Throwback to 1942. Difficult times. A world that looked very different. Stylistic approaches to watchmaking was somewhat redundant in the face of creating tools. Form and function were one concept, and the process of crafting a workable instrument was the driving force behind many manufacturers. Throwback to 1942, and Vacheron Constantin created the reference 4240. Throwback to 1942, and the 4240 was Vacheron’s pride and joy, their baby. Available in yellow gold, pink gold or steel, the 4240 was indefinably a well -versed accessory, more than capable of holding its own and, purposefully or not, looking damn good in the process.
A generation later, and Vacheron Constantin have released the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942, a direct homage piece to the illustrious reference 4240. The Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 follows a similar purpose as its 4240 inspiration. Once again, form and function are one in between. There is purpose, meaningfulness, an ideology of usefulness that is abundant throughout the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942.
The Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 is indeed a vintage-inspired watch, but Vacheron Constantin have exercised wonderful restraint in not overdoing it. There’s just enough vintage-flair in the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942, and anymore then I personally feel as though the piece would have fallen short of its accolades at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève where it won the “Revival” prize.
The dial is very deliberate and very exacting. The outer chapter ring, stylised to mimic a railway track, acts as the minute marker and is quite a legible way of displaying that information. The white inner chapter ring, which features art-deco-like numerals, features the passing date, with each respective numeral being pointed to by the red-tipped arrow hand stemming from the centre stack. The creamy dial serves the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 wonderfully well, and is an ode to keeping things fresh but still paying respect to a bygone era.
Just beneath the 12 o’clock hour numeral sits the Vacheron Constantin namesake, and below that the respective windows displaying the passing day and month. The blued steel hands fit the persona of the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 well, and the enlarged seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock adds movement to an otherwise very static affair.
The stainless-steel case sits at 40mm in diameter and 10.35mm in depth and features beautiful scarab-shaped lugs. Again, very reminiscent of a watch from the 1940s. The round case is a perfect size, and demonstrates sound proportions. This is a watch that can very easily be worn every day and would certainly not look out of place.
Powering the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 is Vacheron’s Caliber 4400 QC. This is a manually wound calibre, again typical of watches of that era, with a power reserve of about 65-hours and beating frequency of 4Hz. It’s made up of 225-components, and features the passing hours, minutes and seconds, as well as the month, day and date. The Caliber 4400 QC features the Hallmark of Geneva certification, and is finished impeccably.
The award-winning Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 is, I must say, deserving of its accolade. It may not be a piece that I’d comfortably part with almost $30,000 for, but it’s on that does have tremendous appeal, at the very least from the perspective of nostalgia.
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 is available now and has a retail cost of $29,100.