Best of The Hour Lounge: Vacheron & Constantin Wrist Chronographs Part II
After the iconic Reference 6087 Cornes de Vache, Vacheron Constantin took a hiatus from chronograph production until the 1980s.
1989 - Reference 47001
With the calibre 1126 movement and chronograph module by Dubois Depraz, Vacheron Constantin began its second chapter of wrist chronographs with a modular system. This model was available until 1991 with about 1150 pieces made.
1990 - Reference 49003
Replacing the 47001 and part of the new Les Complications Collection, the Ref 49003 used an integrated calibre 1136 based on the evergreen F. Piguet 1185. Available until 2002 with about 750 pieces made.
1991 - Reference 47101 / 47111
Intended as a modern interpretation of the Ref 4178 in the new Les Historiques Collection, the Ref 47101 evolved into the 47111 in 1999 with a screw-back case and minor movement modifications. The model featured the iconic Lemania-based 1140/1141 manual-winding chronograph calibre. Available until 2004 in yellow gold or platinum, a rare version with salmon-coloured dial, and another 25-piece Limited Edition for the Taiwanese market in platinum with black dial. The 47101 was made in about 1,250 pieces in yellow gold and 300 in platinum.
1991 - Reference 49001
The chronograph version from the Phidias Collection featured an F. Piguet-based automatic calibre 1136. Made in about 400 pieces in gold and 630 in steel and gold, the Ref 49001 was available until 1995.
1991 - Reference 49002
From the Historiques Collection and based on the vintage Ref 6026, this model featured the automatic chronograph calibre 1136. Available until 1997 and made in about 700 pieces in gold and 130 in platinum.
Ref 6026, produced only for 1955
1991 - Reference 47100
This skeleton chronograph from Les Complications Collection was available in 1991 and 1992. Made in yellow gold or platinum on strap or bracelet, the model housed a manual-winding calibre 1140 SQ. Less than 100 pieces in all versions were produced.
1991 - Reference 47102
Another chronograph from 1991 and similar to the Ref 47100 except for square pushers. Available until 1993 with only 25 made in yellow gold and 25 in platinum.
1992 - Reference 49005
Launched in 1992, this perpetual calendar chronograph from Les Complictions was part of Vacheron Constantin's 7 Marvels concept of watches representing technical or artistic excellence. Others in the series were an extra flat calibre, minute repeater, tourbillon, skeleton, gem-set Kalla, and a pocket watch with enamel painting. With the calibre 1136 QP and an in-house calendar module, this model was available until 2002 with 500 pieces made in rose gold and less than 300 pieces in platinum.
1993 - Reference 49501
Available until 1995, this gem-set version of the Phidias chronograph was produced in only ten pieces each in white and yellow gold and one in platinum.
1994 - Reference 49502
Part of Les Historiques Collection, this model was produced for one year in four pieces with platinum case, sapphire bezel, and diamond markers. The back was engraved and enamelled with the emblem of Brunei.
1994 - Reference 49505
Another "bling" piece from 1994, this model was from Les Complications Collection. Made in three pieces with rose gold case, diamond and ruby bezel, and the back engraved and enamelled with the emblem of Brunei.
1999 - Reference 49140
Produced until 2004 as part of the sporty Overseas Collection. Housing the automatic calibre 1137, it was made in about 500 pieces in yellow gold and just over 2,000 pieces in steel.
1999 - Reference 49503
Produced for one year, this model was based on the Ref 49002 and also featured the calibre 1136. Made in 10 pieces in yellow gold and 25 in white gold.
1999 - Reference 49504
Another version of Ref 49002 with calibre 1136 and produced for one year, with 32 pieces made in white gold.
2000 - Reference 47112
Manual-winding perpetual calendar chronograph launched as part of the new Malte Collection. The engraved moon disc has become a favourite feature of this watch with collectors. With calibre 1141 QP, this model was available until 2007 in yellow gold or platinum.
2000 - Reference 47150 / 47151 / 47152
Inspired by earlier cushion-shaped watches, the Medicus was so-named due to its pulsations dial. Movement was the Lemania 1872-based calibre 1145 with cam-actuated chronograph. Ref 47150 featured a rose gold case with solid dial. Ref 47151 was a skeleton model in platinum with rose gold-plated movement or rose gold with rhodium-plated movement, made in 10 pieces each. Ref 47152 was made in rose gold or platinum with movements plated in the same colour as the case, made in 30 pieces each.
2001 - Reference 49145
Following the design cues of the Malte Collection, the Royal Eagle Chronograph featured a tonneau case housing the F. Piguet-based calibre 1137. A rose gold version was introduced in 2004.
2004 - Reference 47120
Available until 2009, the Ref 47120 Malte Chronograph introduced a larger 41.5mm case size. Produced in rose or white gold, and a Limited Edition in platinum. Twenty pieces in white gold with black guilloche dials were made for the Parisian retailer Dubail in 2009.
2004 - Reference 49150
A larger version of the Overseas Chronograph was introduced in 2004 with 42mm case and bracelet featuring a Maltese Cross motif. The automatic calibre 1137 was surrounded in a soft iron Faraday cage to protect from magnetism. A yellow gold version was released in 2006, a rose gold model in 2008, and a steel/titanium version on strap in 2009.
2006 - Reference 47120
A version of this Reference was introduced in the Excellence Platine Collection in 2006, featuring a platinum case and sand-blasted platinum dial. Made in 75 pieces for one year only.
2006 - Reference 47621
This gem-set version of the Malte Chronograph was available in white gold.
2007 - Reference 47212
From the Excellence Platine Collection, this model was produced in 50 pieces with the calibre 1141 QP.
2008 - Reference 49180
Revised Royal Eagle Chronograph from the Malte Collection featuring shorter lugs and wider tonneau shape. Available in rose or white gold, steel version is discontinued. Housing calibre 1137 with classic guilloche dial.
2009 - Reference 47192
Reflecting a mix of traditional and modern design, Ref 47192 from the Patrimony Traditionnelle Collection houses a manual-winding calibre 1141 in rose gold case.
2009 - Reference 47292
Also from the Patrimony Traditionnelle Collection, this Perpetual Calendar Chronograph features VC's signature engraved moon phases disc and houses a manual-winding calibre 1141 QP.
- The History of Vacheron Constantin Wrist Chronographs Part 2, 1970 - 2009 by Alex Ghotbi, Vacheron Constantin Community & Social Media Manager, The Hour Lounge internet forum 27 August 2009.
- All photos credited to Vacheron Constantin unless otherwise noted.