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Vacheron Constantin Historiques: American 1921 Swiss Watches Review

Updated on January 7, 2015

Vacheron Constantin Historiques

Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques (“the historicals” in French) line is, in a way, the company's culture and heritage department. This ever-evolving collection includes all of the company's jubilee and otherwise commemorative timepieces, most of which reproduce past classic designs.

Although these models are intended for watches connoisseurs and collectors, they present a purely design interest, as hay replicate fashionable – now old fashioned – trends that interest artists and industrial designers.

Cosmopolitan Watches

The idea behind Historiques is to keep the design (sometimes with slight changes), now enriched with nostalgic and historical value, but to use modern movements.

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Three major lines include: American 1921, which, according to Vacheron Constantin was made especially for the booming North American market of the 1920s; Toledo 1952, featuring a rather unusual square case and a calendar; Chronometre Royal 1907, originally a pocket watch, known for its reliability and sturdiness – which made it very popular in the harsh climate conditions of South America.

As the title imply, the historical collections either allude or became associated with various geographic locations. At first, this distribution may seem odd for Vacheron Constantin, a company known for its strong, unshakable Swiss and Geneva roots.

But there is nothing strange in this cosmopolitanism: the brand long ago made openness to other cultures one of its precepts; the historical collections demonstrate how the company follows through during the last hundred years.

Style and Range

Let's examine more closely the American 1921, as it shows design with an artistic streak rarely seen in today's luxury watches, including Vacheron Constantin. First, the crown is positioned at one o'clock, on one of the corners of the cushion-shaped case. This makes the design unusually vulnerable – something inconceivable as an intentional element in modern luxury timepieces. It also makes it quite beautiful.

Second, the inner circle that contains the dial has been tilted (by what seems like 45 degrees), forcing diagonal time reading. Finally, the watch employs trademark Breguet hours and minutes hands, in another sign of openness and cooperation. The American 1921 is an important addition to a connoisseur's collection, as it widens Vacheron Constantin's stylistic range, and, in a way, completes it.


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