Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques Chronograph 47101 - Black Guilloché dial - Full set



The 1990s was a decade of change for the watchmaking scene as collecting mechanical watches was growing in popularity. Now recognised as ‘neo-vintage’, watches from this era represented a shift in mindset for many luxury watchmakers as it became apparent that the way they would advance would be to favour mechanical once more. Alongside the likes of Roger Dubuis, Breguet and Patek, Vacheron Constantin achieved this by working with the legendary Lemania 2310 base movement.

Vacheron Constantin kickstarted the 1990s on the right foot with the introduction of the Les Historiques ref. 47101, a modern creation which re-interprets the allure of vintage Vacheron chronographs from the 1940s and 50s, specifically the impossibly gorgeous ref 4178. Measuring 36mm in width, this absurdly elegant dress chronograph is best characterised by its charming tear-drop lugs, delicate bi-compax configuration and short, un-assuming handset. The 47111 is another reference for this model which came slightly later with the main evolution being the screw-in caseback and some minor movement modifications.

Remarkably the 47101 remained in production until the early 2000s with five different dial/case configurations hitting the market. Available in yellow gold or platinum, examples of the 47101 can be found with various different dials including white, salmon guilloché as well as black guilloché.

The Watch

Sometimes watches can either be all about the case or all about the dial. It’s not uncommon for one to steal the show while the other quietly takes a back seat to elevate the other further. Well with this 47101 we’re fortunate to be blessed with both case and dial sharing the limelight. It starts with its teardrop lugs which are respectfully styled after the set found on the 4178, providing early signs of whimsical character. Complete in solid yellow gold they give the feeling of undisputed opulence, only to be complemented by a slender case band with a traditionally style chamfered bezel. A well-sized crown and smooth, rounded rectangular pushers occupy the right-hand side of the case operating the chronograph movement inside. Measuring 36mm across, the piece has a fantastic wrist presence thanks to those unmissable lugs and refined detail. Speaking of refinement...

Commonly referred to as one of the most beautifully designed dials ever produced, this 47101 exquisitely delivers a dignified bi-compax dial layout with an overriding air of poised restraint. Its tachymeter scale frames the whole dial with the assistance of the outer five-minute divisions. A gold band separates the two scales aiding readability and raising the balance of the dial, subtly. Taking a further step into the dial are gracefully sized baton hour markers with the 12 and 6 in Arabic font. The three and nine markers have been replaced for the thirty-minute and sub-seconds registers respectively. Traditional style, small leaf hands have been used for the sub-seconds whereas petite baton hands measure the passage of hours and minutes.

What sets this 47101 apart from other examples however is its deep black dial. This example has a supreme engine-turned guilloché in a vertical wave-like pattern. This extraordinary base plays with the light exceptionally well; much like the gold-finished dial furniture sitting on top.  With the perpetually rising demand for neo-vintage watches, the 47101 has become hot property with this example presented today being one of the rarest configurations on the market.

The Movement

Powering this magnificent art piece is the Vacheron cal. 1140 which is a thoroughly finished evolution of the important Lemania 2310. This nickel-finished movement comes with 21 jewels, a self-compensating Breguet spring, a swan-neck regulator and is adjusted to 5 positions. Enjoy the chamfering and finishing in all its beauty through the sapphire display case back fitted to this Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques Chronograph.

How It Wears

Yellow gold combined with a black dial and matching dial features can create quite an aggressive aesthetic once fitted to the wrist. On the 47101 though that sense of drama is elegantly understated through the piece’s unequivocal allure. Coming in at just 36mm wide, you may assume the watch could look quite small on slightly larger wrists, however, thanks to those teardrop lugs the perceived size of the watch increases slightly. As a result, this draws the eye and hugely contributing to repeat wrist time.

There is an old-world, traditional charm felt wearing this 47101. Be it because of its proportions or exceptional dial design either way this is a hard one not to reach for every day.

Condition & set

As you’ve come to expect from Mr Watchley, the condition of this 47101 is A1, mint and unpolished. Offered as a complete full set with inner and outer boxes, the original manual, papers, and even its original Vacheron Constantin crocodile strap with its original gold spring bars and complete with yellow gold pin buckle. The watch is fitted with a  Mr Watchley black Saffiano strap. 

A true collectors set. 

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. Viewings by appointment only

We are based in Ghent, Belgium

No stock kept on site

Reference 47101/4
Movement Manual
Calibre 1140
Dial Black Guilloché
Size (Case) 36 mm
Material (Case) Yellow gold
Bracelet Mr Watchley black Saffiano
Glass Sapphire
Condition Very good
Year 90's
Papers Yes
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years

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