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6 things you need to know about Vacheron Constantin’s iconic American watch

Words by Rob Chilton

An avant-garde classic

A quirky shape based on an ingenious idea makes the American a classic of the horology world. Here’s why...

1. The American was launched in 1921 for the US market and surprised the watch world with its radical look.

2. The unconventional watch has a diagonal display and an off-centre crown positioned between 1 and 2 o’clock. The American is the embodiment of Vacheron Constantin’s ‘classic with a twist’ design philosophy.

The watch was designed for drivers

3. The diagonal design was particularly handy for driving enthusiasts who could read the time at a glance without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.

4. The American 1921 actually began its story in 1919 when Vacheron Constantin began experimenting with unorthodox cushion-shaped cases to meet the growing demand for wristwatches as pocket watches faded away.

The off-centre dial was a radical design in the 1920s

5. The bold watch was inspired by the creative surge of the Roaring Twenties that was felt around the world.

6. To mark the 100th anniversary of the American, three new models are being released: two in white gold (40mm and 36.5mm) with straps made by Italian leather experts Serapian and a 40mm platinum watch limited to 100 pieces, all of which have a 65-hour power reserve.

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