Vacheron & Constantin Cal.V454 18ct 1944
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For and Completely Original Example
All in Absolutely Tip-Top & Original, Unrestored and Untouched Stunning Condition
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Silver Dial with Original ‘Index’ Hands and Mixed Hour Indices
Ultra-High Grade Vacheron & Constantin Calibre V454, 17 Jewel Movement in Sparkling Condition
High Quality Black Lizard Strap with Plain Gold-Plated Buckle
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included, as Shown
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Vacheron & Constantin
One of the recognised ‘Holy Trinity’ of Swiss watchmaking along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, Vacheron & Constantin is also the world’s oldest ‘Watch Manufacture’ 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, taken so far, it is considered an art. This is known as ‘Haute Horlogerie’ in which Vacheron & Constantin has been the leader 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 and Vacheron & Constantin was the first watchmaker to be allowed to use this hallmark of excellence on its movements. This, along with its extraordinarily high standards of quality and manufacture, lead many watchmakers, horologists and watch industry experts to believe Vacheron & Constantin reigns supreme among the finest quality watch manufacturers of the world.
To the collector, Vacheron & Constantin offers a level of exclusivity which even the more famous Patek Philippe can not. During the 1940s and through to 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 are seriously undervalued doesn’t go unnoticed either.
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, with a completely original, unrestored and untouched dial. At a large 35mm, excluding the nipple crown, this is an oversized watch by the standards of the period.
The wonderful silver dial is original, unrestored and untouched and considering the age of the watch, is also in really incredible condition. The dial has a wonderful even patina which gives this watch its own unique look. Therefore, due to its remarkably good condition and for reasons of retaining the character and originality of the watch, we have elected to leave it completely alone.
The dial has a mix of stud hour indices with Standard Arabic numerals at ‘2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 10 – 12’ which are all swept by the unrestored ‘index’ hands. The dial carries an attractive minute rail track around the inner circle, completing the dial beautifully.
As mentioned above, the dial is original and unrestored and shows very few other signs of ageing, other than some very light spotting around the outside. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however, we decided in this case, due to its exceptional condition, to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website which have been restored.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you see here may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The hand-wound Calibre V454, 17 jewel movement is utterly beautiful. Put very simply – 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 +11 seconds per day which 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’ and ‘Swiss’ with the Calibre number V454, the movement serial number 474463 and Swiss Geneva Seal hallmarks. The 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.
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 a two-piece construction, designed to improve dust and moisture protection. It carries a thin integral bezel and gorgeous ‘teardrop’ lugs and is solid, elegant and of obviously very high quality. The size of this watch is 35mm in diameter, excluding the nipple crown.It is highly unusual to find a watch from 1944 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. Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, signed ‘Vacheron Constantin Swiss’, with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks and the case serial number 305608. The large press-fit case-back clicks into place with a solid reassuring ‘pop’, just as it should and is of full thickness, having never been inscribed.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A high quality black lizard strap has been fitted, along with a plain gold plated buckle, which we feel matches this watch perfectly. 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. We can also obtain most types and colours 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.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The watch comes complete with a high quality hardwood presentation box, as shown in the photographs.
Payment and Delivery
If you would like to pay by 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.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and, unfortunately, out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges; however, attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those who happen to visit London on occasion, we are, of course, more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and hand your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no-quibble sale or return policy.
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.
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.