Vacheron Constantin Celebrates the Roaring Twenties

Johnny Davis
·3-min read
Photo credit: Alex Teuscher
Photo credit: Alex Teuscher

There’s been a lot of talk of a new “Roaring Twenties” in 2021. The idea that we’ll explode out of lockdown in an orgy of new trends, accelerated consumer demand and economic growth, as per events a century ago following the end of World War I.

Whether that transpires or not, Vacheron Constantin’s latest watch arrives perfectly timed. In 1921 the watchmaker created a limited series of models for American motorists. Encouraged by the free-spirited design codes of the times they featured a cushion-shaped case, a crown in the upper corner between one o’clock and two o'clock and a dial set at a 45-degree angle. The unusual-looking watch came from a sensible premise: to create something optimised for reading with your hands on the steering wheel. And in every other respect the watch was as fancy as you’d expect from Vacheron Constantin. The dial featured black-painted Arabic numbers, a small seconds dial between three and four o'clock and came in a gold case. Because of its target market, the watch was soon known as the “American 1921”.

A century later the watchmaker is paying tribute to the model, now in Vacheron Contantin’s archives and much sought after, with three new versions to mark its 100th anniversary. It will sit in the company's "Historiques" line which provides contemporary reinterpretations of watches from its past.

The Historiques American 1921 is being released in three versions. Two models come in 18k white gold with a brown calf leather strap with an 18k white gold buckle and have diameters of 40 mm x 40 mm and 36.5 mm x 36.5 mm (the latter shown in promotional shots being worn by a woman but would equally suit a smaller-wristed man).

Photo credit: Vacheron Constantin
Photo credit: Vacheron Constantin

A third is a 100-piece individually-numbered limited edition, the Historiques American 1921 Collection Excellence Platine. That comes with a platinum dial with a sandblasted finish, 18k white gold hour-markers and a dark blue alligator leather strap with a 18k white gold buckle, and measures 40mm x 40mm. All three watches have a three-day power reserve.

Vacheron Constantin watches are considered some of the best in the business. Few brands can rival it for prestige and craftsmanship. So if 2021 does turn out to be a celebratory as 1921, then it might be the perfect excuse to break the bank on one of these extremely handsome models. On the off chance it doesn’t… well, maybe you might feel even more tempted to do so.

Historiques American 1921 White Gold 36.5mm, £25,800; Historiques American 1921 White Gold 40mm, £31,200; Historiques American 1921 Collection Excellence Platine, £43,300; vacheron-constantin.com

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