Vacheron Constantin Recreates A 100-Year-Old Vintage Watch Using Original Tools And Components


Vacheron Constantin celebrates the 100th anniversary of one of its most legendary watches, the American 1921, of which on 24 were made, by recreating it using only vintage components and early 20th century tools. Rebuilding the watch itself was not the main goal in the endeavour. Vacheron wanted to relearn some of the skills involved in making the original American 1921 in order to perfect its ability to restore vintage timepieces. The brand has an extensive restoration department, where it repairs vintage watches and brings them back to the market in original condition, but some of the techniques had been forgotten. The goal was to revive them. The result is a brand new “old” American 1921, a unique piece that will be auctioned later this year for charity.

Vacheron Contantin built everything, including the case, movement, dial and crystal, according to early 19th century techniques, and components.

The Vacheron Constantin American 1921 design was emblematic of the roaring ’20s. VACHERON CONSTANTIN

The American 1921 design is distinctive, with its cushion-shaped case, off-center dial, and 11 o’clock crown position, and its uniqueness is emblematic of design in the 1920s, says Selmoni. “The roaring ’20s, up until World War I, was a fabulous era in terms of architecture, design, music – it was a very creative decade.” The dial is enamel, with blued Breguet-style hands and a 36.5mm case in 18k yellow gold. The dial crystal is mineral rather than sapphire, and like other watches made in the 1920s, it is not water-resistant. “The goal was not to bring any kind of modernity to the project,” says Selmoni. “The project was an investment in know-how.”


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