Vacheron Constantin - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: Circa 1980
    Reference No: 44018/411
    Movement No: 719'154
    Case No: 549'756
    Model Name: 222 "Jumbo"
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18k yellow gold bracelet measuring 225mm max.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold Vacheron Constantin deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie, fitted box, hang tag, money clip and case opening tool.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The 1970s were a period of change, disruption and breaking of rules. The Swiss watch industry – a bastion of traditionalism – was no exception. That period saw the introduction of the first steel luxury watches, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus being the more prominent examples.

    Whereas these two watches were designed by Gerald Genta, Vacheron Constantin turned to young maverick designer Jorg Hysek to create a sports luxury watch to commemorate the brand’s 222nd anniversary in 1977.

    Documentation from the time states “Vacheron Constantin has introduced a functional, exclusive model to commemorate its own age. This code name masks a heart of gold: a calibre 1121 movement, driven by its rotor in 21k gold, an extra thin self winding design with shock protection. Born from the heart of the matter, noblest steel or purest gold, the 222 is entirely crafted by hand. Exclusive in form and function, it is designed for those who confront realities of today.”

    Its tonneau case features a clever one-piece construction opened by a screwed in porthole type fluted bezel giving it a 120m water resistance. The 222 was available only with an integrated bracelet of the same metal as the case.

    Within the 222 lies the ultra-thin, automatic calibre 1121, Vacheron’s take on the renowned Jaeger LeCoultre calibre 920 used in the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The scalloped bezel and the hexagonal flat links of the bracelet, as well as the small Maltese cross inset to the case differentiate the design of the 222 from its luxury sports watch competitors of the era.

    Made for only 7 short years the 222 was made in only 500 pieces all case metal and dial combinations.

    The present yellow gold Ref 222 is an absolutely stellar example with strong crisp case, rigid bracelet, beautifully preserved dial and comes with all the accessories one could hope for including its fitted box, original paperwork, money clip and tool to open the bezel.

    Vacheron Constantin’s 222, especially in gold, is a hard to find slice of 1970s panache and 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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Ref. 44018/411
A very fine, attractive and well preserved yellow gold wristwatch with date, bracelet, original box, hang tag, and certificate

Circa 1980
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for CHF78,120

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020