Vacheron & Constantin Cal.1001 ‘Disco Volante’ 18ct 1964

£6,250

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

Legendary Hand-Wound Cal. K1001/1 Movement

A Beautifully Well Cared For and Lightly Used Example

Sought After ‘Disco Volante’ Vacheron & Constantin Ref 6006

Large Size 34.5mm Case, Excluding the Correct Vacheron Crown

Exquisite Restored Dial, Original ‘Index’ Hands & Faceted ‘Baton’ Hour Indices

Alligator Strap with Original 18ct Solid Gold Vacheron & Constantin Buckle

All Presented In Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

Hardwood Presentation Case Included, as Shown

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: VC869
Price

£6,250

In stock

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Vacheron Constantin

One of the widely recognised ‘Holy Trinity’ of Swiss watchmaking, along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest ‘Watch Manufacturer’, and as such, 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’ where 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, the Tour de l’Ile that was the most complicated serially produced wristwatch when introduced in 2005 and the 57260 — the world’s most complicated watch — made in 2015.

For the well-heeled and the collector, vintage Vacheron Constantin offers a degree of exclusivity which even Patek Philippe cannot. During the 1940s and through the 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.

Description

This beautiful Vacheron & Constantin is simply the epitome of style and class. The perfect understated dress watch which nevertheless is of the very highest quality in every regard.

The ‘Disco Volante’ (Flying Saucer) gains its nomenclature due to the relatively large flat case design with wide bezel, sunken crown and short, almost hidden, lugs.

The case carries the Vacheron Calibre 1001, which at just 2.94mm thin was the worlds thinnest movement when first released in 1952. Perhaps more importantly, many experts consider this to be the finest hand-wound movement ever made. It has certainly stood the test of time, as it remained in production until the early 1980s. Indeed a development of this movement, the Calibre 1003, released a little later, remains in production to this very day, featuring in the Vacheron & Constantin ’Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955’, albeit a ‘modern’ gent’s size watch of 36mm in diameter, currently retailing in the UK at almost £30,000!

The Dial

In addition to its very fine movements, Vacheron & Constantin is widely renowned for the quality and elegance of its watch dials. Here we have a fine example in ivory cream with applied gold faceted batons, which alternate in length. The longer batons link the wide bezel with the centre dial, while the shorter batons add a slight sense of an exploded, or time warp aspect to this dial. This, in combination with the ‘Disco Volante’ watch case creates a subtle sense of drama, while remaining firmly within Vacheron’s strictest bounds of excellent taste.

Twin faceted batons at 12, with the Vacheron Maltese Cross below and signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, completes the upper half of the dial. Cross-hair subsidiary seconds dial below, and signed ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom of the dial. Simple style and class personified.

This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers, who are considered to be the best in the UK.

The lens has been replaced with a new original as part of the restoration.

The Movement

The hand-wound Cal.K1001/1 movement here is utterly beautiful, and is, put very simply… a work of art.

During the 1950s and 1960s, ultra-thin, time-only timepieces set a new standard for technical excellence. At the heart of this watch is the ultra high-grade Cal.K1001/1 movement with 18 jewels, which was first produced in 1952 as the world’s thinnest watch movement. Not only this, but it occupies that most rarified atmosphere of ‘the very highest quality movements ever’.

The sub-seconds Calibre 1001/1 and the centre-seconds Calibre 1001/2 undoubtedly form one of the very best hand-wound, time only movements ever produced. Indeed it was so successful and so formative, it played a large part in the basis of Vacheron & Constantin’s success and reputation throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These movements are said to have only ever been matched by the peak of the Calibre 23-300 and 27-AM 400 hand-wound movements from Patek Philippe.

Not only did this movement break new ground for its diminutive dimensions while still performing to the highest standards one expects from a fine Swiss watch, but a major component of this movement’s appeal was due to it being one of the most aesthetically pleasing movements one is ever likely to see. Its Geneva stripes, elegant five bridges, a free-sprung Gyromax balance, the precise bevelling of each component and use of blued steel screws for no other reason than aesthetics, all mark this movement as something very special. Please take a closer look at this movement – we will say it again, it is a work of art.

This example is in amazing 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 +4 seconds per day! This is truly outstanding for any mechanical watch and is no idle exaggeration – we have checked and confirmed the test results on our electronic watch timegrapher. This movement also has an excellent power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound.

With care and regular servicing, say every 3 to 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to continue to run very happily for another 50+ years! We are therefore totally confident in offering this watch with our 12 months’ written warranty*.

The movement is signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, ‘Geneve Swiss’ and ’18 Jewels’ with the Calibre number K1001/1, the movement serial number 523330 and Swiss Geneva hallmarks. The movement serial number dates this watch to 1964.

In addition, this movement carries the most highly regarded ‘Geneva Seal’. This is a distinctive hallmark depicting the Geneva coat of arms, granted by an official body at the Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève and was only ever placed on movements which were able to achieve the most exacting standards and whose quality and finish conform to most precise and demanding specifications.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.

The Watch Case

The ‘Disco Volante’ (‘flying saucer’) nickname may seem a little brash, but this was the name applied to a style of watch released in the early 1960s by Audemars Piguet in the ref. 5093 and Patek Philippe in the ref. 2552, and Vacheron & Constantin, in the watch we have here, the ref.6006. These are each exemplified by relatively large flat cases, wide bezels, sunken crowns and very short, almost hidden, lugs. These watches have become quite sought after today, while the later more avant garde models which followed with much wider ‘knife edge’ bezels, have not.

From its earliest days, 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.

The 18ct yellow gold case is of a two-piece construction which improves dust and moisture protection. The size of this watch is 34.5 mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned crown. However, it seems larger on the wrist due to its overall design. It lies very flat and the effect is so elegant and so pleasing on the eye. The case is 7mm in depth, including the lens and the press-fit design is of obviously of very high quality.

Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, signed ‘Vacheron Constantin’, ‘Swiss’, with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks and the Vacheron model number 6006, along with the case serial number 349024.

The small, rounded press-fit case-back clicks into place with a solid reassuring ‘pop’, just as it should. It is of full thickness and has never been inscribed.

As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

A new, brown high-quality Hirsch London Alligator strap is fitted, with a genuine matching Vacheron Constantin solid 18ct yellow gold buckle.

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 1964. 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”.

The watch comes complete with the hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs.

In Conclusion

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 see here.

Please take a look at our other fine Vintage Gold Watches.