Is it a genuine 1860s Vacheron & Constantin?

Hello Everyone,


I'm new to this forum, I hope that anyone who's an expert or a keen collector can help me here...

I just bought this 18K small pocket watch (31mm diameter of the case), with a cylinder movement signed Vachero & Constantin on movement and case.
The case is a thick gauge 18K solid gold sponsor-marked PF and with another mark above.
The dust cover looks also made of the same grade gold however it is not marked for gold anywhere but it's inscribed Vachero & Constantin and with the description of the movement.

It looks all genuine but would appreciate any opinion from collectors on this site, as I could still return the watch if advised on it not being genuine. 

Thanks
Alless

It looks genuine to me
02/16/2017 - 00:57

I am not very knowledgeable about watches made in the 19th century, but it looks genuine to me.  Do you plan on finding the proper minute hand and restoring the watch?

Welcome to THL!

Re: It looks genuine to me
02/16/2017 - 16:36

Thanks for your comments.

I would actually like to find a matching hand and a replacement dial. Do you have an idea if and where would be possible to find the right part?

The rest of the watch is sound and would just need an overhaul..

Regards

Alless

 

one comment
02/16/2017 - 16:14

Just a small niggle about the "Echappement a Cylindre" on the cuvette as V&C almost always referred to their cylinder escapement as an Echappement Horizontal, even in the period of Abm. Vacheron before.  But otherwise the style of fonts and movement are typical.  These old lepine movements were essentially generic and easily obtained so, with an unmarked dial as well, the only way to be sure would be to check the serial number with VC and locate V&C maker's marks under the mainplate.  In that condition, one has to be aware of costs in deciding how to proceed as you could easily exceed the watch's value with restoration.

FYI this isn't actually a pocket watch.  These small ladies timepieces were called fob or pendant watches and were worn either on a pendant, neckchain, or chatelaine at the waist.  Mrs. TT enjoys wearing hers to special events.  The cuvette or inner cover wasn't intended to prevent dust from entering (the hole defeats that purpose) but rather to prevent damage to the movement when winding.

Tick Talk 2017Agree Dan

Re: one comment
02/16/2017 - 16:33

Thanks for the comments and explanations.

I actually removed the dial and took a picture of the underdial and it is actually marked with V&C and a SN which matches the case S/N.

It now looks more likely (to my unexpert eyes at least) that the watch is genuine.

Concerning the repair, the watch is actually mechanically working, it just needs an overhaul (which I could do myself) and possibly a matching hand and dial (the spares I have don't match the hour hand). Do you reckon it's possible to find the hand and dial somewhere?

Regards

Alless

 

 

an important photo to have included
02/16/2017 - 16:58

in your original postenlightened.  Will you replace the Geneva stopworks?  Unfortunately I do not have a source to recommend for the correct replacment dial or hands but perhaps you might try "fleabay".  At least your job is made easier not having to locate a V&C marked dial.  If you restore, please return with "after" pictures.

Re: an important photo to have included
02/16/2017 - 18:18

So all in all do you reckon it's genuine?

In another forum (at nawcc) it was quite denigrated by not being a high grade and having one of the pillars milled too much to fit in the case..

Quite annoyed actually as my questions were about it being genuine, not whether is their best work...

Anyway, concerning the stop work I think I can find some in my spares, the only things I need is the hand really (as the dial as you say it's not signed anyway so probably easier to find), I tried fleabay but no luck. Do you think it would be detrimental to the watch replacing both hands with a different style ones?

Regards

Alessio

The only institute qualified to declare
02/16/2017 - 22:06

your watch is "genuine" is the Patrimony Dept. at VC following physical examination and for a fee.  All you should expect are observations and opinions from any other source smiley.  Anyone with more comments will surely jump in but, IMO and for what its worth, it looks good.

I'm not surprised to hear of your interaction on the other forum; my friends over there are almost all watchmakers and critically dispassionate, which can be helpful but harsh.  I popped over to take a look and can see why it proceeded in that manner.

Condition aside, the date of your watch makes it interesting from an academic view.  You are off by several decades!  The watch is likely from 1819-20, early in the tenure of Monsieur Constantin.  In fact, I posted this 1819 production record a few weeks ago, with serial numbers only slightly earlier:

The only institute qualified to declare

Note the descriptions refer to "echappement a cilindre", establishing this terminology as appropriate for that period in the company's history.  Thankfully the engraver corrected Mr. Chossat's spelling.

Re: The only institute qualified to declare
02/17/2017 - 23:33

Thank you ever so much for your comments and info especially about the real age of that watch!

It makes me quite happy to know that it may be from the 1820s rather than the 60s, I think it was quite "avanguard" at that age when most of watches were verge chain driven movements...

You're probably right about the other forum, it looks like most of the comment where on the movement quality rather than about its autenticity, which was indeed my initial question. Anyway I guess they were also mislead by my estimate of the date 1860s as by then V&C was quite high end watch firm and possibly then this kind of finish of movement was quite basic for them.

Can I ask you if you don't mind repeating your comments on this on that site or at least allowingto mention your comment to the other users?

Kind regards,

Alessio

I see they already have their teeth into it
02/18/2017 - 19:12

Jon indicates your movement couldn't be earlier than 1835 as a Lepine Type IV with the characteristic center bridge.  His observation is absolutely correct!  I was suffering from dyslexia when transposing the 5-digit serial numbers from 1819 as being close in date your six digit number blush.  Mid-19th century appears to be the best estimate, but VC archives will provide certainty.  Just ask Alex or Dan here on the forum to submit your inquiry.

Considering this date, I remain curious about the rough standard of finish and use of "cylindre" on the cuvette inscription.  Please let us know what you find from official sources.

Re: I see they already have their teeth into it
02/18/2017 - 22:09

Yes, I noticed the mistake and had cross checked the S/Ns and it should be early to mid 1860s...

About the authenticity, do you know how to involve the two persons you mentioned?

Done on your behalf
02/18/2017 - 23:25

but FYI they are Dan Shao and Alex Ghotbi on the forum.

Re: Done on your behalf
02/19/2017 - 22:50

Thanks again, sorry for my ignoranceblush!

I think Dan was actually the first one to comment...positively :)

I really appreciate all the time everyone has invested in helping me identifying this watch!!!

 

VC confirms that a watch with your serial number was made in 1863 (nt)
02/21/2017 - 20:27
Wonderful, great to know
02/21/2017 - 21:23

&

Re: Re: an important photo to have included
02/17/2017 - 03:14

Greetings,

You might try Jones and Horan site. (http://jones-horan.com/)

 They auction as well as sll (an on-line store) lots of interesting things including parts. So might find something that fits.

Good luck,

JB

Re: Re: Re: an important photo to have included
02/20/2017 - 00:54

Thanks for the advise. I tried that...but no luck yet :(..

I'll look for spares on eBay and maybe replace both hands if I don't find a matching one.