Of the so-called Holy Trinity of Swiss watchmakers — Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin — the latter attracts the least fanfare by far. But VC is definitely deserving of more attention than they receive, especially when they’re executing incredible projects like their one-off American 1921 100th Anniversary watch.
The watch is a meticulous recreation of a classic Vacheron piece that was first released in, you guessed it, 1921. Construction on the watch by the brand’s Restoration Workshop and the Heritage Department took an entire year, with no stone left unturned in making sure the watch was the most accurate recreation possible. In order to do this, the artisans were restricted to using antique machines from Vacheron Constantin’s Heritage, such as a late 19th century facing lathe for composing the case and an 18th century upright drilling accessory to drill through the movement’s mainplate. The machines were complemented by custom-made hand tools that duplicated those that would have been used on the original American 1921 a century ago. VC even rebuilt the original’s 115-piece movement from scratch — something the brand had never attempted before — and used the same gold alloy for the case and Grand Feu enamel for the dial that were used in the original. You can learn more about the watch at the Maison’s website.