Vacheron Constantin Date Automatic 18ct Tonneau 1976

£6,450

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared For and Lightly Used Example

Rare, Heavy Tonneau Case in 18ct Gold with Sun-Burst Dial

Very High-Grade Calibre 1072/1 18ct Gold Rotor Automatic Movement

Original Unrestored Untouched 18ct Solid Gold Dial, Stick Hands & Batons

Heavy Large Size 35mm 18ct Yellow Gold Tonneau Case, Excluding the Crown

All Presented In Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

High Quality Black Alligator Strap with a 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: VC1037
Price £6,450

£6,450

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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 and one which is 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. All of 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.

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 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

Here we have a superb original example of a classic Vacheron & Constantin automatic from 1976 in a robust tonneau-shaped case which is so redolent of the period. This V&C model reference 7397 watch has a stunning original unrestored sunburst 18ct solid gold dial and contains one of the finest automatic movements of the period. This hugely impressive watch is perfectly suited for evening wear, special occasions or everyday use, should you so wish. This watch has been beautifully well cared for and is as fine an example as you are likely to see.

The Dial

This watch carries a beautiful solid 18ct gold ‘sunburst’ dial.  Gold ‘baton’ hour indices around the dial are inlaid with black onyx. These are matched by original Stick style hands and the original gold centre seconds hand.

A discrete minute track around the perimeter frames the dial beautifully. The dial is signed Vacheron & Constantin Geneve and with the applied gold V & C Maltese Cross brand above, with ‘Automatic’ and ‘Swiss’ below. A date window apeture at ‘3’ displays the watches date.

The original unrestored and untouched dial is outstanding condition considering the age of the watch. Usually, we restore the dial as part of the restoration of a watch. This is because vintage watch are usually damaged due to sunlight, humidity and air pollution. Typically this takes the form of fading, staining. pitting, speckling etc. Damage is also often caused to a dial during servicing since anything which comes into contact with an aged dial will leave a mark.

Here, however, the dial is in exceptionally good condition and so we have left it completely alone for the sake of originality. Also because some wearers and collectors prefer the charm of an unrestored dial.  There is just some very light and gentle spotting across the whole of the dial. Although the spotting is quite clear in the very large high definition photos we provide, this can hardly be seen on the wrist.

If you particularly like this watch and you would prefer to have the dial restored to look like new, please contact us to enquire, as this can be arranged at cost price.

Movement 

The ultra-high-quality Vacheron & Constantin Calibre 1072/1, 29 jewel automatic chronometer rated movement is utterly beautiful.  Put very simply… it is a work of art. Stamped with the ‘Geneve Seal’ with Fausses Côtes, Geneva Wave embellishment, a lever escapement, Gyromax balance, free-sprung Breguet balance spring and an 18ct solid gold rotor with 4 Ruby roller bearings. This is undoubtedly one for the finest automatic movements of its era.

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 +8 seconds per day! This is truly outstanding for any mechanical watch and 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 46 hours when fully wound.

The movement is signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, ‘Geneve Swiss’ and ’29 Jewels’ with the Calibre number 1072/1, the movement serial number 618739 and Swiss Geneva hallmarks. The movement serial number dates this watch to 1976.

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.

Watch Case

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.

The very heavy, large sized, high quality tonneau 18ct gold watch case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the Vacheron & Constantin signed crown. This actually ‘wears’ larger than this due to the shape of the case. Tonneau cases are very sturdy and robust making this watch perfectly suited to everyday use as well as evening wear.

The case, the case-back and bezel 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, it 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. Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, ‘Swiss’ with Geneva Swiss 18ct gold hallmarks and the Vacheron & Constantin model reference number 7397. The exterior of the case-back carries the case serial number 443392.

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

The Strap & Buckle

A high-quality black Aligator embossed leather has been fitted, along with a 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, 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 1976. 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. 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.