A fine and very rare stainless steel wristwatch with date and integrated bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1979
    Reference No: 44018/411
    Movement No: 685’415
    Case No: 522’345
    Model Name: 222 “Jumbo”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin bracelet, max length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet, and clasp signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming manufacture of this watch in 1979.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the early and mid-1970s, Swiss watchmaking underwent a sea change in the design and marketing of their wristwatches. Within a short period of time, several “luxury sports” watches were designed and produced, each manufacturer attempting to outdo the other. Audemars Piguet began the race with the Royal Oak in 1972, IWC and Patek Philippe followed in 1976 with the Ingeniuer and the Nautilus, respectively, and Vacheron Constantin responded shortly thereafter, launching the reference 222 in 1977. Unlike the previous three watches, which had all been designed by Gerald Genta, Vacheron turned to young designer Jörg Hysek, who would later work on the Phidias and the Overseas for the brand. He used some of the basic building blocks of the previous three watches – an integrated, flat link bracelet, ultra-thin tonneau case, and a screwdown bezel increasing water resistance. Hysek was only 24 years old when the 222 launched – incidentally, Jean-Marc Vacheron was 24 years old when he first officially founded Vacheron Constantin on September 17th 1755.

    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. The scalloped bezel and the hexagonal flat links of the bracelet, as well as the small Maltese cross inset to the case differentiate the design of the 222 from its luxury sports watch competitors of the era. Produced for only seven years, with a total of 500 pieces made in all metal and dial combinations, the 222 commemorated the 222nd anniversary of Vacheron Constantin. Offered here in well-preserved condition and a highly sought after dark gray dial, this oversized luxury sports watch and ancestor of today’s Overseas model is ideal for the collector seeking the uncommon.

  • Maker Bio

    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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22

Ref. 44018/411
A fine and very rare stainless steel wristwatch with date and integrated bracelet

1979
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$20,000 - 40,000 
CHF19,900-39,800
€18,100-36,300
HK$157,000-313,000

sold for $68,750

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

GAME CHANGERS

New York Auction 10 December 2019