What you’re about to see may very well be a straightforward change of material, however it is by and by great news – not just because the watch looks brilliant, because the cost is significantly lower as well as because it is a great strategic decision. At the point when it was presented back in 2015 , the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 was an immediate achievement. Available in platinum or in pink gold as of not long ago, today it makes its debut in the most smoking, all things considered: Steel!
Steel… It is amazing to perceive how ambivalent this material is. For most watches, steel is the reasonable, rational decision of material; it is significantly more accessible than any other material, it is strong, it is resistant to external aggressions, and it is easy to machine and wrap up. So, a straightforward decision driven by pragmatism. Yet, that’s for the masses… When it comes to very good quality watches, steel is the exemption. With regards to non-sports watches, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin or Audemars Piguet will in general depend on valuable materials – gold alloys or platinum. In such a way, steel becomes the rarity and we as a whole skill scarcity increases desire!
The story behind the Cornes the Vache
We’ll return to the subject of desirability later, first, we need to situate the Cornes de Vache in setting. As indicated by its complete name “Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955”, this watch is a reinterpretation of an important, notable watch from the brand’s archives, the circa-1955 reference 6087.
According to the literature, the “Reference 6087, known as Cornes de Vache amongst authorities, is one of Vacheron Constantin’s few chronograph models that was fitted with a water-resistant case, screw back, and rounded chronograph pushers (…) The design of the reference 6087 is additionally enhanced by the unusual teardrop-shaped drags, giving the watch a recognized and charismatic look (…) Produced in the mid and late 1950s, just 36 examples of the reference 6087 were made: 26 in yellow gold, eight in pink gold, and two in platinum. The watches were created with various dial tones and layouts, and some featured a tachometer scale.” (source: Christie’s )
As regularly with Vacheron’s creation between the 1940s – 1960s, the design was overall classic with a turn looking into the issue – here, it was the drags, with an unmistakable teardrop shape or supposed Cornes de Vache (cow horns). This watch was the competitor of Patek’s reference 1463, as a very good quality, hand-wound, chronograph-just timepiece.
In 2015, Vacheron Constantin, which already had several beauties in its Historiques Collection, decided to focus on this classic, famous design with the Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955. First delivered in platinum and in 18K rose gold, both with a silver-opaline dial, it was trailed by a restricted version in steel for Hodinkee in 2017. In any case, presently, steel is offered straightforwardly by VC, as a non-restricted version (which doesn’t mean it’s going to be easily accessible either).
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 Steel
Let’s be realistic… This new form of the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 may very well be a change of material (and a couple of other design tweaks), however it is magnificent and will undoubtedly generate a great deal of buzz. Almost certainly about it.
This advancement of the Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 is managed with no dramatic changes to the watch. Extents remain identical, with a compact 38.5mm diameter and reasonable stature of 10.9mm. Same goes for the overall design, which adheres to the basics of this model. It actually features the same central cleaned container with a flimsy domed bezel, flat case bands and mushroom-like chronograph pushers and naturally, the unmistakable component of this watch, its Cornes de Vache lugs.
On the wrist, the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 retains its natural elegance and its astounding presence, despite the small diameter – note that the carries are both visually striking and rather long. The watch has a great visual impact yet is rarely ludicrous. It is an entirely balanced blend of classicism, vintage feel and elegance. Utilizing stainless steel for the case provides two advantages: delicacy and better resistance to scratches (compared to gold or platinum). The tone is also neutral with a pleasant shine.
There are several other (small) advancements on this Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 Steel. The most evident change is the decision of a calf leather strap instead of the classic, maybe too formal alligator straps on the platinum and gold variants. The strap is beautifully executed, with an earthy colored Serapian patina that gives great charm to the watch and a somewhat more casual touch – in accordance with the decision of case material. It is tied down thanks to a half Maltese cross-shaped steel pin buckle.
The other development concerns the dial. Although it appears identical to different versions – same baton hands, same gold applied indexes, same utilization of blued steel for the chronograph indications, same tachymeter scale and same bi-compax layout – the dial currently has a two-tone style. Indeed, the central area, as well as the peripheral scale, is gray velvet-completed opaline yet the moment track is presently treated in white and punctuated with dark red numerals. It is an attentive touch however it adds a touch of depth to this dial.
Visible through the sapphire caseback is the Vacheron Constantin caliber 1142. This classic, historically relevant development, is based on the Lemania 2310 architecture, yet delivered and decorated in-house by Vacheron Constantin – the intellectual rights for the development were first acquired by Roger Dubuis prior to being acquired by Richemont. The development, with its typical combination of horizontal grip and section wheel, is magnificently decorated (Hallmark of Geneva certification) and still such a pleasure to admire, thanks to an architecture that reveals all the parts.
What to say… The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 was and still is quite possibly the best chronographs on the market. It is one of the rare representatives of the top of the line, elegant hand-wound chronograph category, and because of that, it is important. Also, its extents are almost great, the case is sublime, original and elegant, the dial is handsome and the development is a treat for watch enthusiasts. And this steel form is simply supporting its desirability factor.
Certainly, at around 42K Euros, it doesn’t come cheap for a steel watch – still better compared to the 56k for the gold adaptation or the 72k for the platinum rendition. Notwithstanding, it has to face two competitors: Patek with 5172 and Lange with 1815 Chronograph – which we compared here . Both are just available in valuable metals (and don’t expect steel renditions), at particular costs of 66K and 51K… And while I’d be far fetched that 10,000 Euros can change a decision with regards to such select watches, the decision of having a steel case in today’s setting will certainly make the distinction. As referenced, scarcity is key.
Price and availability
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 in Steel (ref. 5000H/000A-B582) is offered as a non-restricted release, at a cost of EUR 41,600 (incl. 20% VAT). As for the availability, despite the fact that not restricted as such, don’t anticipate that Vacheron Constantin should deliver many pieces a year… and knowing the publicity for steel watches nowadays, it won’t be easy to discover one.
More details at www.vacheron-constantin.com .