Opinion on Vacheron Constantin 450/28


Seeking to avoid the wrath of my sensible wife (who would rather see me head for a bar or casio than a watch boutique), I found a possible candidate advertised as a  Vacheron Constantin14K Yellow Gold Watch 450/28 for her. It's mechanical (not quartz) and 14 instead of 18 carat gold. It's about 60 years old (1950-1959 vintage), and there's no mention of what kind of glass it has. (Was sapphire glass used in the 50's?).  It's listed as a "sports" model and has an appearance that seems more formal than sports.

Does anyone know anything about the 450/28 that I should seek or avoid?


these numbers don't correspond to a ref number!
02/11/2016 - 08:53


Off to set some pictures....
02/11/2016 - 10:46

Thanks Alex....still learning. I'll get some pictures and see if the watch can be identified.

Another question: Can we edit our posts? I've made more than one mistake in the VC watch numbers (including my own), and while I am overly proud of the fact that serveral of the words I use are spelled correctly, I'd like to improve on that number.

With kindest regards,


If it is not too late...
02/11/2016 - 10:59

ask him if he can open the watch and give you photo of the inside of the case back and a photo of the movement itself - ones with enough clarity to read all the numbers.  A "reputable" watch company should be able to do that.  If they are a jewelry store that has some watches, then maybe not.  That is the best way to get some reliable information.

Here are the photos
02/11/2016 - 12:13

I've added the photos, and from the company's ad, the buckle is real VC [Pic #4], and I can take the watch to NYC to the VC center there and get a new band. I am a bit nervous getting a VC of this vintage. My VC is 2004 (I believe), and while I very much like the face of this watch (the numbers remind me of those on the VC H 1921) [Pic #1] , I'm troubled by the images in Pics #2 and #3.

I've been feeling a bit guilty and was thinking of getting my wife a new stainless steel Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso for about 2k more than the asking price of this watch. She'd probably wear the JLC more often, but other than quartz watches that VC has in my price range, there's not a whole lot; and I'm not getting quartz. Anyway, I value this group's opinion, and would like your input.


I'm not surethe case is original. Can you get me the movement number?
02/12/2016 - 10:54


Re: I'm not surethe case is original. Can you get me the movement number?
02/12/2016 - 17:22

I decided not to take a chance. Rather than try and find a ladies VC that wasn't a quartz I got a new JLC Reverso mechanical, and for that  I had to get a dealer in Switzerland. (There're too many quartz watches in the women's line for every marque! Not just VC.)

Now I can concentrate on the 1912 or 1921. I doubt that my wife is interested in more; so I can stop worrying about those blasted Quartz watches.

Thanks for your help.


Ref 458
02/12/2016 - 19:38

Cased in the USA.

Once again, thanks for contributing
02/12/2016 - 20:42

nice that you pop in on these odd cases LSmith yes.  I recall our discussion on the fake Cornes de Vache watches.  As then, may I ask your source for this reference number?  3-digits are from an earlier period in V&C history AFAIK so I'm eager to hear more.  The style of the OP's watch is similar to but not quite the Ref 4733 of the 1950s and 60s.

Once again

Antiquorum photo

Hi Dean
02/13/2016 - 03:39

The 14k case dates to the time when tariffs were high. I'm pretty sure that these were exclusive to the USA, and that should be true for all 14K cases. The maltese cross is not one that Vacheron themselves would do. There are examples if you google "vacheron scroll lugs".


The scroll lug design is one that I first saw from Patek. They look identical, but I've never seen a makers mark in these cases. The example here has full Bruget style arabics, but the semi-famous "star dial" comes in this group too.


The one that you pictured has a dial that I recognise, the case is a bit different. The bezel makes me think it may have a 454. Here is ref 4718, with cal 1002.


Hi Dean

These 14k wrist watches are a mystery for me, Linden
02/13/2016 - 05:36

14k was very popular in the American market when V&C shipped movements due to high tarriffs on finished watches.  This movement looks to have the VXN import code, indicating it was brought in as an ebauche kit.  The case also lacks the required responsibility marks to be of Swiss origin.  

The case number is out of sequence with those issued by V&C during the period, although the Maltese Cross implies it is "official".  Perhaps this was a sub-series of numbers for American-cased pieces, but who assigned them?  Longines-Wittnauer was the American agent through to 1965 and would have arranged case production.

Your mention of the Star Dial led me to this similar watch auctioned by Antiquorum, with a case number 802444 (just a few off the posted example) and movement 477152.

These 14k wrist atches are a mystery for me, Linden

Also this, case 802221 and movement 477434:

These 14k wrist atches are a mystery for me, Linden

This is an area where the Heritage Department would be very helpful.  Did Georges Ketterer inherit the records of Longines-Wittnauer, and are they available to confirm the numbers?  In short, would VC today issue a Certificate of Authenticity if presented with one of these timepieces?