Classic designs are forever, and who knows this better than the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin. Taking a reference from its emblematic complication from the 1940s the, Vacheron Constantin is reinterpreting two calendar watches from 1942 and 1948, which highlight its expertise in the field of “useful” complications and the associated characteristic design. This results in design codes reflecting those of the original models, but with a contemporary twist. A steel triple calendar timepiece and another 18K 4N pink gold triple calendar with moon phase version are now back in the spotlight. The 40 mm-diameter case crafted in the Vacheron Constantin style features a number of character traits typical of the era, such as the distinctive “triple gadroon” case band bearing “claw-type” lugs.
The watch is topped by a slightly thicker box-type glass, which enables a slender bezel. The case, water-resistant to 30 meter, reveals through the case back the Fine Watchmaking finishing of the new complete calendar calibre – interpreted as reference 4400 QC and 4400 QCL for the moon-phase version (L for Lune, meaning moon in French). Beating at a frequency of 4 Hz, this mechanical manual-winding movement preserves the original spirit of the mid-20th century calendars, while providing a comfortable 65-hour power reserve thanks to its imposing barrel.
The first model, made of steel, is inspired by reference 4240, of which the first executions in yellow gold, pink gold or steel were introduced in 1942. In keeping with the original, this understated and elegant model drives the hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, along with hand-type date and day and month by aperture. The calendar indications appear in a choice of burgundy or dark blue, on a two-tone silvered dial typical of the era. The sunburst satin-finished centre and the outer zone punctuated by Arabic numerals clearly enhance the legibility of the respective functions and accentuate its retro-chic elegance.
Historiques Triple calendrier 1948
Like its vintage predecessor, the Historiques Triple calendrier 1948 is crafted in 18K 4N pink gold, a tone that is closer to the original version and endows it with an extremely elegant style. Issued in two limited series of 200 pieces each, it revives the reference 4240L presented in 1948: a triple calendar enriched with a sophisticated astronomical complication – the high-precision lunar cycle (hence the L in its name) – along with small seconds at 6 o’clock. Its contemporary version highlights an array of refined and distinctive assets. The dial features a silvered opaline centre with a sunburst satin-finished external zone. This subtly nuanced display is interspersed with applied Roman numerals and triangle-type hour-markers swept over by slim 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.
Soon after its founding in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron, the Manufacture developed its first calendars. Throughout the 19th century, it demonstrated its mastery of complications by creating technical pocket watches associating complete or perpetual calendars with high complications such as the minute repeater. While the first Vacheron Constantin calendar wristwatches date back to 1920, the 1940s were the golden age of this complication in the history of the Maison. The calendar models from this period greatly contributed to the worldwide expansion and reputation of the Manufacture. Iconic watches were created, such as the references 4240 in 1942 and 4240L in 1948 that have inspired the two new models in the Historiques collection.
Historiques collection, a return to roots
Rare and much sought-after by collectors, the most legendary Vacheron Constantin creations have been successively reborn in the Historiques collection for more than 20 years. This highly exclusive range revisits the creative archetypes punctuating the history of the Manufacture since 1755
|Historiques Triple calendrier 1942||Historiques Triple calendrier 1948|
|Reference 3110V/000A-B425||Reference 3100V/000R-B359|
|Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces Developed and manufactured by VacheronConstantin|
|Calibre 4400 QC|
|29 mm (12’’’1/2) diameter|
|4.6 mm thick|
|Approximately 65 hours of power reserve|
|Approximately 65 hours of power reserve|
|4Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)|
|225 components||253 components|
|Indications Hours, minutes/Small seconds at 6 o’clock|
|Complete calendar (day of the week and month by aperture, date by hand)|
|Case Stainless Steel 40 mm diameter, 10.35 mm thick
|Case Stainless Steel 40 mm diameter, 10.35 mm thick|
|Precision moon phases Case 18K 4N Pink gold|
|Transparent sapphire crystal case back|
|Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar(approx. 30 metres)|
|Dial Silvered, sunburst satin-finished||Dial Silvered opaline with satin-finished external zone|
|Black painted Arabic numerals||18K 4N gold applied hour-markers|
|Burgundy/Blue painted date-track||Red/Blue painted date-track|
|Strap Brown/dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales|
|Buckle Steel||Buckle 18K 4N Pink gold|
|Polished half Maltese cross-shaped|
|Limited edition of 200 individually numbered pieces|
|“N°X/200” engraved on case back|