Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Along with the autumn sales the Geneva auctions held in spring are the ones with often the most amazing pieces going for the most jaw opening prices. The Antiquorum, Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions were no exception.

Vacheron Cosntantin timepieces were proudly represented by vintage and contemporary models. The trend of the past years is confirmed: as expected the prices of chronographs, triple dates and Cioccolatone models continue rising steadily but the prices of time only models are also going up. A new trend is can also be observed in the rising prices of modern Vacheron Constantin writwatches which in the past were not going as strong as the vintage ones. This is particulartly true for the Jubile 1755 models but wee need to keep our eyes on the other pieces as to get confirmation of the trend.

Here are some of the highlights. Please note that prices given include buyer’s premium but not VAT

ANTIQUORUM (May 12-13)

Lot 262: Ref. 4737, So-Called “Pink Cioccolatone” Vacheron & Constantin, Made in 1958. Estimated between CHF 30.000-45.000 and sold for 51,920 (approx $ 42600, euro 31500)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 265: triple date moonphase Ref. 4462, made in 1948. Doubled its low estimate (CHF 12,000-18,000) and sold for CHF 23,600 (approx $ 19500, euro 14500)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 266: a beautiful ref 4072 straight lug chronograph in pink gold from 1952 estimated between CHF 35000-45000 sold for CHF 42,480 (approx $35,000, euro 25,800)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 272: An amazing extra flat minute repeater with perpetual calendar ref 30020 dating from 2002 estimated between 140,000 CHF - 170,000 CHF and sold for CHF 233000 (approx $192,000, euro 142,000)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 422: The Jubile 1755 model in Yellow gold launched in 2005 for the brand’s 250th anniversary seems to be a very coveted colector’s piece as it sold for its list price (estimates 25,000 CHF - 30,000) of CHF 35400 (approx $29,000, euro 21,500)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin


Lot 66: A gorgeous double barrel tourbillon in platinum with power reserve ref 30050 from 1993 (estimate CHF 60,000-80,000) sold for CHF 102,000 (approx $84,000, €62,000)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 187: A rare steel chronograph ref 4178 from 1947 with pulsation, asthometer and tachymeter scales (estimate 50,000-70,000) sold for CHF 72,000 ( approx $59,300, €43,700)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 393: Chronograph Historique in platinum ref 47101 from 1995 more than tripled its low estimate (CHF 10,000-15,000) selling for CHF 36,000 (approx $29,650, €21,850)!

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Sotheby’s (May 15)

Lot 33: a straight lug chronograph ref 4072 in yellow gold from 1945 (estimate CHF 22,000-28,000) sold for CHF 31,200 (approx $25,700 €19,000)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 34: a straight lug chronograph ref 4072 in pink gold with a beautiful two tone dial (estimate 20,000-30,000) sold for CHF40,800 (approx $33,700, €24,800)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Lot 57: A limited edition jump hour in white gold called the Saltarello (estimate 8,000-12,000) sold above high estimate for CHF18,000 (approx $14,900, €11,000)

Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin

Thanks for the auction report very interesting watches...
05/16/2007 - 18:11

I love that Pink Cioccolatone!  I think that might be my favorite of the bunch, but the rose gold chronograph with 2 tone dial was a close runner up!  Also nice to see the Jubile holding up well at the auctions...thats a very handsome modern piece.

Best regards,


yep, good and bad news
05/16/2007 - 18:44

good news for VC and people who already have a lot of VCs, bad news for me :(

Not that I can afford these kind of high end models you've shown.

But you're right, the trend is also confirmed in time-only watches, especialy the ones with strange lugs. Those seem to get crazy prices too.

1-2 years ago, a simple vintage time only was always $1500-$2000 maximum. Now they seem to be in the $2000-$3000 minimum range.

One thing I don't always get, is that for "recent" models still in production, sometimes people pay almost more than what the watch could cost with a good discount. Eg: the antiquorum white gold DTR (ref 42005), sold for ~$15000 (inc buyer premium). You can get the new watch for $16300 online, or around $19000 with a 20% discount from a shop. I am sure that in less taxed areas (Cayman Islands, middle east, ...) it can be even a bit cheaper.

Anyway, my only hope is that the prices do not get to become Patek-esque...

Jump hour
05/16/2007 - 18:52

I liked the Saltarello Jump Hour. Very clean look. I would like to have that so the I can jump over the last hour of work . That edition is not that old right?

Rather fair price of CHF18000? (get one of those for CHF 8-10000 then you would be extremly lucky).



LOL good one :-) The Saltarello was introduced in 1999 or 2000 in a
05/16/2007 - 19:15

mimited series of 500: 200 in WG, 200 in RG and 100 in YG

one of my dream watchs!
05/17/2007 - 00:10

not so long ago I had the ocasion to jump over one in YG (the rarest serie), and I still think about how stupid I was...

Nice chronographs,
05/16/2007 - 21:39

but some must be refinished or redialed,

too perfect.

Anyway it don't disturbes if it's professional done!

Favourite Lot 34 perhaps :-)


Re: Nice chronographs,
05/16/2007 - 22:15

Lot 34 from the Sotheby's sale was clearly my favorite.  I considered placing a commission bid for this lot, but time got away from me.  No regets, though.  The hammer price was just over the bid I was prepared to make.

I did pick up a nice three hand time only from the early 40s (January 1945 engraving on the case back) from Christies last month.  Got it yesterday.

The vintage time only models are pure classics. How about a scan of
05/16/2007 - 23:13

the one you got?

Agree with you and Doc lot 34 at Christies is gorgeous!

Re: The vintage time only models are pure classics. How about a scan of
05/17/2007 - 15:25

When I next find my camera, I will take a picture.

In the meantime,



tear drop lugs

2 tone dial ("refreshed"); applied gold romans at 12, 3, 6, and 9; applied batons elsewhere; minute and half-minute indicies inside the batons

center seconds, blued steel second hand

I think the crown is a non-VC replacement.  The buckle is not VC.  I will have both of those fixed at the first service.

ah the beautiful tear drop lugs! Congrats (nt)
05/17/2007 - 16:02


Thanks for the report. VC has been been going very strong.
05/17/2007 - 11:02

My personal preference, the vintage pieces of VC are much more appealing to me when compared to other top brands.  Alex, how many pieces have you successfully bid?  I love the chronos at Lot 266, 33 and 34.  Simply gorgeous.  Anytime, I am willing to pay more than what I would pay for PP5070.



agree 100% on the appeal of vintage VC over other brands. No bidding
05/17/2007 - 11:36

for me this time

Re: Geneva May Auctions Report: Vacheron Constantin
05/17/2007 - 18:03

Hi Alex,

Very nice pics. I was there during the week end to check some of these watches. Unfortunately, I could not compete against some keen people (maybe more keen than me, but also with more money...), especially on chronographs. I hope to be more successful next time. Just wait...

Cheers, Anka

The prices seem to have stabilised ...
05/18/2007 - 11:55

but if you compare them to Antiquorum's VC 250th anniversary auction in 2005, then the prices are not as profound as the thematic one (2 years lapse). Perhaps the euphoria created for the thematic sale is understandable as opposed to normal auctions.

All in all, it is nice to see the consistency in the prices obtained in these auctions. Maybe it is not too late to get some really nice pieces before their prices sky rocket in the forseeable future :-)

Thanks for the summary of results from the various auction houses.


Hi dmas, I think its unfair
05/18/2007 - 22:15

to compare an "ordinary" auction,

to the Quarter of Millennium VC Auction 2005.

That time it  were 250 watches,

chosen during two years from nearly 1000 available VC's.

Every watch was followed by a special documentation,

as I persented below.

As there already has been a discussion about what "normal" cerificate costs,

you should take these two things in to the prices we paid at that auction.

Very carefully selected watches.

Special certificate for every watch.

But I assure you, it was worth it,

over 1000 people attending the auction!

And it brought in 18 million CHF.

On 250 watches :-)



There is no comparison between ..
05/19/2007 - 15:39

normal auctions and the special auction per se but the highly successful Quarter of Millenium VC 2005 auction has somehow become the benchmark reference material, just like Patek's special auctions in 1989 and 1999  ("The Art of Patek Philippe - Legendary Watches"). The point I like to make is that though the results of normal auctions are not as impressive as the special auction, the recent trend shows consistency. This does not in any way imply that auction prices of VC have declined lately, on the contrary they steadily have moved northbound. Selfishly speaking, I would have hoped that VC pieces would not have had gone up too soon so that I could afford to buy some nice pieces.

In terms of selection of watches for the VC 2005 auction I agree that Antiquorum had researched those pieces, supported by the "relatively" expensive certificates to fortify the authenticity of those pieces. I don't discount the importance of the certificates but I don't know whether we should price in the certificate cost into the final price the bidder paid for or for that matter the bidder would consciously include such cost into the price. Those certificates would lend credence to the timepieces up for auction but it may not be appropriate to price into the auctioned pieces unless bidders specifically requested for them prior to the auction or it was included as part of the conditions of sale by Antiquorum. 

You own a very nice and beautiful vintage piece indeed!

Have a nice weekend.


I was disappointed with that auction...
05/19/2007 - 16:57

well not really :-) but there were 3 watches I was hoping to see but were not featured.

1) The Packard Grand Complication with perpetual calendar, sonnerie and tourbillon (chronometer)

2) A regtrograde perpetual calendar dating from the 30s

3) Split second chronograph wrist watch (VC made 5 in the late 20s, I've heard of them but have never even seen a photo)

The certificates in my opinion add great value to the watch and are an extra incentive to bidd on a piece