The 222 is not VC’s only underappreciated reference. The phrase ‘post-quartz perpetual’ brings to mind almost exclusively AP’s 5548, debuted in 1978. However, just a hair behind (in terms of the investment of time it takes to develop a perpetual calendar), were VC with this in 1983. Patek only introduced their 3940 offering in 1985. This model was crucial in helping VC rebound and re-establish their prowess in the wake of the quartz crisis. It is a celebration of classical mechanic watchmaking and a testament to its permanence in Switzerland.
Unlike AP where the QP Royal Oak has become their quintessential perpetual offering, Vacheron don’t really have an equivalent in the overseas. There have been a handful of very limited perpetual Overseas releases, but none have really stuck in the zeitgeist to the same extent as this original classic. A wide variety of dial and case configurations were offered over this reference’s two decade run—my pick of which would be the very rare skeletonized 43032. Any of them are lovely, one really can’t go too far wrong here. The 36mm case is executed here in YG. All featured a stepped bezel and straight lugs, lending a bit of a neo-vintage aesthetic to an otherwise very modern calibre. Like modern QPs, the base calibre here is JLC 920, modified extensively and finished by hand at VC well enough to earn a Geneva Seal.
This example is in spectacular condition. The case sports light surface wear but nothing else. Its back is completely clear and it is said to be operating well. It comes with its original strap and buckle but without box/papers.
Find this 43031 Perpetual Calendar here from S. Song for 28000 USD.