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Vacheron Constantin, established in 1755, is a relic of the golden era of watchmaking. Established in Geneva by Jean-Marc Vacheron, by 1770 Vacheron was producing complicated pocket watches and engine-turned dials. For the rest of the 18th century, under Vacheron's son Abraham, the manufacture delivered their elegant watches to the nobility of Europe and survived the tumult of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Under the leadership of Abraham's own son Jacques Barthélemy, the manufacture produced complicated movements (thin for the era) in elegantly-engraved cases. The partnership with cloth merchant François Constantin in 1819 gave the name by which the brand is still known: Vacheron Constantin.
Due to Constantin's global connections in the cloth industry, Vacheron Constantin attracted the attention of a worldwide clientele. Under Georges-Auguste Leschot, the manufacture established a precedent of standardizing calibers that has revolutionized the watch industry. Leschot was also responsible for another innovation that would save movement-manufacturers many working hours: machinery that could automatically produce movement components. The nineteenth century was an era of innovation for Vacheron Constantin, with other achievements including the production of the first lever to resist magnetism in 1885. This was also around the time that Vacheron Constantin inaugurated its signature Maltese cross logo.
But for many collectors of Vacheron Constantin timepieces, 1907 means the introduction of the Chronometre Royal. The idea of a watch that keeps perfect time seems a given in today's world of watchmaking, but in 1907 it was an achievement. With a simple gilt finish (a departure from the Vacheron Constantin usual), gold case, and an enamel dial (resistant to water damage), the Chronometre Royal gained a reputation for the robustness of its movement. 10,000 of these pocket watches were produced from 1907 to 1919, when the manufacture concentrated on wristwatches. The Chronometre Royal first appeared on the wrist in 1953, with the 1007BS and 1008BS--the "BS" denoting "balance stop," signifying that these were one of the first wristwatch movements to feature hacking seconds.
Advertising literature for the Chronometre Royal in the 1950s declared that it was "created for a demanding clientele by the same experts who, at Vacheron Constantin, have produced the victorious chronometers at the observatory trials." Vacheron Constantin certainly retained that distinction with their Chronometre Royal. The automatic calibre 1072, debuted in 1962, was the first automatic movement to achieve COSC certification.
However, the innovations of the Quartz Crisis caused interest in mechanical timepieces to wane, and production of the Chronometre Royal ceased in the 1970s. 1998 marked the reintroduction of the line in a new reference, the 47022, with automatic caliber 1126. With sharp dagger hands (reminiscent of hands on 1950s iterations of the model), the Reference 47022 combines an elegant appearance with the technical precision that has distinguished Vacheron Constantin for nearly three hundred years.
White gold case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). Reference 47022, Caliber 1126. Circa 1990s.
Overall Condition: White gold case is in very good condition overall, with sharp lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case shows minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, including some light tool marks between the lugs. Dial is in excellent, like-new condition with crisp printing. Signed crown; signed case back.
Includes 18mm Vacheron Constantin leather strap with Vacheron Constantin buckle.
Also includes box, warranty booklet, and leather folding pouch with Vacheron Constantin logo.