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New & Noteworthy: The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955

The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 slots perfectly into the current watch zeitgeist. It’s a new-vintage reissue of a well-liked, but rare, watch from a marquee brand with a legendary movement fitted in a steel case. Did you get all that? This watch checks almost every box the current enthusiast community lusts after. On top of that, its MSRP of $39,800 makes it relatively affordable compared to its precious metal counterparts and its competition. 

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The Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 Chronograph reference 5000H/000A-B582 is based on the Vacheron Constantin reference 6087 released in 1955. The watch was Vacheron’s first water-resistant chronograph, and it introduced a new take on the teardrop watch lug style that hadn’t been seen before. The now legendary “cow horn” lugs give the timepiece a distinctive look that sets it apart.

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Visually this watch is a pretty faithful reintroduction with the exception of some thoughtful, modern touches. For one, this model is slightly bigger, measuring in at 38.5mm compared to 35mm. This modest size increase keeps the watch’s formal vibe while making it more contemporary. Another nice touch is the closely mounted and curved spring bars. This is a simple update, but it looks fabulous and helps with the fit of the watch. The most significant change, however, is that this reference is the only regular production Cornes de Vache made in steel, vintage or modern. But it’s important to note that there have been other modern variants in precious metals as well as limited runs in steel.

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The choice to make a regular production version in steel is a significant move. Its use gives this watch a totally different vibe from the models that came before it. Yes, it’s still a dressy watch, but the steel helps it avoid being stuffy and adds a sporty element. The new material widens the audience for this watch without excluding someone who would have been a fan of the precious metal models. 

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Design-wise this model really emphasizes legibility, and I think it has the best dial of any Cornes de Vache. The grey velvet opaline on the inner time display and outer tachymeter track allows the black print to stand out. Helpfully interrupting the main dial is a stark white minute track with red numerals. Even the hands are focused on functionality and are finished according to their use. The standard hour, minutes, and small seconds hands are white gold with the chronograph hands finished in heat blued steel. All these small, considered implementations of color add up, making the watch very easy to digest at a glance. 

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Inside the watch is the in house caliber 1142. This movement is based on the legendary Lemania 2310, which shares its architecture with the Patek Philippe CH 27-70 and the Omega caliber 321. This is a tested and proven, chronograph caliber. Visible through the display caseback, the movement is expertly hand-finished with beveled edges on the plates and bridges as well as polished flanks complete with the Geneva seal. The Historiques Cornes de Vache is one of those watches where you’ll want to spend just as much time looking at the caseback as you do the dial. 

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Inspired by greatness inside and out, this steel dress watch—bordering on sports-dress—is an exceptional modern offering from Vacheron Constantin. I think it’s one of the best vintage reissues in recent memory, and it improves upon the watch that inspired it. Yes, vintage reissues are nothing new and are arguably a tired trend, but this watch is executed without compromise, and as the original did in 1955, it still manages to separate itself from the herd.

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