Hi, I just bought a VC with a caliber 453/3B (earlier repair/cleaning date from 1949). It is a 17 jewels movement N° 483129 without the Geneva seal. I saw the same movement with N° 539567, but it is a 18 jewels with Geneva seal. Why ?. Does that's mean that there are 2 qualities ?. Does Geneva seal did not exist previously ?. Any comments will be welcome. Thanks a lot. Patrice.
Some movements had 18 in stead of 17 jewels and got a Geneva seal.
No real quality difference at all.
BUT, it was not the amount of jewels really, that was the reason,
it was how the whole finnisage of the movement was done.
Geneva waves, etc etc.
The famous Cal 1003, with Geneva seal has "only" 17 jewels, as you can see.
You see the Geneva Seal to the left.
The thinnest ever made mechanical movement,
1955 it was presented by VC,
1.64 mm !!
To be honest, most of the beautiful old Vacheron&Constantin I have,
has no Geneva Seal !
Or what do you say?
We can stand it without Geneva Seal.
BTW, now everyone is having it!
But ther is only one King,
born 1755 :-)
with the quality of finish of the movement which is however not very evident to the naked eye when I compare two vintage VC calibers one with the Geneva seal and the other without.
I don't have the exact date but the Geneva seal was created in the late 19th century and if memory serves me well the first VC wrist watch with geneva seal dates from 1909!
The Genava Seal,
was created by the Geneva Guild/Observatory 1886.
Last time it was revised was 1957.
Ther are 11 quality measures to be filled.
But the the real truth is,
that nobody outside Geneva can ever get it!
That's why a lot of other manufactures are creating their own rules,
JLC Master 1000 hours, etc etc.
But it will only be one Genva Seal :-)
To be honest, it's always nice to have it, and many times they where/are(?),
stamped in at schools for watch students, outside the manufaturer!
The Geneva Seal on vintage watches was used by VC either by request of the client or for watches destined to certain markets (ex: Japan). The Geneva Seal was therefore not used systematically and you could have the same movement with the exact same finish but one with and the other without the Geneva Seal (this was particularly true for Cal 1003)!