Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Vintage beauty – Vacheron Constantin American 1921

| By Frank Geelen | 2 min read |

When Vacheron Constantin launched the Historique American 1921, information about it’s ancestor was made available as well. With all the information to be found, the original watches are rare, very, very rare! So imagine how surprised I was to get an email from an owner who’s inherited a vintage American 1921 and is looking to sell it.

This specific ‘American 1921’ was the first Vacheron to bear this name and was limited to 10 pieces. It was also the first with it’s crown at the 2 o’clock position, or as collectors call it a ‘crown right’ model. The last one of these ‘right crown’ models sold for 61,000 CHF at the Antiquorum ‘Quarter Millenium of Vacheron Constantin‘ auction in 2005.

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The owner was advised to sent his watch to Vacheron Constantin for a complete restauration, prior to auctioning it. Personally I think it’s better not to sent it for restoration and keep it in original condition. For it’s age it looks absolutely great and the wear it shows only adds to it’s beauty.

I’m interested to hear other opinions on this matter, so feel free to mail, post a comment or share your thoughts in another way.

This particular watch is the original American 1921 and features a manual wound movement with 16 jewels and is adjusted to 5 positions. The enamel dial and marker at 2 o’clock has some damage, but hey, what can you expect from a watch that is 90 years old. The subsidiary seconds dial at 6, in this case at the right lower corner, is recessed into the dial.

I could be wrong, but it seems like the hands are made of blued steel with applied tritium for reading time when it’s dark. Of course the tritium is no longer luminescent.

The coolest thing… the watch auctioned by Antiquorum in 2005 has almost the same case number as this one. This Vacheron’s case is made right before the one that was sold for 61,000 CHF. The movement numbers are also very close… I hope to keep you guys informed about if and when this vintage beauty will be up for auction.

At the Vacheron Constantin website you can see the re-edition of this vintage beauty.

4 responses

  1. Never seen that vintage piece.
    Cool Frank and so way different from the current model,
    that I do like a lot better.

  2. Nice to see my watch online! Thanks for the research Frank, I hope it will find a new home soon, most likely it will go to Antiquorum unless I get some mad offer, love the Boucheron watch on next post, Owls are so in right now! Just beautiful setting, and so unusual, but not any comparrison to an original American!

  3. @Geo.. I know you love the VC American 1921. Same here!

    @Neil… you’re most welcome! According to the responses restoring the movement is advised, but everyone says not to touch the dial and hands.

    @Dale.. thanx for letting me know the aged luminiscent material is radium.

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