In-Depth: The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955

The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 in rose gold.

The Cornes de Vache comes with a specific measure of philosophical stuff. Most importantly, this is a watch purposely and deliberately intended to be overwhelming to a specific class of watch fan, with a particular sort of taste. It depends on an adored vintage model (the Vacheron Constantin reference 6087 ) and from the outset it is so moderate in origination and execution as to be practically traditionalist. The hauls, in general measurements, chronograph pushers, dial, and, obviously, the development, make the watch as alluring as though it had been drenched in a type of watch fan teasing pheromone. Not at all like so numerous praise watches, the Cornes de Vache doesn’t welcome you with one hand and repulse you with the other. (It’s a wellspring of ceaseless interest to me that companies go to all the difficulty of making a cutting edge variant of a darling exemplary just to place impediments in the way of loving it, as changes that nobody asked for).

A more intensive glance at the Cornes de Vache’s dial.

A enormous piece of the draw of this watch is the development. It’s difficult to envision that the Cornes de Vache would have been the moment hit that it was with an alternate development inside. In its unique structure, the Vacheron type 1142 was the Lemania type 2310, a segment wheel–controlled, parallel clutch chronograph development with an enormous equilibrium, and Breguet overcoil balance spring. It was an example worth following in general, as it’s been said. Type 1142 offers the essential designing of the Lemania 2310 however for certain significant changes and updates, including those important to qualify it for the Geneva Hallmark.

For this explanation, the development’s design, mechanism, and completing additionally make it an extraordinary device for seeing how an exemplary chronograph works. It’s worth taking a gander at this type in more prominent profundity both mechanically and stylishly, since it has such a huge amount to do with the watch’s effect, and the allure of customary movements.

How The Chronograph Works

The Vacheron Constantin type 1142 has a fascinating history.

This is a glance through the caseback of the Cornes de Vache. The section wheel at the left is effectively conspicuous (and finished off with a Maltese cross, simply on the off chance that you experience difficulty spotting it). When you press the beginning catch, a pawl connects with the base level of the segment wheel (in some cases called a château wheel likewise, as it would appear that a minuscule fortification tower) and pulls it around clockwise. As it turns, the spaces and teeth on the upper level of the segment wheel cooperate with the switches that decide if the chronograph is quit, running, or reset.

Above, you can see three wheels running pretty much up the focal point of the development. The wheel on the base (at six o’clock in the image) is on the rotate of the fourth wheel (the fourth wheel pinion wheels to the departure wheel, and turns once each moment; the running seconds hand is on the fourth wheel turn on the dial side of the watch). The wheel at six o’clock is continually turning, just like the moderate wheel to which it is outfitted. The stuff at the focal point of the development is mounted on the chronograph community seconds hand, and straightforwardly above it, at 12:00, is the wheel conveying the hand for the chronograph minute counter.

Between generally 10:00 and 11:00 you can see the two-outfitted reset hammer, with its arms laying on the re-visitation of zero heart pieces for the two chronograph hands. The mallet is held against the heart pieces by a cutting edge spring, and it’s the pressing factor of the two sledge faces on the heart pieces that holds the hands back from moving when the chronograph hasn’t yet been started.

Vacheron Constantin type 1142, with the chronograph running.

In the above image, the chronograph is running. The beginning catch has been squeezed and the section wheel has been drawn around clockwise by the pawl. On the off chance that you look carefully you can see two significant things have occurred: first, the nose of the switch conveying the clutch wheel has been allowed to drop into the space between two upper segment wheel teeth. This allows the clutch to wheel drop into position, and now, through the clutch wheel, the driving wheel can make the middle chronograph seconds hand wheel turn.

Secondly, the snout of the switch conveying the reset hammers has been lifted up onto one of the segment wheel teeth. This has taken the reset hammers off the re-visitation of zero heart bits of the chronograph seconds and minutes wheels. So two things have occurred simultaneously: the clutch has been locked in to begin turning the chronograph wheels, and the sledges have been lifted so the wheels can turn openly.

Vacheron Constantin type 1142, with the chronograph stopped.

In the above picture, the chronograph has been halted. The segment wheel has been pulled around once more, by pushing the beginning/stop button. Now the nose of the switch conveying the clutch wheel has been lifted up, withdrawing the clutch and halting the chronograph. However, the reset hammers haven’t been allowed to fall. All things considered, the chronograph community seconds hand is now being held set up by a brake switch, which has been allowed to fall onto the teeth of the middle seconds wheel as the bill of the brake switch drops into the space between two segment wheel teeth. Simultaneously it drops, it likewise moves a pin on one of its arms into position to keep the re-visitation of zero sledges from falling. In this development, the brake switch is a wonderful three-outfitted design: one arm is simply the brake, one arm is the bill that interfaces with the section wheel, and one arm is the incorporated spring that makes the switch drop. It’s an exquisite little piece of steel.

If you’re wondering about the chronograph minute wheel, it’s ordered once per minute by the nose of a little metal wheel that is co-pivotal with, and conveyed by, the chronograph place seconds wheel. The snout of that wheel turns a halfway stuff (at about 11:00 from the chronograph place seconds wheel) which thusly, propels the chronograph minutes wheel at 12:00 one tooth. The moment wheel is held set up by a jumper spring, whose strain must be by and large changed so the chronograph minute hand can’t move too openly, and yet isn’t applying such a lot of pressing factor as to stop the chronograph or to make such a lot of drag as to make balance amplitude drop (recall, this is being driven by a drive wheel mounted on the fourth wheel of the fundamental stuff train, where torque from the fountainhead has been essentially reduced).

A top view of the Vacheron Constantin type 1142.

On the presumption that Vacheron would incline toward that I not dismantle their watch, I will depend on a provided image for a glance at the dial side (base plate) of the development. In the middle are the movement works (the stuff framework that turns the hands) and, to one side, the keyless works, which allow you to set the hour and moment hand when the crown is pulled out. The keyless works are perfectly planned and made; particularly appealing is the complex state of the coordinated spring and cover plate, with its even-mindedly decided yet additionally outwardly compelling shapes. As you’d expect, the steelwork is top notch, with surfaces straight grained and edges sloped and cleaned.

One intriguing activity, incidentally, is to investigate the wonderful high goal photographs made by Internet watch photograph legend SteveG, whose website spearheaded the class of high goal watch photography in the mid 2000s. Marvelously, the site is still up and completely flawless. One of his articles is on the Lemania type 2310 , and this enables you to compare the 2310 with Vacheron’s type 1142. The two offer (as you’d anticipate) overall similar fundamental designing attributes, yet there are various contrasts also, some of which have to do with the requirements of the Geneva Hallmark, and some of which are simply essential for the matter of transforming a strong base development into an extravagance level piece of haute horlogerie. These remember a much more elevated level of finish for cal. 1142; jeweling for the clutch wheel in cal. 1142 versus none in 2310; the utilization of rhodium plating on the plate and scaffolds in 1142 versus a plated finish in 2310, and the utilization of a solitary, coordinated jumper spring for the chronograph minutes wheel in 1142, versus a different spring and jumper in 2310 (simpler to build however less tastefully engaging). In any case, it’s likewise clear on a next to each other comparison that the majority of the parts could be exchanged between 1142 and 2310 (however strikingly, 1142 has a free-sprung balance and 2310 does not).

The Parts And The Whole

The watch’s dial is straightforward and legible.

This watch is perhaps the main aficionado arranged chronographs any company has made in quite some time. The development’s totally exemplary designing is clearly engaging in itself (particularly once you see all that is going on), however it additionally underpins a specific degree of craftsmanship all through, regarding both completion and change. It associates you to a genuine history, it shows an undeniable degree of specialty, and it exhibits obviously the creativity of a mechanical answer for a timekeeping issue. All things considered, the watch should be considered with regards to present day watches in case you will value why the throw-back nature is appealing.

From a client viewpoint, the parallel clutch is technically second rate compared to an advanced vertical clutch – minutely, imperceptibly sub-par, however mediocre nonetheless. It is, however, a wonderfully simple mechanism to comprehend when you see it in real life, with a natural visual lucidity you don’t get in a vertical clutch (and I’d be neglectful in not calling attention to that it’s not all around concurred that a vertical clutch framework is better anyway, as there are those of us who wonder whether a grinding based mechanism has any spot in accuracy timekeeping). 

A part of the joy of having the Cornes de Vache on the wrist comes from knowing what’s inside it, and from understanding that the development has definitely no concessions to speed of assembling or cost decreases. Regardless, extravagance’s proverb has always been “it takes as long as it takes, and it costs whatever it costs,” and keeping in mind that the Cornes de Vache is a very costly watch, it’s additionally fortunately liberated from the really effectively obvious endeavors to squeeze each and every drop of edge out of an extravagance item that you find at pretty much every turn in the present extravagance industry.

The smooth profile of the Cornes de Vache.

On The Wrist

Without a case and dial to match, this would be only a stunning development – delightful, sure, in any case a section instead of a completed work. As we’ve just seen, the purpose of flight for the Cornes de Vache is the vintage reference 6087. Ref. 6087 was first made in 1955, and with just 36 examples made in (all utilizing the Vacheron type 492, in light of the Valjoux 23) it’s an uncommon watch; it was additionally the last chronograph Vacheron Constantin made until 1987. At 35mm in breadth, it’s on the little side for current tastes. Also, beside the cow horn drags, it’s a genuinely grave watch. Beside a periodic expansion of, in certain models, a tachymeter scale, a telemeter scale, or a combination of the two (in one known example) there are basically no unessential plan flourishes. 

On the wrist, the Cornes de Vache wears amazingly well.

The current Cornes de Vache is amazingly dedicated to the first, with the greatest contrasts being width (the cutting edge Cornes de Vache is 38.5mm x 10.9mm), a marginally higher beat in the new model (21,600 vph versus 18,000 vph), and the presence of a stun insurance framework. The tasteful and technical similitudes are extremely articulated – to such an extent that in the time I wore the watch, it began to make me somewhat uncomfortable. It wasn’t such a lot of that I thought the actual watch showed any absence of creative mind, and I never felt removed from it (fairly the inverse), yet it gave me an annoying feeling of uncertainty about a great deal of the remainder of current watchmaking. The lone issue – in the event that you can even consider it an issue – is that the Cornes de Vache is both very moderate and incredibly fulfilling, which made me wonder why there’s such a lot of quarrel about the commonplace twists that characterize present day extravagance watchmaking. Did we truly top in 1955? Has it been downhill ever since?

There’s no denying the visual effect of the physically wound exemplary caliber.

It’s a declaration to the accomplishment of the Cornes de Vache that a ton of the time, when you’re wearing it, you don’t ponder any of this. What made it work as a wristwatch back in 1955 is to a great extent what makes it work today. Despite the way that almost no has changed about the plan, and in spite of the way that mechanically the developments in the old and new are kissing cousins (to say the least), the world around the plan, and the developments, has changed quite a ton. What was in 1955 a very conventional, flawlessly exemplary chronograph is, in 2016, still an incredibly customary, wonderfully exemplary chronograph – just as a photographically loyal proliferation of a conventional, exemplary chronograph. The new form, in this manner, has a double character that the first doesn’t.

To some degree this is something all homage watches hazard; with the Cornes de Vache the technical, art, and plan articulations are solid to the point that this double character is in reality much more articulated than expected. I suspect, however, that after some time – and positively, this is a watch intended to be worn for quite somewhat more than a week – the fundamental character of the watch will advocate for itself, well beyond its status as a multiplication, which is the purpose of the whole thing in the first place. 

The Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955, reference 5000H/000R-B059: Movement, type 1142; hand wound, 27.5 mm x 5.6 mm, 48 hour power save; 21,600 vph/3 hertz. Free-sprung, customizable mass offset with Breguet overcoil. Case 18k 4N pink gold, water obstruction 3 bar; 38.5 mm x 10.9 mm. Tie, dull brown croc with pink gold pin clasp. $53,600; see it at Vacheron-Constantin.com.

Check out our Three On Three comparison between the top chronographs from Lange, Patek, and Vacheron here .