Vacheron Constantin have released three new additions to their ‘Historiques’ models. One of them is a smaller (36.5mm) version of their American 1921. The other two are the ones that we are highlighting here. They are, as they say, similar but different.
So what do they share in common? Well they are both are derived from designs of the the 1940s (as their names state), with 40mm round cases are characterised by triple gadroon (decorative edging formed by parallel rounded strips) case bands, and are manual-wind. As their name states, they both feature triple calendars. They are also both available with either burgundy or dark blue accent options.
What is different about them? The most obvious is the functionality, with the presence of a moon phase function in the 1948 model versus a small date in the 1942. There is also a metal difference, with the 1942 tribute stainless steel and the other, pink gold.
The ‘Historiques Triple calendrier 1942’, inspired by the Ref.4240, is the new stainless steel model, although its historical progenitor also came in yellow gold and pink gold as well. To keep to the original, it features, along with the time, a small seconds function at 6 o’clock and a calendar feature characterised by a red-tipped hand to indicate the day of the month, and the day of the week and month in adjacent apertures. I mentioned two colour options; these are for the calendar indication. These are all atop a two-tone silvered dial with a sunburst satin-finished centre, Arabic numerals, and a colour-matching burgundy or blue date track.
Secondly, we have the ‘Historiques Triple calendrier 1948’, a 18 carat 4N pink gold model that is in two limited editions of 200 pieces each. As mentioned, it is an homage of the Ref. 4240L. The dial is also a silvered opaline centre with a sunburst satin-finished external area surrounded by a white date ring. It shares the same use of stick hands and red-tipped triangle date hand as the Historique 1942 but uses 18 carat 4N rose gold applied triangular hour markers and Roman numerals. As is the case with the new 1942 model, the date track, day of the week, and month indications, are available in burgundy or blue.
Through their respective case backs you can see the movements – the manual-wind Calibre 4400 QC and Calibre 4400 QCL (‘L’ for ‘lune’) respectively. They beat at 28,800 VPH and have a power reserve of 65 hours.
The alligator straps are either dark blue for the models with the blue accents, or dark brown for the ones with burgundy details. As mentioned, they come in a limited edition of 200, with the limitation number engraved as “N°X/200” on case back.
My preferred model? The 1942, because of the ‘claw’ lugs. In fact, one of my favourite releases of the past few years has been a ‘Historique’ model from Vacheron whose lugs are a key part of their appeal – the Cornes de vache.