Saudi Dial 46004 Vacheron Constantin Square 222
The square 222 is that genre of watch which will make zero sense to anyone outside the depths of the horological rabbit hole: unconventional, obscure, shrouded in mystery, and still something of a footnote today. It is rare to come across an original shape 222 in steel, midsized or jumbo. But this unassuming square reference 46004 is an even less common sight. Most give it a pass for its mildly undersized proportions at 31x38mm, however square watches wear a few mil larger than round counterparts as rule. If it fits your wrist or style, I urge consideration. The square Royal Oak is one (quartz) thing, but this (automatic) is something else entirely. The square 222 is not just a footnote to the most overlooked member of the original holy trinity, it’s an eccentric design with true history that is almost completely overlooked by the modern market, even in this recent surge.
Genta may have invented the genre, but Jorg Hysek created my personal pinnacle in integrated sports steel: the original 222 Jumbo in steel. However, to the best of my knowledge (and general collector consensus), Mr. Hysek had nothing to do with this alternative sibling. The square 222 was entirely imagined by VC upper management. How this watch came to be, precisely, remains something of a mystery. A story for someone with more time and curiosity than I to dig out. The thin angular case remains a hallmark, as does that maltese VC case stamp. However, the famed hexagonal bracelet is now contrasted by a case that only just manages to hexagonalize the top and bottom of its largely square face. It has been said that this square variant was made in fewer than 300 examples. From the relatively low volume that surface, this seems accurate to me; the sort of watch that normally finds home at a big-three auction house.
However rare it may be, there will be far fewer with this dial. The crest at 6 is that of the Saudi Royal Family, a signature which has been observed in only a handful of square 222s, all in bi-metal cases. All these Saudi dials also include sigma signatures, meaning that the indices and likely handset are made from solid 18k gold as well. If the 222 is an austere sports steel tour de force, this is a more flamboyant and obscure coup de maitre.
Otherwise, condition is outstanding to match. The two-tone case shows only light surface wear. The dial is clear of any damage, all tritium an even gold tone. The Saudi signature is still very much clear. It comes as a naked watch from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Saudi Square 222 here from Bulang & Sons for 22300 EUR.