Vacheron Constantin. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Gold Five Minute Repeating Wristwatch with Single Button Chronograph
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
Vacheron Constantin. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Gold Five Minute Repeating Wristwatch with Single Button Chronograph


Vacheron Constantin. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Gold Five Minute Repeating Wristwatch with Single Button Chronograph
Signed Vacheron Constantin, Genève, Movement No. and Case No. 186'813, Original Movement Manufactured in 1899, Sold in 1956
Cal. RA 14'' mechanical lever movement, 37 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, gilt guilloche dial with smooth silvered chapter ring, black enamel Roman numerals, outer fifth of a second and five minute divisions, blued steel hands, subsidiary dial at 9 o'clock for constant seconds, circular case, stepped bezel, eccentric out-turned lugs, single chronograph button in the crown, slide in the band for five-minute repeater at 9 o'clock, snap on back, case, dial and movement signed
37.5mm diam.
Property of a Distinguished Gentleman
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Lot Essay

Accompanied by a Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity dated March 10th, 2016 and confirming the present watch was manufactured in 1899 and transformed to be worn on the wrist and sold in 1956. This Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity further states that the dial was restored by Vacheron Constantin in 2007.

Scholarship in the world of vintage watch collecting is fueled by new discoveries, and these discoveries often reshape our understanding of how brands worked with their clients in surprising ways. On numerous occasions, important clients pushed the design boundaries of brands to meet their special requests and the watchmaking companies delivered in their promise to meet the needs and desires of their clientele.

The presently offered Vacheron Constantin wristwatch is the ultimate expression of a leading watchmaker working closely with a client to deliver the previously unimaginable. In this case, a gold five minute repeating wristwatch with a single button chronograph. Using a Vacheron Constantin pocket watch movement from 1899, Vacheron Constantin created a bespoke wristwatch for an important client in 1956.

The dial of this watch is the first to catch one’s attention with its unusual rose-colored guilloché. The triple pattern used in this decoration’s execution clearly reveals that Vacheron Constantin spared no expense in its production in the 1950s. Custom made at the time to work harmoniously with the movement, this dial further surprises with the silvered chapter ring with enamel roman numerals. Inspired by 19th century design elements, and using the latest dial making techniques of the mid-20th century, this dial delivers almost prophetic insight into dial designs that would not become popular on wristwatches for another 50 years. The ‘Oiel de Perdrix’ style hands (Eye of the Partridge), as the Vacheron Constantin certificate describes, further round out the design elements of this unusually beautiful and striking dial.

The case is a massive 37.5 mm and made in a bassine-style with double bevel with heavy flared tear-drop lugs reminiscent of other form-lugs made for Vacheron Constantin wristwatches in the 1940s and 1950s. The slide repeat between 7 and 10 o’clock initiates the repeating mechanism which strikes the hours and quarters with a clear and attractive tone.

This watch is considered to be mid-century mechanical marvel of art and design, decades ahead in its spirit of design, and pushing all known boundaries for the benefit of a prominent client. The result is something that rewrites history, informs scholarship, and in the end is a striking example of a complicated watch that can be worn on the modern wrist that captures the Vacheron Constantin adventurous spirit of client-centered watchmaking that defined them in the past and continues to define them today.

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