Vacheron Constantin - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1945
    Reference No: 4178
    Movement No: 437'502
    Case No: 288'692
    Model Name: "Meister Rio"
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 434, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k pink gold Vacheron Constantin vintage style pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming production in 1945.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Pink gold case: tick
    Two-tone pink dial: tick
    Retailer signature: tick
    Excellent state of preservation: tick

    The present watch is an exceedingly rare example of a reference 4178 that ticks many boxes for the savvy collector a "pink on pink" example featuring an ultra rare retailer signature: Meister Rio, based in Rio de Janeiro in Brasil and who is still in business today.

    Launched in 1940 and in production until 1964, Vacheron Constantin's reference 4178 is the model collectors immediately designate as an icon and the chronograph most associated with Vacheron Constantin.

    Immediately recognizable thanks to its gorgeous and inimitable teardrop lugs, the 4178 is also considered one of the most beautiful chronograph watches ever made due to its balanced proportions and near-perfect symmetry.

    The pink case and pink dial- both in excellent condition- give the watch incredible panache and flamboyance. The present reference 4178 is one of the rarest and most desirable chronographs manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. Its sensuous curves and perfect proportions are symbols of exquisite style and would make a prefect addition to the collection of the connoisseur.

    To the best of our research and knowledge this is the only known example of a reference 4178 "pink on pink" with Meister Rio signature.

  • 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. 4178
An exceedingly rare, possibly unique and flamboyant pink gold chronograph wristwatch with two-tone pink dial, retailed by Meister Rio

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF30,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF165,100

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023