Vacheron Constantin - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1956
    Reference No: 4737
    Movement No: 506'102
    Case No: 354'792
    Model Name: "Cioccolatone"
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 499, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: White gold Vacheron Constantin (modern-vintage style) pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Width; 43mm Length
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming the watch is unique and produced in 1956

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the past we have had the honor, of offering at Phillips, timepieces that were heard of but never seen. Rarely have we had such a discovery as the present Vacheron Constantin ref 4737 “Cioccolatone” in platinum.

    Until today, 335 examples of Vacheron Constantin’s reference 4737 were known: 269 examples in yellow gold, 62 in pink gold and 4 in white gold.

    We are delighted to offer one of the rarest and most important pieces ever made by Vacheron Constantin: a last example of a reference 4737 discovered in early 2021, previously unknown, even to the brand: a unique platinum model sold to a retailer in Madrid in 1956 and who found its way to a family in the Dominican Republic from whom it was purchased by the current owner.

    Vacheron Constantin’s reference 4737 is a wonderful example of the artistically flamboyant design language expressed by the brand during the mid-20th century. Focusing on clean lines and biomorphic shapes, the brand created a new aesthetic with this large, organic, square- shaped wristwatch with rounded stepped lugs and bezel, along with the slightly curved case. Introduced in the 1950s, the watch became known by Italian collectors as the “Cioccolatone” as it resembles square-shaped chocolates. It has over the last 70 years become an iconic Vacheron Constantin. Its avant-garde, industrial design exemplifies the beauty and artistic creativity the brand is known for. Manufactured with both manual and automatic movements, the collection featured timepieces with either subsidiary seconds or center seconds, as well as with and without date apertures, along with very rare triple calendar examples with moon phases.

    The importance of this timepiece cannot be underlined enough. It is a unique (as confirmed by the Extract from the Archives), previously unknown and undocumented version of not only one of Vacheron Constantin’s most iconic watches but also the precursor of the flamboyant designs of the succeeding decades.

    Interestingly the case finish of the present piece is different to that of other ref 4737 whereas the “Cioccolatone” models normally have polished cases the present example features a highly attractive brushed case and polished bezel.

    The heft and sheen of the very well-preserved case give away the precious metal it is made of and combined with the silver dial with crisp raised enamel signature provide a monochromatic aura of vivid modernism.

    The watch was sent to Vacheron Constantin in early 2021 for certification and at this occasion the brand replaced the period incorrect dial mounted on the watch with a new old stock period correct dial with raised enamel signature.

    There are watches that are grails and there are others that surpass grail status and enter the realm of quasi mythology due to their incredible rarity and importance. The present Vacheron Constantin ref 4737 in platinum is part of this elite circle as There.Is.Not.Another.One.

  • 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. 4737
A previously unknown, most probably unique and highly important large and unusual square-shaped platinum wristwatch

36mm Width; 43mm Length
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for CHF705,600

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021