You may remember a recent release from Watches & Wonders Geneva that recalls a century-old piece: the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921. Available in several configurations and metals, it's a gorgeous dress watch that revives a whimsical design from the beginning of the Jazz Age.
Vacheron has now gone one step further in its quest to revisit the eccentricities of this historically important model by issuing a pièce unique — a single timepiece that, in this case, serves as a nearly one-for-one recreation of the original, save a laser-engraved hallmark necessary to conform to modern customs law.
The Vacheron Constantin 1921 Pièce Unique took over a year of development and saw the maison utilizing long-obsolete tools in the quest to make a watch that is barely distinguishable from its namesake, from the movement to the case to the dial. 31mm in diameter by 8.75mm thick, the Pièce Unique is small by modern standards (much like the original) and features a yellow gold case, a hand-wound caliber with 30 hours of power reserve, and a gorgeous grand feu enamel dial.
Oriented with the crown and 12 o'clock marker at the upper lefthand corner of the case, the 1921 is particularly suited for use while driving, as it allows the time to be easily read with one's hand situated on the steering wheel. Beautiful Breguet numerals and blued steel hands complement the elegant white dial, while a brown, hand-sewn calfskin leather strap finishes the entire package off. The word is still out as to whether this special watch will reside in Vacheron's archives or whether it will be offered for sale, but either way, it represents a special achievement not only in fine watchmaking, but in the art of reproducing a vintage model.