A query

I recently inherited what appears to be a very old Vacheron Constantin. It's a large mens gold watch with twelve numbers and a rather large winding stem. there's a small second hand dial at six o'clock.  It's also unusual in that there's no "Geneve" under the Vacheron Constantin logo that appears in the upper quadrant.  I did a fair amount of searching onlline, which amounted to viewing as many images of older watches as possible.  I still was unable to find a watch exactly like the one in my posession. I'm fairly certain that the watch is genuine, in that I come from a family of jewelers.  I believe this watch was origninally owned by my grandfather, who was born in 1900, then passed on to my uncle, who recently died at the age of 86. With the older generations gone I'm curious abou this watch and its lineage.  Should I take a photo and post it in this forum?  I'd appreciate any suggestions that will help.

Welcome to THL, yes please post pictures
04/08/2016 - 09:00

Pictures of the dial, case back, inside of the case back and movement would be helpful.  Ideally, you can also provide both the case and movement serial numbers.


Best Regards, Dan

Re: Welcome to THL, yes please post pictures
04/09/2016 - 21:30

I'll post a few photos.  Don't want to open up the back on my own, but I'll use a decent camera and get a few shots next week.  I'd use my cell phone, but I can probably do a better job with a real camera.



Love these threads...
04/08/2016 - 11:45

This one sounds promising. It is like unearthing a long lost treasure - one with a familial connection. I cannot wait to see what we have here. 

Re: Love these threads...
04/09/2016 - 21:31

Thanks for your interest.  I'll rustle up a good camera and take a few shots.  Don't want to open the back of the watch on my own, but I'll certainly get the dial and the back.  


Just use your camera phone
04/10/2016 - 03:28


You can just use the camera in your phone. The digital images are quite easy to upload to the Lounge. You don't need anything other than a good focus for a simple shot. Good luck with your heirloom.

Re: Just use your camera phone
04/14/2016 - 02:09

i took several shots with my phone cmera. These are the best.

Re: Re: Just use your camera phone
04/14/2016 - 02:14

And another Just use your camera phone

Re: Love these threads...
04/14/2016 - 02:16

I have uploaded three shots, but to my first query note, which appears below.

Would anyone care to offer information on this very old watch?


Unfortunately the dial is not original
04/14/2016 - 02:34

I'd like to see the inside of the case back and movement, I have concerns...but would rather have more information first. 

The lugs look VC
04/14/2016 - 03:14

Hi Dan,

I have not see Vacheron-Constantin with a dash ( '-' ) between the Vacheron and Constantin; however, the watch appears to be from the period when they dropped the '&'; so it could be a unique way that was tried. Let me see if I can find it.


As close as I could find...
04/14/2016 - 03:47

Hi Dan,

This is the best I could do (no reference number.) Alex or Dean should know.As close as I could find...

This one is probably older than your's since the "&" is still there. (Possibly parts of the "&" were lost and that was left was the "-".) There was no ref. number with this one either.

These seashell lugs are a bit different from those "cow horn" looking lugs
04/14/2016 - 04:11

I also don't understand how an "&" can lose parts and become a "-", as there is no horizontal component to the "&"?indecision

From ampersand to dash
04/14/2016 - 20:27

Hi Dan,

Here's how I was thinking the "dash" may have got there in a letigimate VC.

From ampersand to dash

Without adding any line, I used a graphic tool to "scrape" off the top and bottom of the ampersand. Some of the ampersands have a horizontal line (more a tilde, perhaps), but this is what I was thinking may have happened when the face was cleaned leaving a "dash" that was actually part of the original ampersand.

Re: From ampersand to dash
04/15/2016 - 03:12

Thanks Bill,

But what about the lack of "Geneve" under the logo? That seems even more curious.  Even stranger, why would someone making a fake fail to include that after going to all the trouble to fake the rest of it?

Thanks again,



04/15/2016 - 03:30

Hi Dan,

People who make fake watches often slip up on the little things. The dash hasn't been used in other VC models, and as you point out, Geneve, is omitted.  Dan Shao's discussion note recently gave some excellent resources for spotting a fake.

One watch I bought was shown for sale with a buckle that was wholly different from any others of the marque. It turned out that the picture was taken with part of the buckle hidden; so what I thought was a replacement band/buckle turned out to be ok. Also, check out "marriage watches."

Best of luck with this watch.

Re: The lugs look VC
04/14/2016 - 04:00

Hi Bill,

"The lugs look VC" .  Please remember that during this time period, the different Brands used common suppliers for their watch cases, dials, hands, etc. 

Similar looking lugs appear on several Brands, even ones that we strongly associate with VC today.

There are several historic posts about this topic that you can search for.  One by Dean even has some pictures, it's quite interesting.

BR, Dan

Larger context
04/14/2016 - 19:54

Thanks Dan,

  Yes, the larger context is important. I've seen watches from the 60s that all look just like my Calatrava. Now all of the types are much bigger.


Re: Re: The lugs look VC
04/15/2016 - 03:10

Hi Dan,


What seems even more curious is the lack of the "Geneve" under the logo.  

I'll have the watch looked at and opened by an expert.


thanks again,