Please, help with this Vacheron Constantin from the '50s

Hello to everybody here, I am a new member of this community.

I'm writing this message as I would love to receive suggestions and opinions from you about this old watch.
My father received it from his father as a gift for his university degree in 1955 or 1956. It measures 33.5mm diameter.

As far as I know, after asking in other forums and after the watch has been opened, I found that it has caliber 458/3b.

9 linee (20,6mm) diameter
3,3 mm di height
17 jewels
2,5 Hz (18000 alternanze/ora)
Breguet spiral e "pitch-fork" regulator
chronometer quality

Probably, the serial number of the movement, should suggest a serial for exactly year 1950, according to an opinion I received.

I do not know yet what reference it is. Any guess?

I sent the watch to the Maison for costs estimate for restoration, even if some suggested me to avoid Vacheron & Constantin because of the high costs compared to the value of the watch, and probably I would had better to send it to someone in Italy.

But... as I wrote in another forum, since it's of sentimental value, as strange as it may seem, I felt (for myself) like a "moral obligation" to start over again the story of this watch where it began about 60 years ago. This watch left the Factory, reached a shop in Italy (hoped that an Extract from the archives would have helped), my grandpa bought it to give it as a present to my father on the occasion of his graduation.
For me, sometimes, a good story can be worth a lot. Call me a romantic.... smiley

I am trying to post some images below...

Please, help with this Vacheron Constantin from the '50s

Please, help with this Vacheron Constantin from the '50s

Please, help with this Vacheron Constantin from the '50s

Please, help with this Vacheron Constantin from the '50s

Please, help with this Vacheron Constantin from the '50s

welcome to the Lounge, a great story and a true heirloom you have.
12/02/2015 - 14:16

I think that you did the right thing to send it to VC for restoration, sometimes better to send back to the maker to have the perfect restoratzion, and yes it may be expensive but worth it if you want to keep the watch and it will be in mint condition.

If you also give the case number we can check for date of manufacture and ref number

 

 

Re: welcome to the Lounge, a great story and a true heirloom you have.
12/02/2015 - 15:40

Thank you for your welcome and your opinion!

Here is the case number (the one that was found inside the case back): 324002

Do you think that an extract from the archive would also help to locate the shop who sold the watch?

just realised you dad also hidden the movement number. I guess you'll get all the
12/02/2015 - 16:18

info on the Certificate

Re: just realised you dad also hidden the movement number. I guess you'll get all the
12/02/2015 - 16:24

Movement number 502430.

I, not my father, darkened the numbers smiley

I'll ask for an extract from the archives once they'll send my back the cost estimate for restoration, so that I'll receive it with the watch once the work is completed. In the meanwhile is there no possibility to speculate about the reference?

I like the case lugs and love the dial!
12/02/2015 - 15:40

Welcome to THL!  It is a wonderful heirloom.

I have sent several watches back to VC for restoration and while it is relatively more expensive...it gives me peace of mind knowing that it was done properly and that I will get back a mint condition watch.

Best Regards, Dan

Great watch and a great story
12/02/2015 - 16:52

Value is something each person determines for himself.  For you, there is value in having it "done right".  I think it is wonderful that you are continuing a tradition that was started 60 years ago by your grandfather.  What an amazing connection.  By having it restored by the Maison, I think you can rest assured that in 60 more years your grandson or great-grandson (or daughter) may have this same conversation about having having a watch that his or her great-great-great grandfather gave his sone 120 years ago...  I love this story.  Thank you for following your heart (or your moral obligation) and for sharing your story here.

Re: Great watch and a great story
12/02/2015 - 21:13

Thanks to you with your kind words!

Ref 4752
12/02/2015 - 20:01

Those lugs featured in a couple of models, but the 33mm case size should point to the ref 4752.

Antiquorum photo

Re: Ref 4752
12/02/2015 - 21:12

Excellent hypothesis, thanks!

I did some other research based on this hypothesis and I found that Ref. 4752 should have cal.1001, inside.

I found these 2 links supporting this. The one referring to Antiquorum (link) and reporting in the description cal. 1001 and another link to Christie's (link) where, in the description, they mention "18 jewels". As far as I know, cal 1001 was built with 17 or 18 jewels (so my educated guess is that inside the watch auctioned by Christie's there was a cal.1001).

Cal. 458/3B (the one that is inside my watch) has 17 jewels... so... even if reference 4752 is really really similar to my watch I still have some doubts.

What do you think about this "problems" with jewels?

Re: Ref 4752
12/03/2015 - 00:59

Yes, I saw that one too in "The Art of V-C"

There's another one on the same page with similar lugs, but a black dial and a 1002 movement.

Another watch in that book from 1949 has an almost identical dial, the 453 movement but the lugs are similar though curved.

The truth will out eventually smiley

The archives confirm that it is indeed a ref 4752 from 1952
12/03/2015 - 09:16
Re: The archives confirm that it is indeed a ref 4752 from 1952
12/03/2015 - 10:24

I have no words... Thanks you very much!

And many thanks to everybody here who tried to help (and helped!) finding informations about my "old" new wristwatch! I will let you know when VC will send me the cost estimate for restoration and I will keep you updated on its way back to VC and then back to me home. smiley

Glad you have the answer
12/03/2015 - 16:07

Just a word about movements, they were updated as new calibers came into production and as long as the case style didn't change they retained the same reference number.  The date will verify which movement is appropriate.

Lovely!
12/06/2015 - 06:04

Thanks for the photos and story. Great piece of history that will look great on your wrist.