Vacheron Constantin - Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches Hong Kong Thursday, May 25, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: Circa 1980
    Reference No: 44018
    Movement No: 719'349
    Case No: 549’763
    Model Name: 222
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. K 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Vacheron Constantin bracelet, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Vacheron Constantin deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Delivered with Vacheron Constantin service invoice dated 6 May 2014.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The 1970s were a time of upheaval, disruption, and rule-breaking. The Swiss watch industry, which prides itself on history, was no exception. During this time, the first steel luxury timepieces were introduced, with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus being the most notable examples. While Gerald Genta developed these two watches, Vacheron Constantin commissioned Jorg Hysek, a young maverick designer, to build a sports luxury watch in honor of the brand's two-hundredth-and-twenty-second anniversary in 1977. The 222 was thus launched and set itself apart from the nautical-themed Royal Oak and the Nautilus with its subtle, distinct flair.

    Its tonneau case is made of a single piece that is opened by a screwed-in porthole type fluted bezel, and is water resistant to 120 meters. Only the 222 came with an integrated bracelet made of the same metal as the case. The ultra-thin, self-winding cal. 1121 housed within the 222 is Vacheron Constantin's answer to the famed Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 920 seen in the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The 222's design is distinguished from its premium sports watch competitors of the era by the scalloped bezel and hexagonal flat links of the bracelet, as well as the little Maltese cross inserted on the case.

    According to research, the 222 was produced with less than 500 pieces in steel, roughly 150 in yellow gold, and less than 100 in two-tone steel and yellow gold over its 7-year production period. This iconic watch became an inspiration for the next classic sports model released by the firm in 1996 - the Overseas.

    One of only 150 gold examples produced, this luxurious 18K yellow gold 222 with an elegant champagne dial to match is preserved in excellent overall condition and has developed a warm and attractive patina. Exuding a long gone 1970's aura, this timepiece is a living statement of the flamboyance those decades are known for.

  • 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
A very elegant and attractive yellow gold wristwatch with date and integrated bracelet

Circa 1980
38mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$508,000

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Mid-Season Sales
+852 2318 2014

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches

Hong Kong Auction 25 May 2023