1950's aesthetics

Hi guys, I have an early 1950's rose gold square watch which would have had I think the 458(?) movement, it shows hours, minutes, and sub-seconds and very rare tank type lugs that appear in the 1950 catalog. My dial is different than the one on the catalog as it shows roman numerals at 12, 3 and 9. The one in the catalog has arabic numerals.  The consierge at the Geneva hotel in early 1950 told my dad that Vacheron was the absolutely best watch brand, despite his mom havinghad a very early PP. So, as far as aesthetics go, I like Vacheron cases and dials more for this time period than other competitors. Their designs were so special, the pear lugs they used for some models were totally exquisite, I beleive their minute repeaters used these lugs.
The question I have regards the 453 and family of movements with 17 jewels which I believe were pretty much chronometer grade, from what I've read and were standard for entry Vacherons during the period. PP however used 18 jewels in their simple movents. Why another jewel and was it needed? I admit I know nothing of technical stuff. Thanks
01/17/2012 - 22:24
01/17/2012 - 23:08
01/17/2012 - 23:24
01/18/2012 - 01:06
Chronometer grade
01/17/2012 - 23:08
Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage V&C.  You know,  in the 1950s "chronometer grade" meant something completely different than the trademark term we have today.  To say that a movement was of chronometer standards back then meant that it had been tested in Observatory trials and given a total score IF it survived.  So don't worry about applying that label to your watch, just be satisfied that it was of the finest construction and finish possible.  Why don't you post some pictures wink. These are the technical details of the caliber 453: 12 ½” round calibre, seconds at 6 o’clock, Parechoc, Jewels: 17, Overall Height: 4.00mm, Vibrations: 18’000. Based on JLC 449 ebauche. BTW, I know some manufactures placed a great deal of weight on their jewel count...
Re: Chronometer grade
01/17/2012 - 23:24
Thanks tic-talk, this explains it, 65 jewels on the watch you posted, unbelievable! I do love the watch, had it overhauled at VC in Switzerland around 2001 and VC NewYork did a professional dial refinishing. I also added a saphire cristal. But I hear a dial refinishing is a turn off for collectors. Mine needed it.
Dial refinishing
01/18/2012 - 01:06
I know it often seems like we slag refinished dials (OK, maybe I do wink) but a well-done restoration that keeps a watch on the wrist for years to come is a good thing!  My disappointment is with the number of badly refinished dials - just browse fleabay...