. This timepiece is the perfect illustration of Vacheron Constantin’s technical and aesthetic know-how: it stands out for its contemporary design as well as for the complexity and sophistication of its ultra-thin openworked movement which also houses a perpetual calendar.
“Above all this award recognizes the talent of all our colleagues, our partners and our suppliers. This award belongs to all of them. I also would like to recognize all the other Maisons who are constantly challenging us and pushing us to elevate our game. Thank you for preserving the Swiss know how and our community! In this particular context I salute their resilience and their passion. These values are essential for all of us to be innovative and to remains relevant”, said Louis Ferla, CEO of Vacheron Constantin, during the GPHG evening.
Available in an 18K 5N all-gold version, the Overseas Skeleton Perpetual Calendar watch combines the refinement of precious metal with the technicality of its ultra-thin openworked complication movement, Calibre 1120 QPSQ, in a 41.5 mm-diameter case. Skeletonisation, which consists of finely openworking a mechanical movement by hollowing out its components yet without compromising their reliability, is an extremely complex undertaking: a quest for transparency coupled with highly sophisticated skills mastered by very few watchmaking artisans. Today, Vacheron Constantin is one of the rare Manufactures capable of openworking calibres as complex as perpetual calendars and ultra-thin movements. All components of the 1120 QPSQ calibre have been hollowed out, finished and decorated, so as to exalt the functional beauty of the mechanism.
Greatly appreciated by collectors for its technical qualities and its performance (no adjustment will be required before March 1st 2100, neither for the day, date and month indications, nor for the moon phases), this entirely openworked ultra-thin NAC-treated anthracite grey mechanism is visible through a transparent sapphire dial bearing applied 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers. The transparent caseback also stages a fascinating watchmaking show starring the gear trains and the NAC-treated oscillating weight with its segment in 22K gold, which is also openworked for the first time in the Overseas collection so as to highlight its stylised design shaped like a Maltese cross.
A selection of photos from the GPGH evening will be available on the Vacheron Constantin Press Lounge on November 18th.
GPHG 2020 Calendar & Astronomy – Nomination: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
The Overseas collection is enriching its range with a new territory to explore. The prestige of a precious metal case and bracelet is now complemented by the extreme sophistication of an openworked movement that is also ultra-thin and houses a perpetual calendar, giving the timepiece a contemporary and horologically sophisticated look.
In this new gold-clad version, Vacheron Constantin highlights the expression of Haute Horlogerie values. While retaining its dynamic design, the aesthetic of the timepiece is transfigured by a sapphire dial inviting observers on a journey to the heart of the extremely thin 4.05 mm openworked perpetual calendar movement.
Complexity transcending the complication itself
Much appreciated by collectors for its reliability, its extreme precision and its performance, self-winding Calibre 1120 QPSQ is now joining the Overseas collection in a new guise. Entirely openworked, which is a feat in itself, it reveals its mechanical intricacies beneath a sapphire crystal. The transparent caseback also stages a fascinating watchmaking show starring the gear trains and the NAC-treated oscillating weight with its segment in 22K gold, which is also openworked for the first time in the Overseas collection so as to highlight its stylised design shaped like a Maltese cross.
Skeletonisation is regarded by connoisseurs as a watchmaking complication in itself and is indeed a speciality during watchmaking training. This technique, which consists of finely openworking a mechanical movement by hollowing out its components yet without compromising their reliability, is an extremely complex undertaking: a quest for transparency coupled with highly sophisticated skills mastered by very few watchmaking artisans.
Today, Vacheron Constantin is one of the rare Manufactures capable of openworking calibres as complex as perpetual calendars and ultra-thin movements. All components of the 1120 QPSQ calibre have been hollowed out, finished and decorated, so as to exalt the functional beauty of the mechanism.
The peak of artisanal watchmaking expertise
To fully match the style of Overseas, the movement has benefited from special finishing work, entirely performed by hand. Multiple skills have thus come into play so as to endow the mechanism with the sought-after aesthetic perfection. Straight-graining the surfaces to give them a satin-brushed finish; bevelling straight lines and curves to make the create light effects; circular b rushing, s unburst finishing, circular-graining and polishing to ensure varied reliefs: while the use of all these ancestral craftsmanship techniques has served to highlight the beauty of the components, an anthracite grey shade obtained by means of an NAC electrolytic treatment gives the mechanism a very modern face. The dial bears applied 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers, the Maltese cross emblem as well as day, date and month-counter rings. This design ensures that the watch is perfectly legible while allowing the gaze to roam freely through the heart of the movement and admire its hand-crafted finishing.
A calendar requiring no adjustment until 2100
While watches with simple calendars – indicating the day, date and month – require constant adjustments according to months with 28, 29 and 30 days, the Overseas Perpetual Calendar ultra-thin skeleton watch will not require any intervention until March 1, 2100. Achieving such a performance with a movement that slim – yet housing 276 components – called for authentic feats of design and miniaturisation.
The freedom of personalisation
Like all models in the Overseas collection, this exceptional watch offers a modular touch via a simple and convenient bracelet/strap interchangeability system. Fitted with a gold bracelet whose satin-brushed half Maltese cross-shaped links underline the elegance of the timepiece, it also comes with two additional straps in blue alligator leather and blue rubber.
Vacheron Constantin is delighted to unveil its latest talent to join the “One of not many” communication campaign. Yiqing Yin, a youthful prodigy in the world of Haute Couture, is joining the roster of talents who have chosen to collaborate with the Maison. She will epitomise the Égérie collection, dedicated to women and launched by the Manufacture in February 2020.
Born in Beijing in 1985, Yiqing Yin has been traveling the world since her childhood. At the age of four, she left China for Australia and France. A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and armed with her innovative vision of Couture, Yiqing Yin sees garments as both a second skin and a supple, floaty envelope. Exploring the dynamic potential of pleats, she imagines vibrant structures that are never static but instead all about volumes in motion, and experiments with the way garments fall in a quest for smoothly flowing lines. She thus designs loose shapes with staggering structures. She admits her attraction to “an intuitive method of creation, a sensory wandering and a search for voluntary accidents”.
Acknowledged and respected within the select circle of Haute Couture connoisseurs, her universe naturally chimed with that of Vacheron Constantin. Yiqing Yin shares with the watchmakers and artisans of the Maison a concern for detail and a desire for discovery. Ties were thus woven between Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie, two worlds where craftsmanship, expertise and rarity would be nothing without passion and creativity, a vocation that is constantly being challenged and reinvented in step with successive creations. The Égérie collection symbolises this encounter through the pleated dial and the off-centre aesthetic of its design.
The “One of not many” campaign presented in 2018 showcases talents whose personality and work express the constant quest for excellence, openness to the world and the spirit of innovation and creation characterising Vacheron Constantin. Singular, visionary and passionate, they are recognised experts in their own field, thereby also reflecting the concept of connoisseurs.
About Yiqing Yin
A graduate of ENSAD (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris), Yiqing Yin was awarded the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris in 2009. Following the Hyères International Fashion Festival in 2010, her dreamy creations were staged in the windows of the Ministry of Culture, at the Chaillot National Theatre and then at the prestigious Joyce Gallery. In June 2011, she won the ANDAM (Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode/ANDAM Fashion Award Paris) and held her first runway showing during the Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week. That same year, Yiqing Yin was one of eight young “designers to watch” selected by the French edition of Vogue. In 2013, Maison Léonard appointed the young designer to head its ready-to-wear collections. Yiqing Yin also works with prestigious brands such as Cartier, Guerlain, Hermès, Swarovski and Lancôme.
Since 2012, Maison Yiqing Yin has been officially included in the Fédération Française de la Couture official calendar as a guest member. In December 2015, the Fédération Française de la Mode rewarded her work through the attribution of the Haute Couture appellation.
As a complete artist, Yiqing Yin also explores other artistic worlds. In 2013, at the invitation of the Venice Biennale, she created the artwork In-Between. For her Blooming Ashes collection, she combined fabric with light in the Stellar dress, in collaboration with sculptor Bastien Carré. She has also worked in the world of dance by designing the stage costumes of the étoile ballet dancers Dorothée Gilbert and Mathieu Ganio for Tristan and Iseult, directed by Giorgio Mancini.
Yiqing Yin has been regularly invited to participate in art exhibitions around the world for several years. The exhibition titled “A world of Feathers” staged at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm; the “Haute Dentelle” exhibition at the Cité de la Dentelle in Calais; as well as the “Animalia Fashion” exhibition at Palazzo Pitti in Florence, are just some of the many events where she presents the major pieces of her Haute Couture collections. She was also a guest of honour, exhibitor, lecturer and member of the jury at the Arts of Fashion Foundation Symposium held in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in December 2019. Finally, she is delighted to be working on a film project that will be released in the course of 2020.
The elegantly understated Patrimony moon phase retrograde date model is joining the Collection Excellence Platine concept. Launched in 2006, it offers collectors exceptional watches in 950 platinum limited editions. Case, crown, dial, buckle are crafted from this noble metal, while even the alligator leather strap is hand-stitched with platinum and silk threads.
The Patrimony moon phase retrograde date model, presented in 2017 in white and pink gold versions, is one of Vacheron Constantin’s signature watches. Its understated elegance and the originality of its display embody the Maison’s identity at first glance. Three years after its launch, this timepiece with its pleasing proportions is enriching the Collection Excellence Platine concept with a 50-piece limited boutique edition.
Entirely faithful to the spirit of the Patrimony collection, drawing inspiration from the watches created by the Maison in the 1950s, this timepiece bears witness to the minimalist aesthetic approach with a concern for detail aimed at achieving perfectly balanced lines. The timelessly elegant 42.5 mm round case houses the self-winding Manufacture 2460 R31L calibre with its precision moon phase and retrograde pointer-type date display. For optimal user-friendliness, all function settings are performed via the crown.
With its “Collection Excellence Platine” concept launched in 2006, Vacheron Constantin produces exceptional watches for collectors. Ranging from the simplest to the most complicated, all are offered in limited editions at a rate of one or two models per year. As its name suggests, their distinctive feature is 950 platinum, the watches being crafted in this noble metal from case to dial including the buckle while even the midnight blue alligator leather strap is hand-stitched with platinum and silk threads.
The secret signature on sand-blasted dial of the Patrimony moon phase retrograde date watch is the inscription «Pt 950» between 4 and 5 o’clock. The moon-phase disc, which can be admired through an aperture at 6 o’clock, is also in platinum with a polished surface on the stars and a grained texture for the moon circles imitating the visible irregularities of the lunar surface. The dial is slightly convex around its circumference and punctuated by applied 18-carat white gold hour-markers, appearing at intervals around a likewise white gold “pearl” minute-track. The batontype hands are made of the same metal, blued for the date pointer for enhanced readability.
Precision moon phase and retrograde date
This timepiece is powered by the Manufacture self-winding 2460 R31L calibre with a 40-hour power reserve. The transparent sapphire caseback provides a chance to admire this 275-part movement, notably the circular-grained surface of its mainplate and its openworked 22-carat gold oscillating weight inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross emblem.
The moon phases are displayed through an aperture at 6 o’clock, graduated from 0 to 29½, serving to count off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon. This horological complication, known as the age of the moon, corresponds to the actual cycle of this heavenly body, which rotates around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The precision moon phases mechanism requires a one-day correction only once every 122 years.
The second complication – a retrograde date indication by means of the central hand – occupies the upper part of the dial. To ensure user friendliness, all operations are performed via the crown: winding, date correction, moon-phase adjustment and time-setting.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon – Gravity Defied in a Subtle and Sophisticated Way
The Traditionnelle collection combines aesthetic refinement and technical sophistication in the feminine mode by welcoming the very first Vacheron Constantin self-winding tourbillon in a lady’s watch. A gem of horological complexity interpreted as two precious models celebrating mechanical art with great panache.
A round stepped case, a discreet bezel, a fluted case-back, a rail-track minute-circle, slender dauphine-shaped hands and baton-type hour-markers: the pure and elegant Traditionnelle collection showcases technical refinement conveyed through eminently horological characteristics. This timeless elegance embodied by timepieces whose form follows function is now expressed through two new feminine models featuring a tourbillon for the first time. Housed within a new 39 mm diamond-set pink gold case, or in a diamond-paved white gold jewellery version, this prestigious horological complication appears in unprecedented feminine finery. For demanding women looking for a timepiece that combines precision and style.
Calibre 2160, a Model of Elegance and Precision
The in-house 2160 calibre unveiled in 2018 finds its place for the first time at the heart of a watch dedicated to women. Thanks to the tourbillon that cancels out the effects of the Earth’s gravity, this self-winding movement is distinguished by its extreme precision, operating at a low 2.5 Hertz frequency enabling one to admire the steady beating of the mechanism. The 2160 calibre is also impressively slender. Equipped with a peripheral rotor, this 188-part movement is only 5.65 mm thick. A silhouette pared down to essentials results in a case measuring 39 mm in diameter and 11.22 mm thick, whose harmonious proportions are perfectly suited to the feminine wrist.
In addition to its reliability and precision, the 2160 calibre is characterised by a comfortable 80-hour power reserve and the presence of a small seconds display on the tourbillon by means of a blackened screw – a function highlighted by meticulous attention to each and every aesthetic detail. On the front, the bar of the openworked tourbillon carriage inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross, is entirely hand-bevelled, an operation lasting almost 11 hours for this component alone. Visible through the transparent caseback, the movement is adorned with Côtes de Genève finishing. These traditional decorations contrast with the refined aesthetics of the peripheral rotor in sandblasted 22 carats gold.
Technical refinement meets aesthetic elegance in this model imbued with exquisite femininity. It is the epitome of glowing radiance, balanced proportions and subtle details. Its classic 39 mm case crafted from 18 carats 5N pink gold sparkles with 208 brilliant-cut diamonds set on the bezel, caseband and lugs. Its captivating mother-of-pearl dial provides an iridescent backdrop for the majestic spectacle of the tourbillon, surrounded by a diadem of 46 brilliant-cut diamonds. Precious finery indeed for this Traditionnelle tourbillon that is an integral part of the collection’s aesthetic heritage. The extremely slim case features stepped flanks and a fluted caseback. The dial is punctuated by a rail-track minute-circle with dauphine-shaped hands and pink gold baton-type hourmarkers. A pleasing composition that seductively wraps itself around the wrist on a grey satin strap secured by a diamond-set folding clasp. A second grey strap in alligator leather is delivered with the timepiece.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon Jewellery
The sophisticated mechanical tourbillon complication is viewed through the prism of jewellery-making virtuosity. Sculpted in 18 carats white gold, this prestigious timepiece reinterprets the heritage of the Traditionnelle collection through an elegant 39 mm stepped round case, a slender bezel, a fluted caseback and a dial swept over by dauphine-shaped hands. The collection’s characteristic design nonetheless gives way to the flamboyance of diamonds. Bedecked in 559 brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds totalling more than 6.5 carats, the Traditionnelle tourbillon jewellery watch highlights the technical sophistication of the tourbillon, whose low frequency makes it possible to admire each rotation. This majestic interpretation embraces the wrist with a dazzling halo of light on a blue satin strap secured by a diamond-set gold folding clasp. Available exclusively in Vacheron Constantin boutiques, the Traditionnelle tourbillon jewellery comes with a second blue strap in alligator leather.
Fiftysix® – Sepia Brown-Toned Dial and Matching Calfskin Strap
Unveiled in 2018, the Fiftysix® collection audaciously mixes eras. Its part-retro, part- contemporary silhouette inspired by an iconic 1956 watch reveals its playfulness through a new sepia brown-toned dial colour. A look imbued with a vintage touch, interpreted through two pink gold models with a calfskin strap designed for everyday wear.
Heir to an iconic watch from the 1950s, the Fiftysix® collection celebrates the skillful marriage of styles and eras. Fiftysix® borrows powerful characteristics from reference 6073, introduced in 1956 and the very first water-resistant automatic watch ever created by Vacheron Constantin. Notably the lugs shape forming a section of the Manufacture’s Maltese cross emblem; the box-type crystal topping the bezel in the manner of post-war watches; along with a retro look that perfectly complements the timeless elegance of its 18 carats 5N pink gold case measuring 40 mm in diameter.
A new sepia brown-toned dial colour now reinforces the vintage character of this watch, available in two versions, automatic and complete calendar, fitted for the first time by a brown calfskin leather strap. A chic and authentic spirit to be worn every day and on all occasions!
Fiftysix® Complete Calendar
The retro-contemporary character of the Fiftysix® complete calendar watch is imbued with a new vintage aura. Framed by a 40 mm-diameter 18 carats 5N pink gold case, the sepia brown-toned dial is visually extended by a calfskin leather strap. Punctuated by day, date, month indications – as well as a precision moon phase requiring no adjustment for 122 years –, the watch face conceals a wealth of details. The subtle sector-type dial features opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes creating fascinating light effects, setting the stage for 18 carats 5N pink gold moon discs standing out against a blue sky.
Around the circumference, the chapter ring bears specially designed Arabic numerals, alternating with gold hourmarkers coated in luminescent material, as are the hours and minutes hands also visible in the dark. This results in exemplary legibility of the complete calendar indications, accurately driven by the 2460 QCL/1 self-winding movement, also equipped with a stop-seconds device. The sapphire caseback reveals traditional Côtes de Genève finishes, swept over by a 22 carats pink gold oscillating weight delicately openworked in a shape inspired by the Maltese cross. A strong symbol also evoked in the shape of the lugs and on the notched crown of this watch that stylishly mingles historical influences with the aesthetic codes of contemporary elegance.
With its new sepia brown-toned dial colour matching the colour of its calfskin strap, the personality of the Fiftysix® self-winding watch is further reinforced by an even more resolutely retro touch. Topped by a box-type crystal typical of the 1950s, the sector-type dial is distinguished by the refinement of its opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes. The resulting beautiful interplay of light and shade enhances its legibility. This pleasing composition is punctuated by hands and hour-markers enhanced with luminescent material and matching the 40 mm-diameter 18 carats 5N pink gold case. On the reverse side, the self-winding movement visible through the sapphire crystal caseback provides an admirable view of the meticulous Côtes de Genève decoration swept over by an openworked 22 carats pink gold oscillating weight whose design is inspired by the Maltese cross. A shape that echoes the Vacheron Constantin emblem and is also evoked in the case lugs and on the crown.
Vacheron Constantin’s retro-contemporary collection adopts a new sepia brown-toned dial colour. Available on the Fiftysix® complete calendar and Fiftysix® self-winding models, this elegant shade perfectly complements the warm hues of the 40 mm-diameter 18 carats 5N pink gold case paired with a brown calfskin strap. A skillful blend of styles and eras for these two models, which are equipped with an openworked 22 carats gold oscillating weight, whose design is inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross.
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin – When Pink Gold Illuminates the Distinctive Overseas Blue
Pink gold and blue-lacquered offer a perfect combination of casual chic. For the first time, Vacheron Constantin is offering this pleasing association of colours by presenting a new Overseas perpetual calendar with a gold case and bracelet along with a blue dial. A spirited combination that endows this model with a distinctive new personality.
The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin watch is now treating itself to an all-gold version. Its precious metal bracelet, featuring links inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross, is more elegant than ever while radiating a style all its own.
In addition to the case/bracelet combination, the brilliance of the gold extends to the blue dial, whose hour-markers, hands and moon discs are also made of 18K 5N pink gold. While the blue-lacquered gold dial captivates the eye with its sunburst satin finish, the counters are distinguished by their snailed decoration, while the gold-rimmed minute-rack opts for a velvet finish. These delicate decorations contrasting with the vertical-brushed of the case endow the blue dial with its full strength of character.
Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre
The 41.5 mm-diameter case accommodates a mechanical self-winding movement from a proud lineage, the ultra-thin Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre with perpetual calendar and moon-phase display. The latter function involves impressive feats of miniaturisation enabling it to cope with calendar irregularities while eliminating any need for correction until 2100. No less than 276 components are housed in a thickness of barely 4.05 mm. Beating at a frequency of 19,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve, the mechanism drives indications of the hours, minutes, perpetual calendar function – with the day of the week, date, month and leap year shown on a 48-month counter – as well as moon phases.
Vacheron Constantin is offering a pleasing association of colours by presenting a new Overseas perpetual calendar with a gold case and bracelet along with a blue dial. This model featuring a dial adorned with three different finishes (sunburst, snailed and circular satin-finished) is powered by the Manufacture 1120 QP/1 calibre.
The four one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds timepieces pay symbolic tribute to the range named “La Musique du temps®”
The extra-thin 1120 AT movement gives free rein to the talents of the master enameller. It provides an off-centred display of the hours on a right-hand dial sector, while leaving space to express the art of champlevé enamel. These four one-of-a-kind creations – showcasing artistic crafts by respectively featuring a hummingbird, a blue jay, a blue tit and a robin – add fresh notes to “La Musique du Temps®”, a theme dreamed up by the Maison’s Les Cabinotiers department.
Vacheron Constantin‘s approach to time measurement finds its ultimate expression when technical sophistication is enhanced by the talent of art masters and by hand finishing consistent with the tenets of Haute Horlogerie. All of which is perfectly illustrated in four one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – the singing birds models. Masterpieces of champlevé painted enamel, the enchanting bucolic scenes on the dials offer a poetic interpretation of “La Musique du Temps®”, a theme imagined by the Les Cabinotiers department and honoured here by the imaginary song of the birds.
Perfect mastery of volumes and craftsmanship techniques is essential on these models featuring a two-tiered dial. The work on the two dial sections – one enamelled and concealing the module driving the hours and minutes, while the other guilloché area serves to display these indications – requires great precision in the fine adjustment of these two elements endowing this model with its innate elegance.
To create these strikingly realistic dials, Vacheron Constantin’s master enameller used the champlevé painted enamel technique. This consists of hollowing out of the dial material thin alveoli, designed as receptacles for the enamel delicately applied with a brush. Performed using binoculars, this work is all the more complex due to the rich palette of colours. To give life to the birds, the master artisan has in fact extended his palette to some 10 colours and their subtly graded shades for each of the dials, representing the fruit of intense research and extreme dexterity in their application. Mastery of fire is also indispensable, given that enamel – a mineral material – must be melted to achieve its inimitable translucent brilliance. As the birds take shape under the expert hand of the craftsman, the piece requires successive firings in the kiln to gradually fix the colours in place, which is a risky operation for the work already performed.
The right-hand section of the dials, consisting of a sector for displaying the hours and minutes, is finely hand guilloché and then coloured to bring out the basket-weave motifs.
The Maison has chosen birds embodying powerful symbolism. The hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird and capable of flapping its wings up to 200 times a second, is represented in shades of green, feeding on flower nectar. The blue jay, sentinel of the forests, warns its fellow birds of the presence of predators, accompanying its cries with a few loud wing flaps. Appearing against a brown backdrop, the blue tit with its bright eye highlighted by a brush stroke signals its presence to those who would like to take its place. A robin rests on the dial adorned with burgundy hues. Framed by elegant 40 mm-diameter cases in pink gold, or white gold for the robin, these dials are a true invitation to dream and to contemplate the wonders of nature. Each timepiece is fitted with an alligator leather strap in a colour matching that of the dial.
A Calibre with Satellite Hours and Minutes
Driven by a concern for formal purity, the Maison has opted for the in-house self-winding 1120 AT calibre because of its slimness and reliability. Developed in the 1960s, this movement immediately attracted the attention of specialists and collectors, not only for its 2.45 mm thickness but also for its construction, which is considered to be a model of horological engineering.
Over the decades, this ultra-thin movement has been interpreted through different variations with additional functions, including this 1120 AT version. Despite its satellite hours and minutes module on the reverse side and its guilloché gold oscillating weight winding the barrel on the back of the movement, it is only 5.45 mm thick and housed in a 12.37 mm case. The most notable specific feature of the calibre lies in the time indications. The display appears on a 120° sector bearing applied minutes. The satellite hours are thus of the dragging variety with three arms, each carrying a four-digit rotating disc and taking turns along the minutes scale.
Les Cabinotiers: One-of-a-kind Creations
In the Vacheron Constantin universe, Les Cabinotiers represents a department in its own right dedicated to the personalisation of models and to unique creations. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, a time when master watchmakers were called cabinotiers and worked in ateliers bathed in natural light, known as cabinets and located on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings. In the hands of these learned artisans, open to the new ideas of the Enlightenment, exceptional timepieces were born, inspired by astronomy, mechanical engineering and the arts. This expertise, which constitutes the great Geneva watchmaking tradition, has been flowing through Vacheron Constantin’s veins since 1755.
Enter the world of “Haute Manufacture”
After celebrating the union between Haute Horlogerie and Haute Couture, Vacheron Constantin‘s new ladies’ collection highlights jewellery virtuosity as the captivating Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery timepiece distils time in a shower of diamonds.
In Roman mythology, Egeria was the name of an inspirational nymph whose inventiveness inspired artists and designers. At Vacheron Constantin, it is now the name of its new ladies’ collection, whose allure flows from the confluence of Haute Manufacture skills. Haute Horlogerie instils the technical sophistication so dear to Vacheron Constantin and the legacy of the asymmetrical displays that have marked its history, while Haute Couture endows Égérie with style, magnificently refined shapes, attention to detail and delicate textures. This dual inspiration embodied by the first models in the collection – Égérie self-winding, Égérie moon phase, Égérie moon phase diamond-pavé – is further enriched by the Maison’s jewellery mastery.
Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery is first and foremost an exceptional aesthetic appeal, a refined silhouette with an impeccable fit on the wrist. Its case, a 37mm-diameter circle sculpted in white gold, is rimmed with 246 brilliant-cut diamonds. The five rows of its supple, flowing bracelet are studded with 588 brilliant-cut diamonds. The dial unfurls like a light-filled stage carpeted with 510 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Like an Haute Couture gown, Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery conceals a world of details. Specially designed for the collection, the calligraphic numerals display the delicacy of lace; the moon phase is encircled by diamonds; and the leaf-type hour and minute hands are reminiscent of those used by the nimble fingers of Haute Couture ateliers.
Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery is also a tribute to Vacheron Constantin’s watchmaking heritage, embodying the creative freedom of the Manufacture, its style and its expertise. In reference to the asymmetrical displays present since the 19th century, notably in the form of interlaced subdials, the off-centre moon-phase indication is highlighted in a subtle diagonal line formed by the Vacheron Constantin logo and crown topped with a rose-cut diamond.
Behind the scenes, time is regulated by the Manufacture-made 1088 L self-winding moon phase calibre whose refined finishing is revealed through the sapphire crystal caseback: sweeping over its hand-crafted Côtes de Genève finishes is a 22-carat gold oscillating weight, elegantly openworked and inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross. An unmistakably Haute Horlogerie signature for this Égérie moon phase jewellery timepiece available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
Vacheron Constantin’s new ladies’ collection is enriched by a jewellery model entirely bedecked in diamonds. Drawing its dual inspiration from the confluence of Haute Manufacture skills, Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery embodies the refinement of Haute Couture and the technical sophistication of Haute Horlogerie. This interpretation is highlighted by a 37mm white gold case, a dial and a bracelet studded with 1,344 brilliant-cut diamonds, along with a rose-cut diamond adorning the offset crown aligned with the moon-phase display.
This visually harmonious composition influenced by the heritage of the Maison beats to the tune of the Manufacture-made 1088 L self-winding moon phase calibre, whose refined finishing is revealed through the sapphire caseback.