Vacheron Constantin, in my estimation, is the most underrated of the big three. In constant manufacture since 1755, the brand has the kind of history Rolex would kill for. Moreover, they use that history well . . .like, really well. The Les Historiques range was introduced in the early 1990s to pay homage to their historic icons. This 47101 Chronograph harks back to the 4178, a strong start if ever there were one. Moreover, it features a Lemania 2310, possibly the world’s most important movement, dressed to the nines.
The 2310 architecture has found its way to the moon, insane Patek complications, and even the odd Tissot. It’s a highly collected, storied, and tested movement. If you wanted, you could get one on your wrist under a few grand in the form of a Seamaster 321. Alternatively, if you wanted to celebrate its many accomplishments, you could dress it up. That’s just what Vacheron Constantin have done with the platinum Les Historiques: slip the 2310 into an evening dress.
I am uncertain just how the overseas has become such an icon while Les Historiques doesn’t really garner the same ‘street cred’ amongst the kids. It is elegant, modern, and VC to its very core. The dial includes both telemetric and teachymetric scales, with a simple two-register layout. The elegant effect is mirror by a case that is a nod to the 4178’s, both in its 36mm proportions and sculptural lugs. In essence, this is mid-century modern design, but massaged and accentuated in the same way that Singer would massage a 911. Except in this scenario it would be Porsche doing the revision of their own history.
This example of neo-par-excellence presents well. The case is sharp, platinum, unaltered goodness. The dial shows no patina. No mention is made of service history. In addition, it comes with a full set from one of the best in the haute horology retail game.
Find this Les Historiques Chronograph here from A Collected Man for 26850 GBP.