A look at Vacheron Constantin's most complicated watch

King Fuad of Egypt was presented in 1928 a magnificent Vacheron Constantin gift of the Swiss community in Egypt, at the time it was one of the world's most complicated watches and the most complicated VC had ever created. However this record was not to last very long and was to be beaten by Fuad's own son, Farouk to whom he had passed his passion for watches.

During a trip to Geneva in 1937 he insisted on visiting the Vacheron Constantin manufactiry, Charles Constantin acting as his guide on the tour confessed his surprise at the breadth of the young (17 at the time) prince's knowledge  of watchmaking. "But Monsieur Constantin" he replied "I dismanteled so many watches when I was a child...unfortunately for them...!"Thank goodness that he did not dismantle the outstanding watch presented to him by the Genevan authorities during an official visit in 1934 (that makes him 14 at the time!!!!!!!!!) 

This 80mm behemoth, which took over 6 years to manufacture, featured 13 hands and the following complications: minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, perpetual calendar, moon phase, split seconds chronograph with instantatious  minute counter, alarm, power reserve indicator for going train and striking trains. The movement featured no less than 820 components.

This watch remained in King Farouk's collection until 1954 when it was sold  in the Cairo sale of the Palace Collection, it reappeared at auction in 1994 at the Antiquorum VC thematic auction (selling for an astounding CHF 1,155,000) and has ever since remained in a private collection.

A look at Vacheron Constantin's most complicated watch

A look at Vacheron Constantin's most complicated watch

Thanks Alex, I've seen pictures of this watch before...
07/07/2009 - 06:44
but some stories about the people behind the watch really adds color to it.  At 80mm the King must of had a huge pocket.  This watch is so far out of my price range, but it's great to see what VC can do when the "sky's the limit". BR, Dan
would love to see it in the flesh, its a stuning watch!!! (nt)
07/07/2009 - 17:51
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