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The Vacheron Constantin ref. 43040 features an unconventional, visually appealing way of displaying time. With only 250 pieces made in yellow gold between 1993 and 1995, the manufacture took inspiration from the jump hour complication of the past.
In 1925, a Swiss watchmaker by the name of Robert Cart patented a jump hour complication known as the Chronoscope. His approach featured an hour indicator, which moved around the dial, pointing at the correct minutes. His design became impressively popular during this period and was adopted by Breguet, Cartier, and Vacheron Constantin, among others. The unconventional time display suited the Art Deco period perfectly, with its forward-thinking aesthetic and geometric lines. Vacheron Constantin used the complication in some of their pocket watches, as well as a handful of wristwatches, such as the ref. 3189, made in 1930.
A few decades later, the manufacture resuscitated the design, with the ref. 43040. As a starting point, they used the celebrated Jaeger-LeCoultre 920, which was the thinnest automatic movement in the world when it first came out in 1967. Vacheron Constantin then developed their own jump hour mechanism, creating the calibre 1120HS. Between 1993 and 1995, Vacheron Constantin only produced around 250 pieces in yellow gold and 150 pieces in platinum, making these pieces as rare as they are unusual.
This Jump Hour 43040 takes inspiration from its Art Deco predecessors, imbuing it with a vintage, nostalgic aesthetic highlighted by its stepped bezel and straight lugs. On the dial, a small window at 12 o'clock displays the hours in a cursive, playful font. Meanwhile, an aperture runs around the whole circumference of the dial, allowing for a gold pointer to indicate the correct minutes. When the hour changes, the disc at 12 o'clock satisfyingly jumps into place. The three-dimensionality of the dial creates some interesting effects when it interacts with the light at different angles while on the wrist.
The dial layout of this Jump Hour is aesthetically satisfying, with ample details to get lost in. The centre features a subtle guilloché, applied by hand, which is broken up by the “Vacheron Constantin Genève” and “Automatic” signatures. The hour markers and the window surrounding the hours are made of yellow gold, bringing further richness to the overall aesthetic.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Vacheron Constantin Jump Hour 43040 will be subject to 20% VAT.
Jump Hour 43040
Automatic calibre 1120HS
Date, jump hour, minutes
Sapphire front and back
Taupe saffiano strap from our own collection, brown Vacheron Constantin alligator strap and yellow gold tang buckle
Box & papers:
Vacheron Constantin outer and inner box, User manual, Polishing cloth, Servicing papers, Extract from the Archives
This Vacheron Constantin Jump Hour is in good condition overall. Light surface superficial marks are found on the case and lugs consistent with relative wear and age of the watch. The hallmarks and engravings on the case back are clear and well-defined.
The watch comes with a two-year warranty from A Collected Man, alongside a lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
We stand by the quality of all of our pre-owned watches and mechanical objects. If something goes wrong, we’ll always strive to remedy the situation in a timely manner and to the best of our ability. The satisfaction and trust of our clients is of the highest importance, to everyone at A Collected Man.
All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough, non-invasive mechanical inspections and have been serviced, if appropriate, to ensure that they meet our highest standards of timekeeping and functionality.
Our pre-owned watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by either a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. This excludes any damage sustained due to improper use or accident. Due to their age, some pre-owned watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when new.
Any of our pre-owned watches which have been serviced by their respective manufacturer, will carry the manufacturer’s servicing guarantee. This is separate and supersedes, the standard warranty offered by A Collected Man. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. You can write to us directly at email@example.com, for further clarification.
A Collected Man is also an authorised retailer for a number of watchmaking brands. These watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer.
We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.
If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.
Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please seehere.
The amount shown on our website does not include local tax rates. If this item is delivered to, or picked up from, a UK address, the standard rate of 20% VAT will be added at checkout. Otherwise, you will be responsible for paying local sales taxes and import fees.
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For a remarkably long period, time has been displayed in a predictable and familiar manner. We’ve come to expect all watches to feature separate hands for the hours, minutes and seconds, which glide across the dial at their own pace – something we are all taught as children. It seems like one of those areas of watchmaking that are so fundamental that they cannot be replaced, such that even an Apple Watch embraces this type of display.
However, some watchmakers have challenged this approach. In our eyes, one of the most compelling alternatives can be found in jump-hour watches. These forgo the traditional hands and instead feature a series of discs in different configurations which jump at certain transitions, hence their name. Despite having first appeared in the 19th century, this innovative way of displaying the time has seen mixed success over time.
It rose in popularity in the early 20th century, when the likes of Cartier, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet embraced the contrarian approach embodied by jump-hour watches, going hand in hand with the spirit of the time. Forward thinkers such as Gary Cooper or Duke Ellington embraced the concept wholeheartedly. Then they all but disappeared before resurfacing decades later, as brands and independent watchmakers yet again took a more contrarian approach. The likes of Daniel Roth, Vianney Halter, MB&F, De Bethune, and François-Paul Journe all rediscovered the jump hour.