Vacheron Constantin - Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR Geneva Friday, November 11, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1981
    Reference No: 44018/411
    Movement No: 719'367
    Case No: 522'353
    Model Name: 222
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel, 180mm max. length
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a Vacheron Constantin fitted box and guarantee dated 30 September, 1987 and an Extract from the Archives confirming production of the watch in 1981

  • Catalogue Essay

    Vacheron Constantin’s reference 222 is a watch for the revolutionary non-conformist. Launched in 1977 as a celebration of the firm’s 222nd anniversary, it has become over the past 40 years, one of the most recognizable and wearable timepieces to be found. The 1970s were a period of turmoil in the Swiss watch manufacturing industry. Quartz watches were coming to the forefront and consumers were looking for watches that could be used everyday and in the outdoors. Traditional firms had to compete, creating rugged durable watches for the everyday sportsman. Audemars Piguet came out with the Royal Oak in 1972, Patek Philippe introduced the Nautilus in 1976, and Vacheron Constantin shined with the 222.

    Gérald Genta is one of the most well-known leaders of watch design during this era, having designed both the Royal Oak and Nautilus. Another luminary was Jörg Hysek, and it was to him that Vacheron Constantin turned for development of their crossover watch from luxury to sport. The model commemorated the brand’s own age while confronting the realities of the day. The heart of the watch was the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 1121, which was shared with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. The reference 222 was produced in steel, gold and steel and in all gold. The “jumbo” size watch, the present lot, had a 38mm case diameter, while the smaller size was 34 mm. The tonneau-shaped case was one piece, and had an ingenious design with the screw down fluted bezel, which enclosed the movement and made it waterproof to 120 meters. The model was produced for just seven years and made in 500 timepieces in all metal and dial combinations. Fitted with its original silver dial, it’s accompanied by its original certificate, fitted box and extra links. Immaculately preserved in almost untouched condition, it’s an exceptional watch for the discerning collector looking for a dash of 1970s flamboyance.

  • Artist Biography

    Vacheron Constantin

    Swiss • 1755

    The world's oldest watch brand in continuous operation since its founding in 1755, Vacheron Constantin was the first watch company to manufacture movements with interchangeable parts beginning in 1839. Vacheron's watches are admired for their Latin-influenced case designs, well-balanced proportions and exquisitely finished movements of the highest quality. The Geneva-based manufacturer is known for their highly complicated masterpieces, including the King Farouk Grand Complication made in 1935, the Tour de l'Ile that was the most complicated serially produced wristwatch when introduced in 2005 and the 57260 — the world’s most complicated watch — made in 2015.

    Key vintage models include minute repeating wristwatches such as the references 4261, chronographs such as the references 4178 and 6087 and the oversized Cioccolotone models such as ref. 4737. Collectors also appreciate Vacheron's Chronometer Royal pocket and wristwatches, as well as the '222,' the brand's first luxury sports watch produced from 1977 through 1984.

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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 44018/411
A rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date, bracelet, original box and certificate

38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF33,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016