Vacheron 222 Ref 46003 in YG
The 222 is the forgotten Swiss savior of the quartz crisis era. While the Royal Oak and Nautilus are celebrated to the point of being on the wrist of every soundcloud rapper, the 222 has not found fame. The final memeber of the holy trinity was fashionably late to the party, but perhaps excessively so. Today, it remains a cult classic known only by those who have studied horological history. This is a pet favorite VC reference of mine. There are so many points to charm and true innovation on offer. This one offers all that, but in a stunningly patinated 80s yellow gold.
The 222 is so named as a celebration of Vacheron Constantin’s 222nd anniversary. Get your head around that. Jorg Hysek designed a case and bracelet radically different to the other to sports references. I just love the hexagonal bracelet and its elongated center links, almost modern Lamborghini in design language (sacriledge, I know). The case also is a completely beautiful design. The bezel is in the traditional Vacheron cross. Moreover, there’s a detail here that I just adore. The blank case area under the 5 indice has been milled in the shape of a cross, a sort of subtle branding stamp not seen before or since. I know this is a marmite feature, but I’m on the love side. Very much on the love side. Please bring this back. The crown mirrors this bezel and stamp theme with a symmetric cross-shape scallop design.
This example is a rare one. The 46003 is the midsize variant, think 3800 to 4100 Nautilus size for comparison. This midsized variety is also the rarer, at an estimated production of just 250 examples across all metals. This 18K yellow gold is very rare bird. The amount of markings on the case and bracelet here is truly minimal. That is remarkable in itself when considering how soft this era of 18K was. There’s a possibility that this was an early safe queen. The dial is a champagne sigma and entirely correct. The aged lume is matched to its handset. It comes with box and papers from a reputable retailer. I’m seriously envious of anyone in the position and knowledge to pick this find up. Wear it well and wear it gently, you won’t find another.
Find this 222 here from Watch Brothers London for 27850 GBP