A very attractive limited edition yellow gold wristwatch with wandering hours and cloisonné enamel dial depicting the travels of Marco Polo

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 2014
    Reference No: 47070
    Movement No: 951'288
    Case No: 1'131'082
    Model Name: Hommage Aux Grands Explorateurs "Marco Polo"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1126. 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin fitted box, Certificate of Origin and Guarantee, loupe, hang tags and product literature.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Throughout its 260-plus years of existence, Vacheron Constantin has always experimented with alternative time displays in pocket or wristwatch format. In 1994, the famed Geneva brand took the horological world by storm when it launched the Mercator, a surprising collection of timepieces featuring a dial depicting old maps of Eurasia or the Americas, and two retrograde hands in the form of a compass acting as the hour and minutes indicators.

    Following the Mercator’s critical and commercial success, Vacheron Constantin launched the Hommage Aux Grands Explorateurs (in English, the Tribute to the Great Explorers) in 2004. A series of four watches, limited to 60 pieces each, the watches were made with a two level dial construction representing the travels of a famous explorer.

    The present model shows the travels of Marco Polo, the cloisonné enamel dial depicting the “Silk Road” leading from the Mediterranean all the way to China and going through Persia, India and Mongolia.
    Creating a cloisonné enamel dial requires extreme skill, dexterity and talent. The artist first marks out the outline of the motifs using a fine gold wire to separate the various enamel regions. Multiple enamel layers are applied depending on the desired colors, followed by numerous successive firing operations in a kiln serving to intensify the color and light effects as well as the gradation of the enamel. A dangerous process as at each firing the dial can break while the enamel may react differently to the heat, resulting in high rejection rates.

    The level of difficulty has been pushed even further for the dial of this watch as it is made on two levels with a small opening allowing the passage of a sapphire disc for the wandering hour indication.

    In overall excellent condition the present Hommage Aux Grands Explorateurs is a fascinating mix of art and horology and a timepiece like no other, that is certain to delight the collector looking for a timepiece of the highest craftsmanship.

  • Maker Bio

    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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Ref. 47070
A very attractive limited edition yellow gold wristwatch with wandering hours and cloisonné enamel dial depicting the travels of Marco Polo

2014
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF30,000 - 50,000 
€26,400-44,000
$30,700-51,200

sold for CHF72,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018