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  • Manufacturer: Vacheron Constantin
    Year: Circa 1979
    Reference No: 44018
    Movement No: 657’304
    Case No: 521’985
    Model Name: Jumbo 222
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin bracelet, max overall length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Vacheron Constantin deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a Vacheron Constantin leather pouch.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The 1970s were a tumultuous period for Swiss watch manufacturers, with low-cost quartz watches coming to the forefront. Traditional firms had to compete in a new environment, creating rugged and relevant watches for a more active society. Luxury sports watches were borne out of this challenging environment - Audemars Piguet came out with the ground-breaking Royal Oak in 1972, Patek Philippe introduced the Nautilus in 1976, and Vacheron Constantin released their iconic 222 in 1977.
    Vacheron Constantin turned to Jörg Hysek for the design of their first luxury sports wristwatch. The thin case had an instantly recognizable tonneau-shape with raised screw down bezel, all with an integrated link bracelet. The automatic caliber 1121, based on the legendary Jaeger LeCoultre caliber 920 – used in both the original Nautilus and Royal Oak Jumbo models – was an answer to those who did not wish to wind their watch on a daily basis. The reference 222 celebrated the firm’s 222nd anniversary, and was produced in gold, gold and steel, and stainless steel versions. The “Jumbo” watch like the present lot, had a 38mm case, while a smaller model featured a 34mm diameter case. The model was produced for seven years and made in 500 timepieces in all metal and dial combinations.

    The present example is in excellent overall condition, and having recently undergone a comprehensive, $9,000 servicing by Vacheron Constantin. It is an exceptional example of the flamboyance of the 1970s when luxury stainless steel timepieces were seen as an answer to the quartz crisis. Today, the 222 has become an icon for its modern aesthetic, which is as contemporary now as it was over forty years ago.

  • 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 fine and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

Circa 1979
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
$15,000 - 25,000 
CHF13,600-22,700
€12,700-21,200
HK$116,000-194,000

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
[email protected]

Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020