A very fine and rare oversized yellow gold square-shaped wristwatch with sweep center seconds and extract

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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: 1955
    Reference No: 4737
    Movement No: 506'168
    Case No: 343'311
    Model Name: Cioccolatone
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 12'''499, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Width; 43mm Length
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1955.
    Literature: A similar reference 4737 illustrated in The World of Vacheron Constantin Genève, Carole Lambelet and Lorette Coen, p. 244.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Vacheron Constantin’s reference 4737 is a wonderful example of the artistically flamboyant design language expressed by the brand during the mid-20th century. Focusing on clean lines and biomorphic shapes, the brand created a new aesthetic with this large, organic, square- shaped wristwatch with rounded stepped lugs and bezel, along with the slightly curved case. Introduced in the 1950s, the watch became known by Italian collectors as the “Cioccolatone” for the square-shaped chocolates they enjoy, and has over the last 70 years become an iconic Vacheron Constantin. Its avant-garde, industrial design exemplifies the beauty and artistic creativity the brand is known for. Manufactured with both manual and automatic movements, the collection featured timepieces with either subsidiary seconds or center seconds, as well as with and without date apertures, along with very rare triple calendar examples with moon phase.

    In 2003, Vacheron Constantin revived this case shape by launching a full calendar with moonphase model under the name Toledo 1952. In 2013 the brand re-introduced a model similar in all aspects to the present lot under the name Historiques Toledo 1951.

    The present example is well-preserved in outstanding original condition, remaining crisp and unpolished since it was first manufactured in 1955. This particular configuration, with center seconds and no date, is appreciated by traditionalists and non-conformists for its elegant simplicity and the purity of its design. The golden age of wristwatches is defined by many iconic timepieces, and the “Cioccolatone” is an unconventional watch showcasing the creative exuberance of Vacheron Constantin.

  • 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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Ref. 4737
A very fine and rare oversized yellow gold square-shaped wristwatch with sweep center seconds and extract

1955
36mm Width; 43mm Length
Case, dial, and movement signed

Estimate
$15,000 - 30,000 
CHF14,900-29,900
€13,600-27,200
HK$117,000-235,000

sold for $37,500

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