Chronograph 4072 | Yellow Gold
This yellow gold Vacheron Constantin ref. 4072 exudes an understated, yet highly contemporary elegance. The ref. 4072 was produced for over three decades, with the current example dating to 1966, as confirmed by the accompanying Archive Extract. Scholarship suggests that Vacheron Constantin only produced 214 examples of this reference in yellow gold with the caliber 492, making this example as rare as it is attractive.
Vacheron Constantin boast a lengthy and uninterrupted history of manufacture, dating back to 1755. The firm’s founder, Jean-Marc Vacheron, was one of many cabinotier-watchmakers who specialised in the production of complex components. Upon partnering with François Constantin, Vacheron (the brand) became widely-known for upholding the finest horological traditions - enamelling, piercing, engraving and engine-turning.
Mid-century chronographs from Vacheron Constantin have long been admired by scholars and collectors for their quality and aesthetic, with the reference 4072 being one of the manufacture’s most iconic and sought-after vintage chronograph models. Introduced in 1938, the reference remained in Vacheron Constantin’s catalogue until the early 1970s. Under this single reference, we can find several watches, sharing the same basic specifications but with various design configurations of case metal, dial layout and pusher shape, amongst other details. Only 1178 pieces were ever made.
The watch is a two-register chronograph, with the sub-dials featuring the thirty-minute counter at three o’clock and a running seconds at nine o’clock. The engine-turned sub-dials have steel blued hands, matching the chronograph. The unrestored, sunburst dial, which has developed a warm patina, also features a telemeter scale on the outer-section of the dial, while the inner-track denotes the chronograph seconds. Further to this, the dial also displays classic baton hands, with matching yellow gold applied index markers. The dial exemplifies the highly-refined work of Vacheron Constantin’s dial-makers, complimenting the narrow bezel and svelte lugs with delicate dial printing.
Classically sized at 35mm, the three-piece case is in excellent condition - retaining well-defined edges on the lugs and bezel - with a snap-back case and rectangular shaped pushers. The case appears larger due to the elongated and powerful lugs, as well as the wide dial opening. On the reverse, hallmarks are clearly visible, while the brushed finishing on the case-back still shows defined graining. It has developed an attractive slight oxidation, which adds to the overall warmth of the case.
Over the years, three different chronograph calibres were used for this reference, namely calibres 295, 434, and 492. This example houses the caliber 492, which is based on a Valijoux 22, but displays the high finishing standards of Vacheron Constantin, with bevelled angles on the bridges and levers, straight graining on the flat surfaces of the levers and polished screw-heads.
The watch is accompanied by a Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives, confirming the production year as 1966, that the case and movement numbers match.
The watch was previously sold by Phillips in The Geneva Watch Auction: Five, in May 2017.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Chronograph Ref. 4072|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding VC Caliber 492|
|Functions:||chronograph seconds, hours, minutes|
|Features:||unrestored dial, blued steel hands, telemeter scale|
|Case:||35mm 18-carat yellow gold case|
|Strap:||Marrakesh tan saffiano strap with gold-plated buckle|
|Box & papers:||Extract from the Archives|
The case shows superficial marks throughout (consistent with age). The dial is similarly well-preserved, with no signs of previous exposure to the elements (or intervention). The 492 calibre movement of this vintage Vacheron Constantin chronograph keeps excellent time and comes with a limited, two-year warranty from A Collected Man.
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