Vacheron & Constantin Cal.P453/3B 18ct 1949
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
Legendary Hand-Wound Cal. P453/3B Movement
A Beautifully Well Cared For and Lightly Used Example
A Beautifully Restored Ivory Cream Dial with Subsidiary Seconds Dial
Solid Gold ‘Index’ Hands & Applied Numerals and Arrowhead Hour Indices
Large Size 35mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the Correct Vacheron Crown
All Presented In Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
New Crocodile Strap with Plain Gold Plated Buckle
Hardwood Presentation Box Included, as Shown
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
One of the widely recognised ‘Holy Trinity’ of Swiss watchmaking along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin is also the world’s oldest ‘Watch Manufacturer’, and as such, it has remained in continuous operation since 1755. More than this, Vacheron Constantin is the founding father of a spirit of technical excellence which it has made an art form. This is known as ‘Haute Horlogerie’ at which Vacheron Constantin has been in the vanguard for over 260 years. This tradition defines the ‘Manufacture’, evident in the finest quality execution, reflected in a finish which goes far beyond the demands of the ‘Poinçon de Genève’.
Created in 1886, the ‘Seal of the State of Geneva’ is the highest accolade, reserved for only the very finest quality watchmaking. Vacheron Constantin was the first watchmaker to be allowed to use this hallmark of excellence on its movements.
Vacheron Constantin was the first watch company to manufacture movements with interchangeable parts, beginning in 1839. The manufacturer is known for their highly complicated masterpieces, including the King Farouk Grand Complication made in 1935. Also, the Tour de l’Ile which was the most complicated serially produced wristwatch when introduced in 2005. Then, the 57260 — the world’s most complicated watch — made in 2015.
For the well-heeled and the collector, vintage Vacheron & Constantin offer a degree of exclusivity which even Patek Philippe cannot. During the 1940s and through to the late 1960s, Vacheron Constantin only ever produced a maximum of 24 examples of each reference in any one configuration. This means that while it produced a variety of dial and case combinations and colours and designs, each one was strictly limited in number. For the collector, the fact that these watches exist and are seriously undervalued doesn’t go unnoticed.
Classic time only hand-wound watches have a purity and charm all of their own and there’s been a resurgence of interest in these of late, particularly at the higher end, where the finest movements are found.
Here we have a simply wonderful example, characterised by clean simple design and masterful understatement.
It’s hard to convey in the photographs, but every aspect of this watch oozes quality. The finely crafted case has beautiful lines and a good weight. The dial is timeless elegance itself. Not only this, but the watch houses one of the very highest quality hand-wound movements ever produced.
At 35mm, excluding the crown, this is a large watch by the standards of the period.
The dial design here is totally ageless, understated and executed to perfection with applied single solid yellow gold ‘Arrowhead’ hour indices and numerals. The ivory cream provides the perfect contrast between the case, original solid gold ‘Index’ hands, and solid gold arrowhead hour indices and numerals. The symmetry and pure class here are matchless, and for someone with an eye for classical watch design, totally irresistible. The dial is simply signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’ and ‘Geneve’.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers, which considered to be the best in the UK.
The lens is new, having been replaced with an original new replacement, as part of the restoration.
The hand-wound Calibre P453/3B, 17 jewel movement is utterly beautiful. Put at its simplest… it is a work of art, with Fausses Côtes, Geneva Wave embellishment, a lever escapement, monometallic balance with screws adjusted to temperature, self-compensating Breguet hairspring, Superchoc shock-absorber and a swan-neck micrometer regulator, enabling much finer calibration.
The P453 subsidiary seconds movement, along with its sister movement, the centre seconds movement, the P454, are widely regarded as some of the best hand-wound movements ever produced.
The movement is in superb condition having just completed a full overhaul and service by our vintage Vacheron Constantin specialist watchmaker. It is running perfectly and has been calibrated in 5 positions to run within +3 seconds per day! This is truly outstanding for any mechanical watch. This is no exaggeration – we have checked and confirmed the test results on our electronic watch timegrapher. This movement also has an excellent power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound.
The movement is signed ‘Vacheron Constantin’, ‘Geneve Swiss’ and ‘17 Jewels’ with the Calibre number P453/3B, the movement serial number 487584 and Swiss Geneva hallmarks. The movement serial number dates this watch to 1949.
With care and regular servicing, say every 3 to 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to continue to run very happily for many more decades to come. We are therefore totally confident in offering this watch with our 12 months’ written warranty*.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The large-sized, very high quality and substantial 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the Vacheron & Constantin crown.
From its very early beginnings, Vacheron & Constantin has been the torchbearer of Haute Horlogerie. This is reflected, not only in the quality of its movements but also in its watch cases. Here, the case is of an attractive three-piece design with elegant sweeping lugs and a screw-down case-back for improved dust and moisture protection.
The case, the case-back and bezel are all in superb condition with no marks or scratches visible to the naked eye. The watch has been beautifully well cared for and so after a close inspection, has simply required a careful clean and a gentle polish to bring it back to its current, almost as new condition.
Please note Vacheron & Constantin did not sign its winding crowns during the 1950s so any watches you may see from this period with signed crowns have had these fitted as later additions.
The case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed. Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, signed ‘Vacheron Constantin’, ‘Swiss’ with Geneva Swiss 18ct gold hallmarks and the case serial number 317185.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A high-quality brown crocodile strap has been fitted, along with a plain gold plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock, in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, but can also obtain most types and colours of strap from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 19mm straps if you wish.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1949. A detailed particulars document will be included with this watch, along with our fully detailed purchase receipt and 12 months’ warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
The watch comes complete with a high-quality hardwood presentation box, as shown in the photographs.
An exceptional and collectable gentleman’s dress watch from one of horology’s most revered names. This will not only make an excellent dress watch but also a practical, accurate and reliable timepiece to use on a daily basis should you so wish. It will provide an excellent investment as well as be something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
If you have any questions, please call 020 7727 7095 or +44 207 727 7095.
Please note, we welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.