Vacheron & Constantin Cal.V485 Triple-Date Calendar 18ct 1943

£8,450

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Beautiful, Rare, Well Loved & Lightly Used Example

35mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, excluding the Original Crown

Beautifully Restored Ivory Cream Dial with Original ‘Leaf’ Hands

All in Absolutely Top Grade, Beautifully Restored, Stunning Condition

Hand-Wound Vacheron & Constantin Cal.V485 Triple Date Movement In Tip-Top Condition

New High Quality Brown Leather Strap & Matching Gold Plated Buckle

Immaculate, Beautiful Swiss Made Gold Case with Concave Lugs

Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: VC912
Sold 16th June '20
Price £8,450 Sold

£8,450

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Vacheron & Constantin

One of the widely recognised ‘Holy Trinity’ of Swiss watchmaking 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 reign 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 period from 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.

Why This Watch Is Important

Vacheron Constantin’s Triple Date Calendar was first released in 1942 and came in a number of different case and dial variations. This particular watch has a 17 jewel, Cal.12″ ½ V485 movement that is housed in a 35mm yellow gold case with wonderful concave lugs. The red day and month are indicated via apertures, with the date indicated via a central hand, showing against a wonderful ivory cream dial with blue calendar track.

In 2017, Vacheron Constantin marked the 75th anniversary of the launch of its first Triple Date watch with the launch of its Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 – an almost identical watch to this.

In May 2019, a similar 18ct pink gold Vacheron Constantin of around the same age with the same Cal.V485 movement was sold for £19,800 at a Phillips, Geneva, Watch Auction.

New Triple Date watches are becoming increasingly popular once more. In the past few years, in addition to Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre, many other top watch houses have trawled their back catalogues to re-release similar models based on these 1950s designs. For example, Patek Philippe has recently released a Triple Date Annual Calendar priced at close to £40,000.

Dial

Simply wonderful! Ivory cream with applied yellow gold pyramid hour indices and standard arabic numerals. Subsidiary seconds dial, outer blue graduation for the days of the month, outermost black minutes track, apertures for the days of the week, the months. Original restored yellow gold ‘Leaf’ hands. Blued steel calendar hand with red pointer. Engine turned seconds dial.

This is the standard Triple Date dial, with a subsidiary seconds dial, and an all-time classic design, to which most of the top watch houses adhere. We are great admirers of this dial design as it is so completely symmetrical, neat and attractive, yet it manages to convey so much!

Setting this watch is very simple and straightforward. Setting the day of the week is done first. This is achieved by rotating the hands until the correct day is shown. The month is then set via a small pusher on the edge of the case at 2 o’clock and the date is then set via a pusher at 4 o’clock. This is best done with a toothpick, moving the pushers along a horizontal plane, rather than in towards the centre of the watch.

An important point to remember is never to advance any of these functions while the hour hand is anywhere close to the number 12 as this can harm the movement. It is therefore advisable to set the hands to, say, 6:30 before operating any of the pushers. Another point to note is that the month does not auto-advance on the watches at the end of each month. This is done manually, As long as one remembers these points, and the watch is treated with the care it deserves, it will perform faithfully and reliably.

The days and months of this watch are, as you can see, shown in French.

This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers, considered to be the best in the UK.

Movement

Vacheron & Constantin movements were the first to carry the most highly regarded ‘Geneva Seal’. This is a distinctive hallmark depicting the Geneva coat of arms, granted by an official body at the Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève and only ever placed on movements which were able to achieve the most exacting standards and whose quality and finish conform to the most precise and demanding specifications.

The Cal.V485 movement here is nickel plated with the Côtes de Genève embellishment, constructed with 17-jewels. This is a highly-finished movement with straight-line lever escapement. Further features include a monometallic Glucydor balance with timing screws adjusted for temperature, a self-compensating Breguet balance spring and swan-neck micrometer regulator.

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 +9 seconds per day! This 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 an excellent power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound.

The movement is signed ‘Vacheron & Constantin’, ‘Geneve Swiss’ and ’17 Jewels’ with the Calibre number V485 and the movement serial number 464051 which dates this watch to 1943.

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 lifetime! 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.

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 totally original, heavy 18ct yellow gold case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the crown. The case is of a heavily ribbed two-piece design with a press-fit case-back and carries attractive short heavy concave lugs. The overall impression is of a classic 1940s design with a touch of the baroque. It is solid, elegant and of obvious very high quality.

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 new condition.

Inside the case-back carries the serial number 334186 and maker’s mark. An 18ct hallmark is carried on one of the lugs.

The large press-fit case-back clicks into place with a solid reassuring ‘pop’, just as it should. It is of full thickness and has never been inscribed.

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

The Strap & Buckle

A good quality brown leather strap is fitted along with a gold plated buckle which we feel suits the watch very well. If, however, 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 burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain, padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.

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 1943.

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”.

The watch comes complete with the hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs.

In Conclusion

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.

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 us on 020 7727 7095. If calling from overseas: +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.