An interesting article on watch collecting in the Wall Street Journal

Last week end the Wall Street Journal featured an article called:"What's Your Time worth?" in it the author disected the watch market and its trends. Like what analysts publish for stocks the author set 3 categories of timepieces:  Buy, Hold and Sell.

In the Buy category (about 6-7 watches) the author had chosen the Vacheron Constantin Mercator. For me this is not surprising as it is probably one of the most interesting watches both technically and aesthetically to come out of Switzerland in the past 10 years!! Its complexity in terms of mechanics, the difficulty of making the dials (either in cloisonné enamel or etched with acid!) and its rarity make it a true collectors item.

What surprises me however is the author's choice for the dial: The Mercator with Chinese Zodiac signs. For me this dial is a bizarre addition as it does not really fit the concept of the Mercator which refers more to an age of distant travels and exploration which is better illustrated in the "regular" dials inspired by Gerald Mercator's maps.

The Original Mercator with enamel dial launched in 1994 (this watch was oficially limited to 50 pieces but I have heard that only 30 were made) :

An interesting article on watch collecting in the Wall Street Journal

Regular production model with dial etched in acid then filled with enamel

An interesting article on watch collecting in the Wall Street Journal

The WSJ's choice: Chinese Zodiac dial:

An interesting article on watch collecting in the Wall Street Journal

Re: An interesting article on watch collecting in the Wall Street Journal
04/11/2007 - 22:10

Hello Alex

Is the Mercator still in production and if so what is the price and is it made in various metals



Unfortunately no. It was discontinued in
04/11/2007 - 23:29


The first series were with enamel cloisonné dials representing Europe/Africa/Asia or the Americas made in 30 pieces each in yellow gold.

Then these same dials were available in regular production models with engraved dials in yellow gold and in platinum.

Special pieces were made for specific markets (ex Hong Kong, France, Portugal, Northe America etc..)  with enamel dials each in limited series either in YG, PG or platinum.

I'll try to dig up some pictures of the different models.

More Mercator models
04/12/2007 - 12:23

other than the ones in my original post here are some other variations of the lovely Mercator

Regular production Mercator in platinum with Africa/Europe/Asia dial

The "original" enamel dial model (limited to 30 pieces) with Africa/Europ/Asia dial (YG)

Special edition models made for a specific market

Americas in platinum

Lower China in PG

France in platinum

Portugal in PG

Hong Kong in YG

Thailand in platinum

This model is extremely rare since to the best of my knowledge it is the only model made for a specific market with an engraved dial and not an enamel one.

How about a reference section?
04/12/2007 - 14:50

It would be great to have all these models on display in some reference section at this know, for the collector who wants to collect them all. :-)


We're working on it Bill and it should be up in a not too distant
04/12/2007 - 16:53


If money grew on trees I would have bought every single Mercator produced!!

Oh, Alex, please!
04/13/2007 - 08:12

"... bought every single Mercator produced ..."???

Would you please leave a couple of them for me, please?

Personally I find The Americas and Pacific Rim specially desirable, and, of course the Chinese Zodiac Symbols: it may no be  a typical Mercator, but there is nothing I could do with the fact that I'm a Chinese! :-)

Best regards,


LOL maybe we could buy
04/13/2007 - 12:31

half of them each and then share them :-)

There's also a version...
04/12/2007 - 23:05

with the map of Germany, i saw it once in Stuttgart.