I got this Vacheron on EBay. Is it real?

You spent over $16k and don't know?
08/07/2014 - 06:30

 surprise  Besides outright fakes, the frankens (made from non-matching parts) can look right and be very wrong!  Your single picture isn't enough for a definitive opinion but from the listing photos it looks legit.  You will need to submit both case (288649) and movement (446203) serial numbers to VC, through our dear moderator Alex right here, to confirm.  Known by V&C collectors as a Ref. 4178 with cal. 434 movement.  Do you know if its working properly?  I'd recommend that any restoration should be handled by VC in Geneva.

You're right of course
08/07/2014 - 12:51

But how often have we seen thread titles like that followed by something unfortunate. Thought I'd do one with something nice. 

Numbers are already sent. Timekeeping appears quite good, although I haven't had it on the timing machine yet. The chronograph second hand consistently stops at 39 second on the first revolution only, remedied by stop and restart, so that will have to be looked at. Does VC automatically polish the cases when vintage pieces are sent in, or do they communicate with the client regarding issues like that? What is their policy regarding cosmetic work - can one ask that they limit their attentions to the mechanical portion?

Here are a few additional pics for your interest, taken after some attention with a soft cloth androuge.






VC Quotations
08/07/2014 - 14:10

I sent my 4178 to VC last June (2013) and subsequently received a very detailed quotation.  The quotation is always divided into two parts:

Necessary interventions: work that VC deems essential.  You can either accept or reject all of these items but you cannot pick and choose. The restoration of the movement will always feature in this category.

Optional interventions: work that is offered/recommended by VC but not deemed essential. Each individual item will have a Yes/No box beside it and you can pick and choose which work to proceed with and which to decline.  One of these optional interventions will be the offer of a free polish but you have the right to accept or decline this.

There will be a cost beside each item and VC will not proceed until it receives a signed form from you specifying the work (via ticks in boxes) to be undertaken.

It will normally take 46 weeks from VC receiving your signed form to completion of the work .You are probably looking at a cost of $6K to $8K to get your 4178 up to an excellent standard although this obviously depends on the current state of the watch and the standard of watch that you want to have at the end of the process!

I hope that this helps.


Re: VC Quotations
08/07/2014 - 18:49

Immensely helpful, thank you, esp. as you can report on the experience with the same reference. My nightmare scenario is losing all those beautiful case lines to unwanted casework, opening the box upon its return and finding something polished into a golden jellybean. 

The other pleasant surprise if the 4-6 weeks (I assume the "46" is a typo). I expected it to take a good bit longer. The price is not so pleasant, but so be it. 

Any other tips reagrding the service, based on your experience?

VC Quotations
08/07/2014 - 21:12

Sorry, it was not a typo, 46 weeks is the current completion time for servicing/repairing any vintage VC watch in Geneva.  Not too many watchmakers have the knowledge and experience to work with these old movements etc. so there is a fairly long queue!  I haven't seen my watch since July 2013 but, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Which watch have sent for restauratiion?
08/08/2014 - 01:03
Re: VC Quotations
08/08/2014 - 03:31

I should have known 4-6 weeks was too good to be true. I don't know that I can be parted from this watch for so long just yet.....

ah so was tongue in cheek :-) we get so many of these "is my watch
08/07/2014 - 15:01

real" that I always open the threads expecting my eyes to bleed from the hoorors posted!!

Congrats on your 4178, its a lovely watch and a true VC icon!


Welcome to the Lounge yes



Re: ah so was tongue in cheek :-) we get so many of these "is my watch
08/07/2014 - 18:55

Thank you, pleased and maybe a little surprised to be here. I never expected to have a crack at a nice example of this reference. In opportunities like this, Ebay redeems itself from all the shoddy photography, poor & misleading descriptions, shifty sellers, shill bidding, etc.


Re: You spent over $16k and don't know?
08/11/2014 - 00:45

You spent over $16k and don't know?

one ex-business partner of our team, told me a few years ago "If I earn 6 millions dollars per year - this is a very poor year" (top manager of one company), so usd 16K is not a large amount of cash. when he is in a good mood and he wants to "thank" his workers, he rents a city part in a capital of country, for his 3k workers. (all other people are prohibited to visit it at that day), makes rock stars concert, makes all restaurants there to work for free for his workers, and in a country where drinking outdoors is strictly prohibited (Belarus, called the very police dictator state) - the police is happy to ignore that fact that 3k of his workers are drinking everywhere in a city park :-). it's just a free gift to his people -) when a man is in a good mood, I think this all cost not less than a million.

So, I think 16K for some people is not even a noticeable amount :)respect to all businessmen who reached such level of success =))) you are examples for others.