Vacheron Constantin - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1978
    Reference No: 44018/411
    Movement No: 686'089
    Case No: 522'171
    Model Name: 222
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1978

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1977 for the brand’s 222th anniversary, reference 44018 is better known as the Vacheron Constantin 222.

    This reference is part of what could be call the “Holy Three” or the three watches that propelled steel sports watches to the rank of icons in the 70s. This trilogy brings together Audemars Piguet Royal Oak from 1972, Patek Philippe Nautilus from 1976 and Vacheron Constantin's 222 from 1977. These iconic watches share the same famous movement base, Jaeger LeCoultre's caliber 920, modified here by the manufacture Vacheron Constantin to become the ultra-thin, automatic caliber 1121. Although their designs are very similar, the Vacheron Constantin 222 differs from these two "cousins" by its designer; in fact, the 222 was designed by the young Jorg Hysek, then 24 years old. Incidentally, Jean-Marc Vacheron was also 24 years old when he first officially founded Vacheron Constantin on September 17th, 1755.

    The 222 was always fitted with an integrated bracelet of the same metal as the case and was available either in stainless steel, yellow gold or a combination of stainless steel and yellow gold.

    The 222 rapidly reached a cult status amongst the steel casual/chic watches thanks to its incredibly low production numbers and distinctive design. In fact, research shows that the stainless steel model was made in less than 500 pieces. It is with great enthusiasm that collectors welcome the relaunched of this model in yellow gold earlier this year in 2022.

    In overall very attractive condition, the present watch is part of the earliest examples known as it was made in 1978, the second 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. 44018/411
A rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF30,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF81,900

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022