Editor’s note: This Quick Hands-on Review of the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 has been photographed with the grateful assistance of J Farren-Price Sydney. For our usual detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
What is it: The 2019’s Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 ref. 5000H/000A-B582 in the ‘precious material’ of stainless steel and retailing for 62’500 AUD. It joins two other variants, one in Platinum 950 ref. 5000H/000P-B058 retailing for 105’000 AUD and the other in 18K 4N pink gold ref. 5000H/000R-B059 retailing for 84’000 AUD.
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 pays homage to 1955’s manual-winding chronographs ref. 6087 (that were 35mm in diameter compared to the 38.5mm reading here).
Why: It is a part of the overarching Historiques line that takes vintage and historical Vacheron Constantin models since 1755 and reinterprets them for the modern gentleman. Following on the footsteps of the platinum re-issue of 2015 and the 18K 4N pink gold version of 2016, the new steel version features those same distinctive cow horn-like lugs.
Where: J Farren-Price Sydney, 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299)
Who is it for: Known for the characteristic shape of its lugs and for being a throwback to Vacheron Constantin’s first water-resistant chronograph, it is for those who understand the importance of the brand’s portfolio within the Swiss watchmaking industry. It is perhaps better suited for the younger generation that is still figuring out why brands such as Vacheron Constantin form the ‘Holy Trinity’
Basic Specs: The reference 5000H/000A-B582 features the calibre 1142 which is a manual-winding mechanical movement developed and manufactured in-house measuring 27.5mm x 5.57mm. The movement comprises of 164 components, 21 jewels, and beats at the frequency of 3Hz (21’600 A/h). It features a fixed free-sprung balance and adjusted in five positions.
The watch face shows the functions of central hours & minutes, small seconds at 9’o clock and a column-wheel chronograph. The latter features a central seconds hand and minute counter, and a tachymeter scale (serving to determine average speed over a known distance) featuring a 1000-metre base reading. The watch offers a decent 48-hour power reserve and an okay water resistance of 30m (3 ATM).
The Hands-on Experience
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 collection first made landfall in 2015 with the platinum version. Since then, it has been quiet hit, a sort of timepiece select connoisseurs of impeccable taste would appreciate and buy.
I talked about this in my recent review of the Seiko Presage as well, that the dimensional proportions of a watch, especially considering the lug-to-lug spacing, can make big difference in how the watch fits.
With a lug-to-lug spacing of only 47.4mm — just 0.2mm more than the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series watches and the popular Tudor Black Bay 58 — the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 on my ~16cm wrist sits like a dream.
I might even say it sits better than other other two I have mentioned, thanks to the unique ‘tear-drop’ style cow-horn lugs, and the smallest of the three dimensions. For reference , the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series watches measure 39.3mm diameter and 11.1mm thickness, while the Tudor BB58 comes is at 39mm x 12.5mm.
If you wish to look at more comparable high-end brands, then the Lange 1815 Chronograph measures in at 39.5mm x 11.2mm x 48.4mm. It is similar albeit a bit bigger.
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 with the readings of 38.5 x 10.9 x 47.4mm is any slim wrist guy’s ideal timepiece.
And the inclusion of the 20mm lug interhorn spacing means that one can find after market strap options with ease as well. Though this is one piece I wouldn’t even dare to swap out the original strap it comes on. It may be a bit stiff at first, but damn, that gradient almost fume brown strap in itself is a reason to buy this timepiece.
This calfskin-leather strap is especially made for Vacheron Constantin by Serapian, which is an Italian Maison specialising in handcrafted leather goods.
The legibility of the grey velvet-finish opaline dial with two snailed counters is commendable. The counters are also sunken, bringing in a subtle yet welcome three-dimensional aspect to the dial.
Add to that presence of the white minutes track punctuated with dark red numerals and 18K white gold appliqué hour-markers and Roman numerals and together they form the genesis of a stunning dial.
The 18K white gold hours, minutes and small seconds hands compliment these indexes while the blued steel chronograph and 30-minute counter hands add an interesting contrast.
That’s All Folks!
A highly sort after case material, the knowledge of owning a ‘Holy Trinity’ timepiece, the use of the classic hand-wound chronograph mechanism based on the classic Lemania 2310 — whose architecture is highly reminiscent of the Omega caliber 321 — and the Geneva Seal certification, all sing to the tune of the same song: the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 is one of the best dressy chronographs available in the market today.
There is something rather intriguing and exciting about wearing a timepiece with unique cow-horn shaped lugs. If this was in my own watch box, it would surely stand out, for all the right reasons.
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 is a poetic expression of sheer horological mastery. It’s a brand bringing the best of yesterday packaged inside a contemporary powerhouse package.
To find out more about the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 collection and other VC timepieces, please head to there website here, or visit their authorised retailer J Farren-Price Sydney at 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299). All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.