Vacheron Constantin is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American 1921 watch by creating a faithful reproduction of the timepiece.
Only 24 pieces of the original watch were ever made, but the revival piece is even rarer, with a single ‘Pièce unique’ taking the watchmaker’s restoration workshop and Heritage department an entire year to create.
The project is a demonstration of Vacheron Constantin’s commitment to the conservation, transmission and continuous enrichment of its heritage and of traditional skills, the company says.
The maison’s Heritage department preserves 800 machine tools, workbenches and sets of watchmaking tools, along with substantial documentary and iconographic archives that is so vast, it stretches 420 meters from end to end.
Many of these vintage tools were used to make the one-off American 1921 anniversary piece including a late 19th century facing lathe and a topping tool from the latter half of the 19th century to modify the profile of wheel teeth and to adjust their diameter.
Watchmakers used an 18th century upright drilling accessory to drill through the movement’s mainplate and an 20th century staking tool to drive the jewels into their settings.
The completed timepiece comes in an 18ct yellow gold case in the same 31mm size as the original, and houses a manual winding movement made from 115 components with 16 jewels and power reserve of an impressive 30 hours.
Its white grand feu enamel dial has blued steel hands for hours, minutes and small seconds.