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

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1979
    Reference No: 44018/411
    Movement No: 685'494
    Case No: 536'739
    Model Name: 222
    Material: 18K yellow gold and stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold and stainless steel Vacheron Constantin bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold and stainless steel 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 1979, service papers confirming that the original bracelet was a prototype and further accompanied by an extra steel/gold regular production bracelet

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present Vacheron Constantin reference 44018 - better known as the 222 – is not only a rare example in steel and yellow gold of which less than 100 pieces were made, but it also features what was considered as a “prototype” bracelet of which around 5 are known.

    While the yellow gold centre links on a regular 222 bracelet are soldered onto a steel link, the prototype bracelet features gold centre links on the back, differing from regular production bracelets.

    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 as of common belief, 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.

    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.

    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, making the present timepiece exceedingly rare especially with the “prototype” bracelet.

  • 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 rare and attractive yellow gold and stainless steel wristwatch with date and prototype bracelet

37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF25,000 - 50,000 

Sold for CHF47,880

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