This endangered species strap is shown for display purposes only and is not for sale. The watch will be supplied with a calf leather strap.
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 present Vacheron Constantin wristwatch is the ultimate expression of a great watchmaking house working closely with a client to deliver the previously unimaginable. In this instance, a gold five-minute repeating wristwatch with a single button chronograph. Using a pocket watch movement from 1899, Vacheron Constantin created this bespoke wristwatch for one of their important customers in 1956.
Founded in 1755 Vacheron Constantin stands as the oldest watch manufacturing company in Geneva. Fifteen years after its creation the famed firm produced its first complicated timepieces. Over the years of its uninterrupted production Vacheron Constantin remained dedicated to being at the forefront of technical innovations and design as the company motto indicates, "Do better if possible and that is always possible".
It is within this context that this famed watch company created the present five minute repeating chronograph wristwatch upon special request of one of their important clients. Transforming a 19th pocket watch into this magnificent wristwatch results arguably in one of the rarest vintage Vacheron Constantin wristwatches to appear on the market in recent years, most likely a unique piece.
The dial is the first feature to catch, impressing with its unusual rose-coloured guilloché, demonstrating that Vacheron Constantin spared no expense in its production in the 1950s. Custom-made at the time to work harmoniously with the movement, it 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, it is timeless, being at once both traditional and contemporary. The ‘Oeil de Perdrix’ style hands (Partridge’s eye), as the certificate describes, further complement 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 bezel, the heavy flared tear-drop lugs reminiscent of other form lugs found in Vacheron Constantin wristwatches of the 1940s and 1950s. The slide repeat between 7 and 10 o’clock initiates the repeating mechanism which strikes the hours and five-minutes with a clear and attractive tone. Invented by Samuel Watson in the early 18th century, the five-minute repeater strikes the hours and then the number of five-minute periods elapsed since the hour.
This watch is considered to be mid-century mechanical marvel of art and design, the result is something that rewrites history, informs scholarship and is a striking example of a complicated watch that can be worn on the modern wrist capturing Vacheron Constantin’s adventurous spirit of client-centered watchmaking that defined them in the past and continues to define the company today.