A very rare and fine double-complication perpetual calendar and chronograph rose gold wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Vacheron Constantin, founded in 1755. Estimated production period: 1995–2000. Case made of 18k rose gold, diameter 38mm, 12mm thick, signed crown and rectangular chronograph pushpieces, solid rose gold caseback with brand logo and case number engraved, perpetual calendar correctors at 1, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock. Matt silvered ‘sigma’ dial, “Swiss” marking, recessed counters, minute/seconds markers around elevated outer rim, solid gold hands and applied indexes. Caliber 1136QP, self-winding with 18k gold rotor, power reserve up to 40 hours, entirely protected by soft-iron antimagnetic screen. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock, chronograph with central seconds hand, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, perpetual calendar with indicators for date at 3 o’clock, day of week at 9 o’clock, 48-month indication with leap years at 12 o’clock, and moonphase display at 6 o’clock. Vacheron Constantin brown leather strap, Vacheron Constantin half-Maltese-cross-shaped 18k rose gold triple folding clasp.
Reference 49005 is undoubtedly a significant achievement of Vacheron Constantin’s watchmaking artistry. First launched in 1992, this highly complicated reference combined a perpetual calendar – displaying the date, day of the week, month, and leap year cycle continuously, accounting for leap years – with a moonphase display and chronograph function. The self-winding caliber 1136QP was housed in a fine and elegant 38mm platinum or rose gold case. The reference was discontinued circa 2000 with the launch of the subsequent chronograph perpetual calendar hand-wound reference 47112 of the Malte collection. According to The Hour Lounge, in total for the production period approximately 500 pieces in rose gold and fewer than 300 pieces in platinum were released.
The present example reveals combination of rose gold case, clasp and appliques of the dial and matt silvered dial, the classical option for Ref. 49005 perpetual calendar chronographs. Highly contrasting pad-printed markers in black are complemented by the crisp finish of all dial parts, including a flawless execution of the recessed sub-dials. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best dials that can be found in a double-complication wristwatch of this type. In chronograph perpetual calendar watches, there is always a significant problem of organising the space on the dial in order to place all the numerous indicators as conveniently as possible without any loss of information – in Ref. 49005, there are a total of ten indicators, if we include the three central hands. The dial of Ref. 49005 is organised very much like that of a complex traditional pocket watch with the same functions, giving this undeniably contemporary watch the allure of the spirit of centuries-old traditional watchmaking.
Its caliber 1136QP is one of the best self-winding chronograph and perpetual calendar movements of the era. With a 38mm diameter case, the watch has a neat, classical design, one which is particular to Vacheron Constantin’s watches, emanating the appeal of centuries-old watchmaking traditions.
We would also like to point out the high attention to detail. Especially notable are the classic round case with a rounded double-stepped (‘double pomme’) bezel, neat straight lugs and a dial that in itself is a masterpiece of watchmaking art. Unfortunately, we must also note the over polished caseback.
The vast majority of 49005 models with a platinum or rose gold case were offered with a smooth matte silver-plated white dial, with a small number featuring an orange-pink (‘salmon’) guilloché dial and some rose gold examples featuring a black guilloché dial. The dial of the present watch is set with polished hour and minute hands, baton and semisphere appliques (a ‘sticks and pearls’ dial), and blackened counter hands. The finishing of these elements is excellent, all made of solid rose gold, which is confirmed by the presence of sigma markings – the corresponding inscription “σ Swiss σ” is located at the bottom of the dial.
The self-winding caliber 1136QP of the present reference was developed on the basis of a modified Frédéric Piguet 1185 column-wheel movement-blank, with an additional perpetual calendar complication module based on a kit from the Dubois Dépraz factory, a long-term partner and supplier of Vacheron Constantin. Currently, self-winding watches with a chronograph and perpetual calendar complications have been discontinued by the brand, which undoubtedly adds to the attractiveness of the present lot.
Reasons to bid
The Vacheron Constantin Les Complications Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Ref. 49005/000R-7591 is very rare, fine and highly complicated perpetual calendar and chronograph rose gold watch from a world-famous watch brand, one of the market leaders in haute horlogerie and complicated timepieces. Its caliber 1136QP is one of the best self-winding chronograph and perpetual calendar movements of the era. With a 38mm diameter case, the watch has a neat, classical design, one which is particular to Vacheron Constantin’s watches, emanating the appeal of centuries-old watchmaking traditions.