An Extremely Rare Watch

It is nearly impossible to find, one might even say almost foolish to try and look for, a vintage Vacheron Constantin in this 38mm size. With its long, 20mm width lugs, this Calatrava and its beautiful guilloché dial could easily be mistaken for a modern masterpiece. However, upon closer inspection, you can tell that this solid gold watch is one from the history books. Vacheron is known for making many rare and quirky designs in its vintage catalog, however a piece of this magnitude only comes around every so often. It is excruciatingly difficult to find any 38mm wristwatch from this era, let alone a time-only, solid gold Calatrava from a ‘Holy Trinity’ manufacture. 

Vacheron Constantin

A storied name synonymous with luxury timepieces, Swiss company Vacheron Constantin is the oldest Swiss manufacturer and one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since its foundation in 1755. Founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron, an independent watchmaker and friend of philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire, the company created the world’s first horological complication in 1770 and just nine years later designed the first engine-turned dials.

Vacheron’s company remained family-run into the 19th century and in 1819 François Constantin became an associate at which point it was renamed Vacheron & Constantin. That same year Constantin wrote what would become the company’s motto in a letter to Jacques-Barthélemy Vacheron (grandson of Jean-Marc): "Faire mieux si possible, ce qui est toujours possible (Do better if possible and that is always possible)." Constantin traveled worldwide marketing their watches and the company’s success only grew from there. In 1880 they began using the Maltese cross as their symbol, which is still in use to this day, and in 1970 the company’s name was officially changed to Vacheron Constantin.

The 20th century saw great acclaim and many impressive achievements for the Swiss watchmaker. In 1929 they created a “Grande Complication” pocket watch, No. 402833, for King Fuad I of Egypt; in 1955, they produced the world's thinnest manual-winding movement, the Calibre 1003; in 1992, they created the world's thinnest minute repeater, the Calibre 1755; and finally in 2015 they created Reference 57260, the most complicated mechanical watch/pocket watch ever made, with 57 complications. With over two and a half centuries of experience and dedication to their craft, Vacheron Constantin continues to make some of the most complex, richly appointed, and most sought after timepieces in the world.

Auction Results Vacheron Constantin