A very rare, extremely attractive, and staff-only rose gold limited-edition wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Vacheron Constantin, founded in 1755. Limited edition launch: 2005. Case made of 18k rose gold, diameter 40mm, matte black dial, solid gold caseback with engraved brand logo and inscriptions “17 Septembre 2005”, “250 Ans”, “Swiss Made”, reference, case and limited-edition numbers. Slim hand-wound caliber 1017, power reserve up to 43 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. Brown leather strap, Vacheron Constantin half Maltese cross-shaped 18k rose gold pin buckle. Staff-only limited edition of 250 pieces. 

Lot essay 

In celebration of their 250th Anniversary in 2005, Vacheron Constantin created this special reference that was not intended to be sold on the market, being reserved for its employees only. It was gifted to 250 of its male employees, while female employees received a timepiece of another collection. Produced under reference 91180, which never appeared in official catalogues, it was created in 18k rose gold only and with a matte black dial. The dial features a subtle “1755–2005” inscription in the minute track between the 11 and 1 o’clock markers, while the caseback is engraved with commemorative inscriptions. The inscription “17 Septembre 2005” depicted on the back cover of the watch refers to the date of the anniversary of the foundation of the company: September 17, 1755 marks the earliest preserved document giving reference to activities of the company, namely a contract for the employment of an apprentice, signed by the founder of the company, the watchmaker Jean-Marc Vacheron. 

Vacheron Constantin created this special reference that was not intended to be sold on the market, being reserved for its employees only.

This extremely special and refined watch is equipped with the hand-wound caliber 1017, which is based on the movement-blank 822 from Jaeger-LeCoultre, a long-term partner and supplier of Vacheron Constantin. Production of the movement started in 1991 and it is remarkably thin, its thickness of just 2.94mm allowing for the production of very elegant, so-called dress watches. The present lot definitely plays in this league. 

Reasons to bid 

The Patrimony 250th Anniversary ‘Staff-only’ Ref. 91180/000R very rarely appears at auctions and on the pre-owned watch market, so the present lot is of considerable interest to the collector and to any Vacheronista, a connoisseur of the watchmaking artistry of Vacheron Constantin. This watch is a rare, cleverly conceived and exquisite collectible – a monument to a very important milestone in the history of watchmaking, a quarter-millennium anniversary of the brand, one of the oldest watch brands in the world, which undoubtedly holds the title of the oldest continuously operating watch company. The elegant slim 40mm rose gold case with neat black dial and white golden markings is one of the classic designs that Vacheron Constantin is known for. Naturally, the present watch would appear to also be a notable daily wearer.