At this year’s prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) awards held earlier this month, there was some competition for the Revival Prize – presented to the best watch in one of the 12 main categories, which features a contemporary re-edition or reinterpretation of an iconic historical model.
The growing interest in classic timepieces and the booming pre-owned market has caught the attention of many luxury watch brands and apart from some of them already being in the game, it has also prompted the release of some fine new anniversary editions and vintage-inspired collections; none as bountiful as over the passed year.
Although Vacheron Constantin, founded in 1755, has numerous icons and registered complications to celebrate, the manufacture scored at GPHG this year with an elegant reinterpretation of its 1940s aesthetic, reviving the typical “useful” complication and style from this era.
For over 20 years, the Historiques collection has celebrated the company’s most legendary creations, which punctuate its 263-year history. The Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942, reinterprets the reference 4240 calendar watch from 1942 with design codes echoing those of the original but in a completely modern timepiece.
The 40 mm-diameter steel case – 5mm larger than the original – with its stepped bezel features a number of character traits typical of the 1940s, such as the triple gadroon (decorative edging) to the case flank, ’claw’ lugs, and the two-tone silvered dial. The manual-winding, in-house mechanical movement, which is revealed through the caseback, has a power reserve of 65 hours thanks to its imposing barrel. The case is water resistant to 30m. Like the original, the new reference 4400 QC movement – based on the hand-wound caliber 4400, first seen in the Historiques 1921 – drives the hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, as well as a date hand, and day and month apertures.
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942, is listed at CHF 20,700 (approximately R290,000), an affordable price, relatively speaking, for such a watch from one of the most premium Swiss manufactures.
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