Well, it's been two and change weeks since the Geneva auctions, and I finally was able to get ahold of - and just picked up yesterday – my first VC – a 4178!
I set out Monday morning flying from London, arriving relatively early in Geneva (I had prepared for delays, but thankfully there was none). I arrived at the auction house after a short taxi ride and the staff we polite and attentive, and within 15 minutes, I was out the door with my VC! (I fully intended to document this entire process via photos, but to be honest, I was just too excited to get the watch in my hands and failed miserably to get any pictures).
After sitting on a park bench by Lake Geneva with my newest acquisition for a couple of minutes (luckily there were no strange stares from passerbys – I think!), I walked over to the VC boutique at Place de Longemalle to have the watch checked out by the technicians there and also to see what other watches I could drool over. I must say, the staff there were exemplary – very courteous, knowledgeable and very willing to help. The watch technican opened the case back, showed me the movement and the staff went over what they recommended needed to get done to the watch. I knew going into the purchase, the watch would need a service of the movement, but they also explained what could be possible with a fully restoration by the heritage department (and the length of time – nearly 10 months!)
While I was there, I also got a new strap (naturally) for the 4178 and checked out the 4072 they had, along with a triple date from the 40s. One little nugget they did tell me was they were in the process of opening a VC boutique in London very soon – so for all you Londoners, we'll be getting one- finally! They did say the 4178 movement needed servicing (I could see there was some oxidization of the movement, but still looked good), and that if I wanted, it might be better to drop the watch off at the London boutique when opened, as if I left the watch there, I'd have to go back to Geneva to pick it up – they wouldn't be able to ship the watch due to customs issues. Good to hear honest advice from them.
Anyway, after spending nearly an hour there, I proceeded to walk over to the Quai de L'ile boutique! Haha.. I know – getting my fill of Vacheron Constantin! Again, the sales staff there were excellent, and they allowed me to indulge in trying on a variety of watches, but my favourite was the 43150 excellence platine (it was reserved - thank god) – the platinum dial was just absolutely stunning, but compared to the 4178, a massive watch.
So what are my impressions of the 4178? Well, I must say I'm impressed with the watch. First, I've never had a gold watch before, so this has been a big shift in my collection. Also the pink gold of the dial is a deeper shade than the pink gold of the case (The staff at the VC boutique said the case was likely 3N or 4N, while the dial a shade darker). The tones of the dial and case in various lighting is quite cool. The size of the watch is going to take some getting use to, as the majority of my watches are 39mm+, the smaller size is definitely understated, but wears well. I will get the watch serviced soon, but not before I have some time to enjoy it first.
Thanks for reading! Here are some quick iphone pics – The pics don't do the watch justice, as they don't capture the nuances of the dial and case. I'll try and post some better pics in the near future when I have some time. Enjoy.