First Vacheron- Calatrava 1940's (Also my first post)

First post to the forum.

Just got my first nice watch.  Only recently have I been able to justify/afford the expense.

It is a Vacheron Constantin "Calatrava" from the 1940s.  34MM manual winding with original dial.  Caseback # 290154, movement #453752.

Figured I'd share.  Happy with purchase and looks great on wrist!  Upgrading the band in the next few days.

First Vacheron- Calatrava 1940's (Also my first post)First Vacheron- Calatrava 1940's (Also my first post)
Wonderful watch with an identity crisis
02/28/2013 - 04:32
The term "Calatrava" really only applies to Patek Philippe, in reference to their Calatrava Cross emblem.  The V&C equivalent is the Maltese Cross which has been a design theme on many Vacheron Constantin watches.  Your watch is early 1940s judging by the case number, and contains the evergreen 12 1/2-ligne calibre 453 movement, based on a JLC ebauche.  Do you have plans to restore?
Re: Wonderful watch with an identity crisis
02/28/2013 - 05:03
TT, Thanks for the response. I'm a total newbie when it comes to watches. What do you mean by restore? The watch is in great working condition and has recently been serviced. I prefer the minor patina speckles on the face. Anything in particular I'm missing or too inexperienced to see/understand what needs restoring ? Appreciate the additional background on the identity / name. Eric
Routine service
02/28/2013 - 05:33
If you plan to wear the piece, and assuming you don't know it's service history, I'd strongly recommend a full service by a competent watchsmith to avoid damaging the works and creating more expensive repairs in the future.   Cosmetically your case looks wonderful from the back photo with nice texture and sharp edges, and the movement looks great too.  That "patina" on the dial is hard to judge from those smaller pics but it may be a sign of a redial.  Dials usually age in a more uniform fashion unless subject to unnatural conditions or poor restoration.  It may also have been stored in very humid conditions but your movement is so clean that I'm a bit unsure which way to call it.   I can tell you with more certainty that the subseconds hand has been replaced (it's too long) and possibly the main hands.  Please post larger pictures of the dial, plus the case back outside and inside for more comment. Alex should be able to obtain the model reference from your serial numbers when he's back in town next week.  This piece below was listed on Antiquorum as circa 1945 with case 295874, but unfortunately they didn't provide a Reference...
Re: Routine service
02/28/2013 - 06:10
Yes, one of the hands was recently replaced.  This was disclosed to me.  Not sure about which one or whether another hand had been replaced prior to the most recent replacement. What did the watch sell for that you just posted?  I am assuming this is the same exact make and model of mine?  Sorry if that's an unresonable assumption--again my knowledge on watches is limited. Thanks for all the feedback!
You'll have to do you own
02/28/2013 - 16:34
research on valuations enlightened but I would also assume the auction piece was the same model as yours.  It would be worth an expert's opinion to see if the dial can be cleaned and proper subsecs hand installed.  Tim (maberlin) had great success cleaning the dial of his beautiful Cioccolatone and perhaps he may be convinced to share details...
I'm sorry, Mike not Tim :-0 nt
02/28/2013 - 16:38
Welcome to the Lounge and congratultions on that gorgeous watch. As
02/28/2013 - 19:16
Dean pointed out Calatrava ony designates round Patek Philippe watches The movement is in pristine condition. Would love to hear how and why you decided for this piece
Re: Welcome to the Lounge and congratultions on that gorgeous watch. As
02/28/2013 - 23:40
@alex.  Thanks for the insight.  I'll get the full story for the dealer as why he called this a Calatrava.  He did caveat it with the fact that Calatrava is for Pateks. How and Why?  A while back I decided that I wanted a high quality antique watch.  I found one that caught my eye on Ebay and it turns out the dealer was local to NYC which is where I live. We decided to meet in person and met a few times thereafter.  I didn't end up purchasing the ebay watch, but after showing me a bunch of pieces, he understood my price range, style and look I wanted to achieve--patina and antique looking.  Throughout the process it became more apparent that I was more keen on the old fashioned look, rather than movement or other aspects that make watch junkies tick.  He was very honest and said given my affinity toward the look over mechanics, I could probably get something for less than my original budget. After a few meetings, he reached out to me saying he found one with my name on it.  He was correct. Seems like I ended up with the best of both worlds: the look and style of the watch in addition to quality movement per the comments above. eric
Beautiful, have a similar one in steel, and it is a real pleasure !
02/28/2013 - 20:32
Can we see a picture, Francois?
02/28/2013 - 21:06
Please. smiley Robert
An old photo with a nice coat behind
03/05/2013 - 10:48