Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jul 19, 2022

LOT 88

VACHERON CONSTANTIN
REF. 44018, SELF-WINDING, DATE; "222" SO-CALLED "JUMBO"; 18K YELLOW GOLD

EUR 65,000 - 120,000

USD 69,000 - 128,000 / HKD 540,000 - 1,000,000 / CHF 66,000 - 122,000

Sold: EUR 93,600

A very fine and very rare, 18K yellow gold, self-winding, "tonneau"-shaped, large and massive, gentleman’s wristwatch, water-resistant with snap-on case-back and bezel, gold colour dial with applied radial luminescent indexes, and instantaneous date of the month. Case-back engraved with the mention “222”; the front encrusted at 5 o’clock with a tiny cross of Malta.


Grading System
Grade:
Case: 3-8

Good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-6-01

Very good

Slightly oxidized

HANDS Original

Brand Vacheron Constantin, Geneva

Model "222", so-called "Jumbo"

Reference 44018

Year circa 1978-1980

Movement No. 684 847

Case No. 521 933

Material 18K yellow gold

Bracelet integrated 18K yellow gold VC bracelet with deployant buckle

Diameter 37.1 mm.

Length 190 mm. (approx.)

Caliber 1121 (based on Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 920)

Length 190 mm. (approx.)

Height 44.9 mm.

Thickness 7.77 mm.

Weight 184.2 gr (approx.)

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories fitted box; Extract from the Archives

Notes

Vacheron Constantin, “222”

In the mid-1970’s, as the arrival of quartz watches harmed the Swiss watch industry, the great manufacturers reacted late by launching new models of watches made by young designers.

These watches are disruptive, informal and casual! Their stylistic codes go against everything we’ve seen before. These are high-class sports watches with integrated bracelets, which are a radical break from the traditional wristwatches of these important houses.

Audemars Piguet launches its “Royal Oak”, Patek Philippe its “Nautilus”, IWC its “Ingenieur SL”; all three designed by Gérald Genta (1931-2011), a Genevan designer jeweller.

In 1977, to celebrate its 222nd Anniversary, Vacheron Constantin launched its “222”, designed by Jorg Hysek, a young German designer (born in 1953): a thin "tonneau"-shaped case, with a rounded bezel and a tiny cross of Malta encrusted at 5 o’clock.

The “222” is produced in different versions:
· Ø 37 mm., with a self-winding movement with date at 3 o'clock, made on the basis of Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 920 (also used for the “Nautilus” and the “Royal Oak”);
· Ø 34 mm., with a self-winding movement with date at 3 o'clock (a derivative of the previous movement of the Manufacture of Le Sentier);
· Ø 25 mm., with quartz movement.

The “222” is available in different materials and is, in fact, produced in very small quantities:
· steel (less than 520 examples);
· gold and steel (less than 150 examples);
· all gold (less than 150 examples).

Manufactured for only 7 years, it will be replaced in 1984 by the “333”, a rectangular evolution that will last only 2 years.

Like the “Royal Oak” and the “Nautilus”, the “222” is now an icon of watchmaking from the 1970’s.