Vacheron & Constantin Cal.458/2B 18ct 1944

£3,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared For and Lightly Used Example

Superbly Restored Ivory-Cream Dial in Tip-Top Condition

High Grade V&C Cal.458/2B, 17 Jewel Hand-Wound Movement

Wonderful 18ct Gold ‘Rococo’ Style Watch Case, 25mm x 25mm, Excluding the Crown

All in Absolutely Tip-Top & Beautifully Restored, Stunning Condition

High Quality Brown Lizard Strap with 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

VGW Reference: VC1199
Sold 5th July '21
Price £3,950 Sold

£3,950

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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 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 also 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 can not. 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.

Description

Classic time only hand-wound watches have a purity and charm all of their own and there has 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 a clean, sophisticated design and masterful understatement.

It is hard to convey in the photographs, but every aspect of this watch oozes quality. The finely crafted case has beautiful lines and is of 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 25mm, excluding the correct unsigned crown and 41mm from corner to corner including the lugs, this may seem like a small watch, but in fact, looks perfectly proportioned on the wrist.

The Dial

The dial design here is totally ageless, understated and executed to perfection with a mix of applied single solid yellow gold ‘dagger’ hour indices interspersed with standard Arabic numerals at ‘2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 10 – 12’. The ivory cream of the dial provides the perfect contrast between the case, original solid gold ‘index’ hands, and the solid gold hour indices. The symmetry and pure class here are matchless, and for someone with an eye for classical watch design, totally irresistible. The dial is signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’ and ‘Geneve’ and carries a perfectly placed and well proportioned subsidiary seconds dial just above ‘6’.

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 Movement

The P458 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 hand-wound Calibre 458/2B, 17 jewel movement here 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 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 +7 seconds per day which is is truly outstanding for any mechanical watch and has been checked and confirmed 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 458/2B, the movement serial number 476525 and Swiss Geneva hallmarks. The movement serial number dates this watch to 1944.

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.

Watch Case

The wonderful very high quality 18ct gold ‘Rococo’ style watch case measures 41mm diagonally including the lugs, 31mm vertically excluding the lugs, and 25mm horizontally excluding the Vacheron & Constantin crown. This watch also has outstanding lugs which add depth to the dial, standing proud on each corner.

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 two-piece design with straight swept-back lugs and a press-fit case-back.

The case and case-back are all in superb condition with few marks or scratches visible to the naked eye. The watch has beautifully well cared for 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-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed, and also has a brushed finish. Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’ and ‘Swiss’ with Swiss 18ct gold hallmarks and the  case serial number 308047.

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

The Strap & Buckle

A high quality brown lizard strap has been fitted, along with a matching 18ct solid gold 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 straps if you wish, here.

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 1944.

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.

In Conclusion

An impressive gentleman’s dress watch from one of horology’s holy trinity of 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. This watch will also 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. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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.