Time-only 4217 | yellow gold
This rare, vintage Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4217, from 1944, is the embodiment of a classical dress watch, and remains in excellent condition. Its timeless style and aesthetics are typical of the period from Vacheron, having long been considered one of the ‘holy trinity’ of watchmaking.
Vacheron Constantin boast a lengthy and uninterrupted history of manufacture, dating back to 1755. The firm’s founder, M. Jean-Marc Vacheron, was one of many cabinotier-watchmakers who specialised in the production of complex components. Upon partnering with M. François Constantin, Vacheron (the brand) became widely-known for upholding the finest horological traditions - enamelling, piercing, engraving and engine-turning.
The brand received a distinction in the very first chronometry competition with the renowned Geneva Observatory, ushering in an era of record-breaking accuracy. The brand's motto “Do better if possible, which is always possible”, is evident in the exceptional finishing of each Vacheron & Constantin watch - surpassing the highest standards of finishing and decorating of mechanical movements, know as the ‘Poinçon de Genève’ or ‘Geneva Seal’.
Vacheron knew a thing or two about dress watch design. Whilst often celebrated amongst collectors for their elaborate case shapes, the more classical appearance seen in this example is equally impressive. The 33.5 mm yellow gold case has a thin, rounded bezel with curved lugs, and wears comfortably on the wrist. The wide lug aperture, gives it greater presence, with the watch wearing larger than its dimensions would otherwise suggest.
The case of this ref. 4217 has been well preserved, and features crisp hallmarks on the right hand side of the case, and below the lugs. The inside-case features the watches’ unique reference number (283 XXX), as well as the manufacturers’ signature. It features a later replacement crown, in yellow gold, featuring Vacheron Constantin's Maltese cross.
In keeping with this classic styling, the dial features applied faceted hour-markers, as well as Roman numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. The pointed baton handset, elegantly complements the dial, with a blued steel center seconds hands adding a welcome touch of contrast to the design. The egg shell coloured dial has developed a warm, overall patina. the dial features a few superficial marks, notably between 4 and 5 o’clock, though it remains in excellent condition overall.
Powered by a manually-wound P454/3C calibre (signed “Vacheron & Constantin“), the movement is rhodium plated with Côtes de Genève embellishment, constructed with 17-jewels. This highly-finished movement with straight-line lever escapement further features a monometallic Glucydor balance with timing screws adjusted for temperature and a self-compensating Breguet balance spring.
This Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4217 is accompanied by an Extract from the Archives, which confirms the manufacture date as 1944, as well as confirming the case and movement numbers.
It comes on our Marrakesh tan saffiano leather strap, and is also accompanied by a black alligator Vacheron Constantin strap, with a corresponding Vacheron Constantin 18K yellow gold, tang buckle (unsigned, yet period correct).Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||time-only Ref. 4217|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding VC Caliber P454/3C|
|Functions:||time-only: hours, minutes|
|Features:||Roman numerals, blued steel seconds hand|
|Case:||33.5mm 18-carat yellow gold case|
|Strap:||Marrakesh tan saffiano leather strap, black alligator Vacheron Constantin strap, 18K yellow gold, tang buckle (unsigned, yet period correct)|
|Box & papers:||Extract from the Archives|
The inner-case-back correctly displays the watch’s unique serial number (362 XXX), along with its hallmarks, below the manufacture’s signature. It features a later replacement crown, in yellow gold, featuring Vacheron Constantin's Maltese cross.
The case shows superficial marks throughout (consistent with age). The dial is similarly well-preserved: it features a few superficial marks, notably between 4 and 5 o’clock, though it remains in excellent condition overall. There are no signs of previous exposure to the elements (or intervention). The P454/3C calibre movement of this vintage Vacheron Constantin keeps excellent time and comes with a limited, two-year warranty from A Collected Man.
All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information.
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