Vacheron & Constantin Cal.P453/3B 18ct, Original Two Tone Dial, 1949
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For and Lightly Used Example
Exquisite, Highly Rated Hand-Wound Cal.P453/3B Movement
Oversize Size 36mm Case, Excluding the Correct VC Unsigned Crown
Original Unrestored Two-Tone Dial, Original ‘Index’ Hands and ‘Coffin’ Indices
High Quality Alligator Strap with Original Solid 18ct Gold Vacheron Buckle
All Presented In Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
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 and was also the first watch company to manufacture movements with interchangeable parts, beginning in 1839. The brand received a distinction in the very first chronometry competition with the renowned Geneva Observatory, ushering in an era of record-breaking accuracy.
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.
All of this, along with its extraordinary high standards of quality and manufacture, lead many watchmakers, horologists and watch industry experts to believe Vacheron & Constantin is quite possibly No.1 among the finest quality watch manufacturers of the world.
For the well-heeled and the collector, vintage Vacheron & Constantin offers a degree of exclusivity which even Patek Philippe can not. 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, 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.
A beautiful gentleman’s dress watch of the very highest quality in every regard, this magnificent Vacheron & Constantin simply oozes sophistication, character and charm.
This is Vacheron & Constantin Model 4126 which carries the superb Vacheron & Constantin Calibre P453/3B subsidiary seconds movement and the wonderful two-tone dial is in fantastic condition considering it is original and unrestored. This is a very large watch for the period at 36mm excluding the crown. Particularly so for a Vacheron & Constantin.
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 two-tone honey with applied gold faceted batons and applied 12, 3, and 9 standard Arabic numerals.
The dial is beautifully balanced with just enough to keep it on the right side of full and interesting, without making it overly fussy or confined. It is interesting in the way the hands extend only to the edge of the centre dial while the batons are used to extend the dial and form a link with the case.
Below the ’12’ we find the applied Vacheron Maltese Cross and the ‘Vacheron & Constantin’ Geneve signature in the upper half of the dial. Below is found a large subsidiary seconds dial, and ‘Swiss’ signed at the very bottom of the dial.
This Vacheron dial is again, simple style, and class personified.
Usually, we restore a dial as part of a watch restoration but here, due to its outstanding condition we felt this dial far too good. We have therefore elected to leave it completely alone for the sake of its character and originality.
Vacheron & Constantin movements were the first to carry 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.
The movement is rhodium plated with the Côtes de Genève embellishment, constructed with 17-jewels. This highly-finished movement with straight-line lever escapement further features a monometallic Glucydor balance with timing screws adjusted for temperature, a self-compensating Breguet balance spring and swan-neck micrometer regulator.
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 +8 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.
The movement is signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, ‘Geneve Swiss’ and ’17 Jewels’ with the Calibre number P453/3B and the movement serial number 499674 which 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 another 50+ years! 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
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 brand’s motto is “Do better if possible, which is always possible”, and is evident in the exceptional finishing of each Vacheron & Constantin watch.
The 18ct yellow gold case is of two-piece construction which improves, integrity, dust and moisture protection. It carries a thin integral bezel and gorgeous short flared, slightly bulbous lugs. It is solid, elegant and of obviously very high quality.
The size of this watch is 36mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned crown. As mentioned above it is highly unusual to find a watch from 1949 with such a large watch case, particularly so a Vacheron & Constantin.
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.
The case lies flat on the wrist and the effect is very elegant and pleasing on the eye. The case is only 9.5mm in-depth, including the lens. Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, signed ‘Vacheron Constantin’, ‘Swiss’, with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks and the Vacheron model number 4126, along with the case serial number 339597.
The large 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 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 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”.
The watch comes complete with the hardwood presentation box 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 us on 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.