Vacheron Constantin Model Ref.33016 18ct 1976
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For and Completely Original Example
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Black Dial in Tip-Top Condition
Ultra-Slim High Quality Vacheron & Constantin 18ct Gold Watch, 5mm Including the Lens
High Grade V&C Calibre Cal.1003/1, 17 Jewel, Hand-Wound Movement in Sparkling Condition
Beautiful 18ct Yellow Gold Watch Case, 31mm x 29mm, Excluding the Correct Crown
All in Absolutely Tip-Top & Beautiful Unrestored, Stunning Condition
Genuine Vacheron Constantin Black Leather Strap with 18ct Yellow Gold 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
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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 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. 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.
Here we have a fine example of a classic 1970s Vacheron & Constantin hand-wound dress watch in an impressive 18ct yellow gold, square case. This watch also carries a stunning black dial and one of the finest hand-wound movements of the period. This hugely impressive watch is perfectly suited for evening wear, special occasions or everyday use, should you so wish. The watch is completely original, unrestored and untouched and is as fine an example as you are likely to see.
Although this watch was originally sold as a gent’s watch, it would be equally suited for a lady today given the modern trend for ladies to wear gent’s watches.
In addition to its very fine movements, Vacheron & Constantin is widely renowned for its beautiful and luxurious dials. This particular watch has a highly sought after, unique and rare black dial which is completely original, unrestored and untouched. Although this dial does not carry hour indices, the gilt ‘dauphine’ hands are extremely easy to read against the perfect black dial and add uniqueness and style to a beautiful watch.
The dial is simply signed ‘Vacheron Constantin’ and ‘Genève’ at the very top of the dial below 12. Due to the dial being completely original and unrestored, the signature is very faint, however it can be easily read in daylight.
As mentioned above, the dial is original and unrestored and we have elected to leave this untouched by our restoration team. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those 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. The hands, likewise, have also been left untouched.
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’re seeing 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 movement was originally conceived by JLC as the Cal.803 upon request from Audemars Piguet, Vacheron & Constantin. No one else, not even Jaeger-LeCoultre, has ever used this movement. 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 1.64mm high and 20.80mm in diameter. The 1003 is chronometer quality and it 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 difficult, expensive and exclusive than most other highly complicated watches. Indeed an ultra-thin movement is considered by watchmakers as a ‘complication’. Vacheron models containing this particular movement today sell for over £20,000, so going vintage offers a real bargain.
This amazing watch carries the ultra high grade calibre 1003/1, which is known as the upgraded version of the calibre 1003. 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 -14 seconds per day. which 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 a power reserve of 30 hours when fully wound, which is within expectations for this movement.
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 687494 and Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks. The movement serial number dates this watch to 1976.
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 33016 measures just 5mm 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 square shaped watch case measures 31mm, excluding the correct unsigned crown and 29mm from top to bottom. This watch is perfectly proportioned and sits beautifully upon 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 correctly signed, ‘Vacheron & Constantin’ and ‘Swiss’ with the classic Maltese Cross, along with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks “18K 0.750″. It also carries the Vacheron & Constantin model number 33016 and the case serial number 516848. Importantly, the wonderful case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
As ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
This watch comes complete with a genuine black Vacheron Constantin leather strap, along with an 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
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1976.
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 high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
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 that happen to visit the UK 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 deliver 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.