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Vacheron Constantin. A Rare and Historically Important 18k Gold Single Button Chronograph Wristwatch Originally Owned by Alexander I, King of Yugoslavia
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
Vacheron Constantin. A Rare and Historically Important 18k Gold Single Button Chronograph Wristwatch Originally Owned by Alexander I, King of Yugoslavia

SIGNED VACHERON CONSTANTIN, GENÈVE, SUISSE, MOVEMENT NO. 403'672, CASE NO. 252'040, MANUFACTURED IN 1927

Details
Vacheron Constantin. A Rare and Historically Important 18k Gold Single Button Chronograph Wristwatch Originally Owned by Alexander I, King of Yugoslavia
Signed Vacheron Constantin, Genève, Suisse, Movement No. 403'672, Case No. 252'040, Manufactured in 1927
Cal. 13''' gilt-finished jeweled lever movement, bimetallic compensation balance, gold cuvette, white enamel dial, outer calibrated fifth seconds with Arabic fifths, two sunken subsidiary seconds dial for 30 minute register and constant seconds, blued steel moon hands, circular case, chronograph operated through the crown, monogram for King Alexander to the hinged case back, with a modern 18k gold Vacheron Constantin buckle, case, cuvette, dial and movement signed, case, cuvette and movement numbered
34mm diam.
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 Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1927. Further accompanied by a letter from Vacheron Constantin dated 1963 confirming the original owner was King Alexander I of Yugoslavia.

A similar example is Illustrated in The World of Vacheron Constantin Genève by Lambelet & Coen, 1992, p. 392.

Purchased by the father of the current owners in the 1960's during a layover in Dubrovnik the present lot has never before been offered at auction. In remarkable overall nice condition given its 80 plus year’s history, the watch is fascinating from both horological and historical perspectives.

Single button chronograph wristwatches (chronographe mono-poussoir) were first produced during the golden age of watch making in the 1920s and 30s. A true classic at the time and even today, their elegant lines and understated quality make them a must have for any passionate collector. In fact, in order to celebrate their 260 anniversary Vacheron Constantin introduced this year at SIHH the Harmony Collection inspired by chronograph watches first produced by the firm in 1928.

From a historical point-of-view the original owner of the watch King Alexander of Yugoslavia (December 16, 1888-October 9, 1934) lived during one of the most turbulent times of the 20th Century. As a young man, Alexander spent time in Geneva schooling and one can only speculate that years later his early experiences in Switzerland could lead him to buy a Vacheron Constantin. Prince Alexander served as a commander during the First Balkan Wars in 1912 and again in 1913 in the Second Balkan War. At the outbreak of World War I, Alexander was named supreme commander of the Serbian army. Upon his father’s death in 1921 Alexander become rulers to Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was also known as Yugoslavia.

Facing mounting separatist movements in the late 1920, King Alexander imposed dictatorial rule and in 1934 was assassinated in Marseille by dissidents. Upon his death his son Peter II became leader however as a child, Peter’s first cousin was regent.

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