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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1977
    Reference No: 44018
    Movement No: 684'784
    Case No: 522'106
    Model Name: 222
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin deployant clasp
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin bracelet, max length 190mm
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming date of Manufacture in 1977, presentation box and hang tag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is without a doubt that Vacheron Constantin’s reference 44018 - better known as the 222 – is rapidly reaching a cult status amongst the steel casual/chic watches made by the Big Three (Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin) in the 1970s thanks to its incredibly low production numbers and distinctive design.

    The 222 was launched in 1977 for the brand’s 222th anniversary and it stands apart from the Royal Oak and the Nautilus as it was not designed by Gerald Genta but by the young Jorg Hysek who gave the watch a slightly more cutting edge flair. Hysek was only 24 years old when the 222 launched – incidentally, Jean-Marc Vacheron was 24 years old when he first officially founded Vacheron Constantin on September 17th 1755.

    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.

    New research shows that during its 7 year production run the 222 "Jumbo" was made in less than 500 pieces in steel, around 150 in yellow gold and less than 100 in steel/yellow gold.

    In overall very attractive condition the present watch is part of the earliest examples known as it was made in 1977, the first year of production of the 222.

  • 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
An early, rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

1977
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 30,000 
€18,600-27,900
$21,600-32,500

Sold for CHF157,500

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021