September 27, 2015
Named Cornes de vache 1955 because of its distinctively-shaped lugs (cornes de vache translates as: cow horns), the latest release from Vacheron Cosntantin is a contemporary interpretation of a model created by the manufacture in 1955, the Vacheron Constantin reference 6087. The 6087 was the first water-resistant and anti-magnetic chronograph crafted by Vacheron Constantin, “one of the three chronographs from the Manufacture that are most keenly coveted by collectors.” Alongside its emblematic lugs, the original ref 6087 featured a 35 mm-diameter round case in 18-carat yellow gold featuring twin “mushroom-type” pushpieces and a screwed-in back. This double-pusher chronograph was equipped with a tachometric scale was powered by hand-wound Caliber 492, itself protected against magnetism by a soft iron cage.
The new Historiques Cornes de vache 1955 see here is cased in platinum and measures 38.5mm diameter, with distinctive polished ‘cow-horn’ lugs and round chrono pushers on either side of the crown. The watch has screwed-in caseback fitted with a transparent sapphire crystal through which the hand decorated chronograph caliber can be admired. On top is a silver-toned opaline dial, punctuated by Roman numerals, applied hourmarkers and hands in 18-carat white gold. The 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock remains faithful to the original; there is also a center-set seconds hand and the tachometric scale, both done in a nice shade of blue. The watch also carries the Geneva Seal, a testament to its fine quality and precision.
The Cal 1142 beats at a leisurely 3 Hz (18,000 vph) with free sprung balance and a respectable power reserve of 48 hours. The column-wheel screw is shaped like the manufacture’s emblematic Maltese cross. As I understand, the Cal 1142 traces its roots back to the Lemania Cal 2310, though it is for Vacheron a fully in-house manufactured Caliber. What a beautiful chronograph caliber.