On September 17th Vacheron Constantin will celebrate 260-years of uninterrupted operation, and will unveil what is touted as the world’s most complicated watch. The maison has already enthralled watch collectors this year with its spectacular limited edition Harmony collection, and ahead of Watches & Wonders 2015, Vacheron has now given watch collectors another reason to salivate with a new chronograph, known as the Historiques Cornes de vache 1955.
Part of Vacheron’s Historiques collection, the Cornes de vache 1955 is so named because of its distinctive cow-horn lugs. The watch (reference: 5000H/000P-B058) is inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s first water resistant and anti-magnetic chronograph, the reference 6087, which was released in the 1950s.
The reference 6087 featured a 35mm 18-karat yellow gold case, a screw-in caseback and two mushroom type pushers. This watch was powered by the manual wind calibre 492 movement, which was protected from magnetic fields by a soft-iron cage.
Drawing inspiration from the original, the new Cornes de vache 1955 is presented in a larger 38.5mm platinum case, and is said to be water resistant to 30 metres. This watch also features a screw-in caseback with a sapphire crystal exhibition window, so the hand-decorated, in-house calibre 1142 can be observed. Vacheron has also faithfully reproduced the original layout of the dial found on the reference 6087 – you’ll still find the 30-minute counter at the 3-o’clock position, and the small seconds counter at the 9-o’clock position.
The new watch’s silver-toned opaline dial features Roman numerals, applied hour-markers and 18-karat white gold hands, whereas the central chronograph seconds hand, 30-minute counter hand, as well as the tachometer scale are finished in contrasting royal blue. As you’d expect, the timepiece bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.
Vacheron Constantin (VC) has been belting out ultra desirable timepieces this year, and the Historiques Cornes de vache 1955 is another fine example of the brand’s capabilities. While Vacheron already floored the watch-loving world with incredible chronographs this year (Harmony collection), we’re unsurprised that the Swiss-brand has produced what could likely be another coveted chronograph. This complication is not only important to collectors but it is also a complication that Vacheron has a ridiculously rich pedigree in.
While we’ve yet to handle the watch, we think that Vacheron has done an incredible job of tastefully modernising an iconic timepiece. The manufacture has, understandably, increased the size of the case, so it suits modern tastes, and we’re pleased that the distinctive lugs, incredibly legible bicompax two-register dial layout and mushroom pushers make a return. The liberal use of blue on the dial is fantastic, and we’re certain that all these elements combined will make the watch a conversation piece, when seen on wrists.
Speaking of wrists, the 38.5mm diameter and 10.9mm thickness of the platinum case also suggest that this watch will slide neatly under a shirt cuff, and based on our experience with other Vacheron alligator straps, we’re sure the dark blue alligator strap on the Cornes de vache 1955 will allow for hours of comfortable wear.
The in-house developed calibre 1142 is, as you can see, a thing of beauty. All 164 individual components have been finished by hand, and the movement itself is thoroughly modern, boasting 48-hours of power reserve and a column-wheel chronograph mechanism.
As a complete package, the Cornes de vache 1955 is perfect – it’s elegant, it’s tasteful, it will be beautifully finished, and it’s a chronograph from a Holy Trinity brand. Vacheron says that this will be a ‘highly exclusive production run’ so if you’re interested in one, get down to the VC boutique in either Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates and start asking…
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