Vacheron & Constantin Model.33079 B 18ct 1989 White & Yellow Gold
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For and Completely Original Example
Wonderful 18ct Yellow Gold Case with White Gold Brushed Bezel
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Honey Dial in Tip-Top Condition
Ultra-Slim Vacheron & Constantin 18ct Yellow Gold Watch, 4mm Including the Lens
18ct Yellow Gold Watch Case, 25mm x 30mm, Excluding the Signed Crown
High Grade V&C Calibre Cal.1003/1, 17 Jewel Hand-Wound Movement
Genuine Vacheron & Constantin Black Leather Strap and Plain 18ct Yellow Gold Buckle
All in Absolutely Tip-Top & Beautiful Unrestored, Stunning Condition
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included, as Shown
Complete with Original Vacheron Constantin Papers & Pouch
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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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 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. 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.
For much of the history of mechanical watchmaking, slimness in watch design was considered not only aesthetically preferable, but also a clear sign of superior talent in watchmaking. Later in the 1950s and through to the 1970s, many watchmakers saw an increase in interest in ‘ultra-slim’ and ‘ultra-thin’ wristwatches. However, due to the many technical challenges in producing such watches, only a very few notable manufacturers achieved significant success in this area. These were Jaeger-LeCoultre, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron & Constantin.
In 1952, Vacheron & Constantin released the world’s slimmest wristwatch movement, the Calibre 1001, which was just 2.94mm thin! Then, in 1955, the company did it again, taking this further by releasing the Calibre 1003, which at just 1.64mm thin was by far the thinnest wristwatch movement ever produced. Vacheron & Constantin promoted its watch as the “Flattest Watch In The World”.
The Calibre 1003 was considered so great an achievement by experts, including V&C itself, that in 2015 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its release, V&C re-released the same model as the Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955, at a price of close to £30,000. This model and movement is still produced to this day and remarkably enough, despite the longevity of the Calibre 1003, its record for thinness still stands today: at 1.64mm as the world’s thinnest traditionally constructed watch movement. Of equal importance, many experts consider this to be the finest hand-wound movement ever made.
The watch you see here is absolutely incredible with the dial, case and movement all in sparkling condition. This watch measures an incredible 4mm thick, including the lens and also carries a white gold brushed bezel, adding both class and style to the watch when worn. This remarkable watch also comes complete with the original Vacheron Constantin service booklets which hold the correct numbers and date the watch correctly to 1989.
The classic Vacheron & Constantin dial design here is totally classic and totally ageless, understated and executed to perfection.
Black lined indices which are tripled at ’12’ and doubled at ‘6’ look perfectly placed on the completely original, unrestored and untouched honey dial. This dial provides the perfect contrast between the case, white gold bezel, original black ‘index’ hands and the dial furnishings. The simplicity, symmetry and pure class here are matchless and for someone with an eye for classic watch design, totally irresistible.
This dial is correctly and simply signed with ‘Vacheron Constantin’ and ‘Geneve’ at the very top of the dial with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom, below 6.
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 Calibre 1003 within this watch was originally conceived by JLC as the Cal.803 upon request from Audemars Piguet, Vacheron & Constantin. Vacheron & Constantin named this its Calibre 1003 and Audemars Piguet its Calibre 2003. First introduced by Vacheron & Constantin in 1955 and still produced to this day, this remains the world’s thinnest traditionally constructed watch movement ever produced to date, at just 1.64mm high and 20.80mm in diameter. The 1003 is of chronometer quality and has no shock proofing, because it is so light. It really is one of a handful of horological accomplishments of all time. Most people do not realise that a true ‘ultra-thin’ such as this, is more expensive and exclusive than most other highly complicated watches. Indeed an ultra-thin movement is considered by watchmakers as a ‘complication’. Vacheron models containing the Cal. 1003 today sell for over £20,000, so going vintage offers a real bargain.
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 ands been checked and confirmed on our electronic watch timegrapher. This movement also has a power reserve of 30 hours when fully wound.
With care and regular servicing, 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*.
The movement is signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, ‘Geneve Swiss’ and ’Seventeen (17) Jewels’ with the Calibre number 1003/1, the movement serial number 705849 and Swiss Geneva hallmarks. The movement serial number dates this watch to 1989.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
Vacheron & Constantin has been, from its very early beginnings, the torchbearer of Haute Horlogerie. This is reflected not only in its movements, but also in its watch cases. This Vacheron & Constantin model ref 33079 measures just 4mm in depth including the lens. This is remarkably thin when one considers this includes the case-back, case, movement, dial and lens. It is the most commercially successful, high-quality ultra-fine watch ever produced and the two-piece case design is remarkable for its rigidity.
This rectangular shaped watch case measures 25mm, excluding the correct Vacheron & Constantin crown and 30mm from top to bottom. This may seem like a small sized watch, but with the diagonal measurement at 35mm and the measurement including the lugs at 39mm, this is in fact perfectly proportioned and sits beautifully upon the wrist. This beautiful watch is complete with a brushed effect white gold bezel, contrasting beautifully with the yellow gold case, which gives the watch such a remarkable presence when on the wrist.
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 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.
Inside, the case-back all is as expected, and properly signed, ‘Vacheron & Constantin’ and ‘Swiss’ with the classic Maltese Cross and Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks “18K 0.750″. It also carries the Vacheron & Constantin model number 33079 and the case serial number 566026. Importantly, this wonderful case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
Please note – as ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
This watch is fitted with a genuine black leather Vacheron Constantin strap along with a plain 18ct yellow 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. 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
This watch comes complete with the original Vacheron Constantin service booklet and leather pouch which dates this watch correctly to 1989.
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 also 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 high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
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.
This is a truly first class example of a vintage Vacheron & Constantin which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Even though vintage gold Vacheron & Constantin prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Vacheron & Constantin watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them 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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.