Can you help me identify this watch please.

Hi all.

I have just receive this watch from a friend.

We know nothing about it.

Can you identify it  ... Date it, Model ref, Calibre ref and so on please.

Any other information would also be great.

An approximate value would be nice also if possible.

Thanks in advance.

Can you help me identify this watch please.

Can you help me identify this watch please.

Can you help me identify this watch please.
Welcome to the Lounge Charles!
09/15/2008 - 20:13

As I told you before, hopefully there will be a few of the Loungers here who'll be able to be of more assistance than me... Whatever VC model it is, the watch sure looks very nice, the lugs are fantastic! Cheers, Francois

Re: Can you help me identify this watch please.
09/16/2008 - 01:47
Hi Charles and Welcome! Here's the info on your watch: First, everything about it is authentic Vacheron. Secondly, Its  probably a Reference 4523 (or close to it). Yours was made probably between 1946-48 judging by the case and movement numbers. VC did not use calibre numbers in those days but the movement is a fairly commonly used one in the 1940's. Here's a description of it: 12 1/2 lines - 453 rhodium "fausse cotes" decoration, 17 jewels lever escapement, antishock system, self-compensating  Breguet balance spring, micrometer regulator. The case and beautiful overhanging fluted lugs of this watch belong to several references including the 4523 and 4526. The markers on the dial do as well. Later watches (1949-1950) had a guilloched dials I would infer that yours is probably a reference 4520. Alex has access to the VC archives and can probably be more specific. Congratulations on a wonderful heirloom. However, it looks like it has seen better days and could use a little restoration. Best Wishes, Joseph
intriguing. the watch dates from the 40s but at the time VC
09/16/2008 - 03:12
did not systemqticlly have ref numbers for its watches, however what is surprising is the lack of cal ref on this watch, I need to check the archives and get back to you. Welcome to the Lounge, good to see someone who asks a question about an inherited VC or one as a gift wwhich isn't a fake!
09/16/2008 - 03:36
Sorry, I had meant to include a photo of the 4523. Here it is: The one in the centre. The case is the same, I believe. The markers are also similar but the dial is different.
VXN movement
09/16/2008 - 05:14
I can't exactly remember what this indicates, but I think it means the movement was sold seperatly and then the rest of the watch was assembled in another country. KCC
Re: VXN movement
09/16/2008 - 06:10
According to Alex's comments on an earlier thread VXN stamped watches were destined for the US marked. The movements were preassembled but put into the cases in the US. (To save on import duties apparently) The use of VXN was phased out in the late 50's or early 60's. JB
Re: Re: VXN movement
09/16/2008 - 19:45
I'd bet real money that VXN means nothing at all. For watches that were assembled in the US, they were clearly marked in the back of the case and were 14 kt, as opposed to the Swiss cases which were 18kt. I can count on one hand the number of 14 kt Vacherons that I've seen, some had VXN markings, some did not. This watch is a good example. The case is not a US case. Sorry, but we yanks just can't do cases that well. The US cases all nearly all rectangular, and have a large maltese cross in the back. I've tried to find any kind of pattern in the useage and it is just not there. I have a watch with a case like that but it has cal. 458 rather than the 453. What size is this case?
Re: Re: Re: VXN movement
09/16/2008 - 21:06
I didn't say the cases were made in the US although I suppose that's posible since pocket watch cases made for specific retailers around the turn of the century were made in the recepient country (ie USA, Argentina etc.). The VXN stamp is simply an export mark. I believe the cases like this one were manufactured in Switzerland and shipped separately with the final assembly taking place in the US. If the case had been made in the US the markings would have been quite different! JB
I just want to say that
09/16/2008 - 21:42
I'm always amazed how much you guys know about the vintage VCs... Hopefully one day I'll get there! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge...
Re: Re: Re: Re: VXN movement
09/16/2008 - 22:04
You may be correct, but I don't believe that just shipping the case and movement separately would have avoided the tariffs. I believe that it was required that the case be made here if the movement was not. Longines/Wittnauer had to make cases here, as did JLC. You know what? I'm going to ask the Heritage Dept.
this is what VC had replied when I asked them the question re VXN
09/16/2008 - 23:06
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VXN movement
09/16/2008 - 23:35
As a general rule, you are probably correct, but some tax laws are enforced more stringently than others and people have been known to look the other way; something that may have perhaps been a bit more common after the war. The case in the picture was clearly made in Switzerland and likely in the canton of Geneva given the markings. The numbers on the movement and case match fairly well but there is always a possibility that the 2 didn't originally belong to each other. One would have to consult VC's records on the watch. Regards, JB
Helpful Info from NAWCC Forum
09/17/2008 - 02:47
Here are a few images borrowed from the National Association of Watch and Clock Collector's forum that explain the ebauche importer's codes much better than I can.  VXN, found on both Vacheron on LeCoultre movements, refers to the Vacheron & Constantin - LeCoultre Division of Longines-Wittnauer Co. Inc., which was the USA importer for both.  The Cooksey Sugart books have a complete listing of codes towards the back. I recall from discussions on different forums that the importer codes were a tactic sponsored by American watch manufacturers to tax imported watches at a higher rate.  The Swiss solution was to import the pieces at tax rates and assemble in the USA, just like auto manufacturers.  Here is an earlier HL discussion :VXN Dates