Much is made of the history, the legacy – dare I use that buzzword the “brand DNA” of many watch manufacturers. New watch collections represent a constant journey, one that balances the honouring of the past and innovation and looking to the future. Vacheron Constantin has one of the longest histories within the top flight of Swiss watch manufacturers … 250 years of heritage to consider.
OVER THE LAST FOUR DECADES of that time, the 1972 collection has proven to be such a popular line that it’s earned iconic status within the watch world. Well timed with the opening of Vacheron Constantin’s first store in Paris, at 2 Rue de la Paix, the brand has revisited its peerless asymmetrical model and is releasing the 1972 Prestige.
Like the 1972 creation, the new arrival displays the balanced asymmetry that strictly follows the proportions of the golden ratio – the mathematical formula described as Divine Proportion.
So this new watch shares something with a host of creations, including the facade of the Parthenon to the Mona Lisa. Made of white gold, the new 1972 Prestige houses a precious ultra-thin mechanical movement that bears the Poinçon de Genève – Haute Horlogerie’s standard of excellence.
The watch was first created in celebration of Vacheron Constantin being the first watchmaking manufacturer to have been honoured with the Prestige de la France award. It was made in an extremely limited series and the back was engraved with the Prestige de la France coat of arms. Since then, Vacheron Constantin has continued to offer this asymmetrical shape in various sizes and proportions, for both men and women.
Like the original, the new 1972 is embellished with Prestige de la France engraved on the back and is powered by a Calibre 1003. Distinct from other movements due to the fact it is made of gold, this movement was introduced on the company’s two-hundredth birthday in 1955 and to this day it remains the thinnest mechanical hand-wound movement on the market. This revisited movement is just 1.64 mm thick but its finishes are more sophisticated than in the early days. Now the bridges and plate are made of 18 Karat gold and its 117 components work at a frequency of 18,000 vph. Despite the diminutive size it has a power reserve of over 30 hours. And the finishing is meticulous to the last, with the Côtes de Genève motif, the circular graining and bevelling of the components all done entirely by hand.