A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

I have been amazed at the recent posts of Vacheron chronographs. I have usually gravitated towards Patek watches in the past but have had an urge to add a VC chronograph to my collection. 

Once a year a make a pilgrimage to New York for a meeting in December at NYU. I am always amazed at the availability of impossible to find watches readily available for a price. This year it was interesting to see the dealers trying to get as much as they could for their stock but obviously hurting to break even, never mind make money. I was fascinated to hold all sort of highly desirable and expensive chronographs such as a 3970P, 5070P and 130 yellow. I admired each of these watches yet none really held out much love or passion. 

This trip I vowed to visit some of the smaller vintage shops. In one store I was entertained with a Patek 570 in rose, a Rolex Precision (day, date and moon phase in YG), 5015's in ALL colors, Tiffany 150, etc. I also took the time to examine the Vacherons. I currently only own one Vacheron (rose gold Patrimony Extra Plates 1003) to my many Pateks and the Vacheron just seems a much more visceral watch compared to the sterility of my Pateks. I really appreciated a 1940 VC with a 453 movement in YG with an engine turned dial, especially at a fraction of the cost of the 570. I played with a few other Vacherons but none really spoke to me. 

I was about to leave with my wife A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.and asked if there was anything else that might interest me. No, I had seen everything. I thanked the shop owner and his assistant for the past 45 minutes which they had generously donated to me to play with their watches when someone said they did have a new Vacheron in the back which was "white and rose."
"Could I see it?" I inquired. 

They shouted out something in an Eastern European tongue and the assistant scurried off to the back. She brought back a box filled with many watches in plastic packages. We all started rummaging through it finding all sorts of neat stuff like an A.P. perpetual, a Patek 5020 and the following treat. 

A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

Wow! A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.I thought, trying to minimize my enthusiasm.
Can you open the back? 

A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

Again I was amazed. The watch had its original dial and original finish. The crown did not appear original, the strap was a Vacheron but the buckle had PP&Co on it and was yellow gold. Finally, I had found a watch which spoke to me. The price was fair but not cheap. I had to think about it. My wife asked me later on what I was waiting for? I really do not know. 

A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

The next day we sat in a theater on Broadway waiting for Young Frankenstein to begin and I could not contain myself. I called the dealer and bought the watch. A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

The watch is currently being regulated and will be sent to me early next week so I have included the pictures which the dealer sent me (I can foot note the source if requested but this will violate house rules). I can attest to the accuracy of the photos to the actual watch. I will try to post further pictures when I get the actual watch. 

I have been in awe of the recent posts of Vacheron chronographs A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.and I am glad to join the club. I will let you in on a little secret if you promise not to tell anyoneA Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.: Vintage VC's are easily the equal, nay BETTER than their Patek counterparts. They look better, they function better, they are rarer and they are cheaper! As Pete Townsend A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.proclaimed, "...a bargain, the best I ever had...” 

I have often felt the urge to purchase a Vacheron but had yet to find a modern piece I could love. The Patrimony Contemporaire got me going, the new Chronometer Royal was real close and the Traditionalle Americain was to die for. I love this watch and cannot wait to try one on my wrist. The only thing better would be an actual original VC driver’s watch from 1921. A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.

Mike S.
12/12/2008 - 06:27
12/12/2008 - 14:26
12/12/2008 - 16:06
12/12/2008 - 19:32
12/14/2008 - 06:37
12/15/2008 - 13:50
12/12/2008 - 06:27
Another beautifully preserved 4178 steel & gold chronograph shows up!  This world is getting smaller all the time Congratulations on following your heart and rescuing this treasure from the box.  This wouldn't have been the little shop at 1057-2nd Ave?
Re: UnFrigginBelievable!!
12/12/2008 - 14:11
Impressive, do you use your powers for only good? Thanks for you for your kind words. Mike S.
Congratulations on your new acquisition of a very nice watch!
12/12/2008 - 07:51
Thank You. nt.
12/12/2008 - 14:26
WOW WOW and WOW great story and phenomenal watch! As Spike
12/12/2008 - 11:10
Lee said "you did the right thing"
Re: WOW WOW and WOW great story and phenomenal watch! As Spike
12/12/2008 - 14:14
Thanks Alex, This is actually the first pictures I have ever posted on a watch forum (of ANY forum) , thanks for your help. I will continue my education about Vacheron with fellow Loungers. Mike S.
what a story! an amazing watch and story. i really love the movement..
12/12/2008 - 11:24
with an adequately sized free sprung wheel balance. too bad they don't make many of these..:( congrats and wear in good health . "patience with courage to act when windows of opportunity opens will be rewarded" i quote charles munger in my own words.
Re: what a story! an amazing watch and story. i really love the movement..
12/12/2008 - 14:21
Thanks for the comments. When I examined the movement up close I also enjoyed the large balance wheel. I like that the Valjoux 23 based movement is not used currently. However, they could have capped the column wheel, although Vacheron does not usually do this. I really love seeing the blue hair spring go back and forth. Overall, I am not sure the movement is as embellished as todays chronograph movements are on the Historique or the  Malte. Functionally, the watch winds like butter and the pushers are as smooth as a Datograph! Best  Mike S.
Slight correction....
12/12/2008 - 17:35
Your 434 calibre is based on the Valjoux 22 - a very historic movement.  Here is a pedestrian version in a vintage Eterna: Amazing what the craftsmen (and women) at Vacheron & Constantin did with it!  The calibre 492 featured a base Valjoux 23 movement.
12/12/2008 - 17:40
Thanks for the information. It is a good day if one learns something new . Mike S.
The holiday season has been good to you :-)
12/12/2008 - 11:51
Congratulations, it really is a gorgeous watch. My heart definitely goes to vintage Now, that's a nice Christmas present
Re: The holiday season has been good to you :-)
12/12/2008 - 14:22
Thanks, I have always loved vintage as weel. Unfortunately, as early event soured me to Vintage. I am just now getting my feet wet again. Mike S.
WOW...Just beautiful; Congratulations
12/12/2008 - 13:49
Wear it in the best of Health.  I liked the story almost as much as the watch....almost!  If you could send me a private message, I live in NJ and would love to visit that shop.  Thanks. Best regards, Tom
Re: WOW...Just beautiful; Congratulations
12/12/2008 - 14:23
Thank you. I will send you a link as you requested. All the best. Mike S.
Re: Re: WOW...Just beautiful; Congratulations
12/14/2008 - 14:51
Hi Mike, I spend a few months a year at my NJ home and would love to know the name and location of the store you visited as well.  It would be greatly appreciated if you could PM the information to me. Thanks, Dan
Re: A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.
12/12/2008 - 14:31
Great watch, Michael, Congratulations! You must have horseshoes..you know where! A great story too. Wear it in good health. Joseph
Re: Re: A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.
12/12/2008 - 19:23
A fellow Canuck.  Thanks for your kind words. I agree, timing is everything. All the best, Mike S.
Very nice story +
12/12/2008 - 16:06
great scans + exceptionnal watch = great VC lounger. Congratulations !!!
Re: Very nice story +
12/12/2008 - 19:32
Thanks for the compliment. I think I have a long way to go to become a great VC Lounger but I am happy to join the club. I look forward to broadening my horizons with Vacheron watches . Mike S.
I feel your enthusiasm. BIG congrats on the treasure! (nt)
12/12/2008 - 17:09
Thank You. nt
12/12/2008 - 19:32
Congrats and I'm with you about a drivers VC :-) (nt)
12/13/2008 - 00:31
Indeed : A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.
12/13/2008 - 06:50
what a great classic timepiece....a real beauty...thank-you for sharing and please enjoy.
Magnificent, Stunning, Amazing, I could go on and on
12/13/2008 - 14:15
Congratulations Mike and wear it in good health... John
Thanks John.
12/14/2008 - 06:37
Hi John, Actually it was your appreciation of Vacheron chronographs many months ago which garnered my attention. I began the task of researching some of Vacherons vintage and current chronographs. Eventually, I decided that if I found the right Vacheron chronograph I would have no trouble making the plunge into the deep-end of the pool.  I know I took you to task about certain issues regarding the escapement and regulating apparatus between current Patek and Vacheron chronograph movements. As I grow older and hopefully wiser I learn the world is much less black and white. The battle of Patek vs. Vacheron is non-sense. It is as fruitless a discussion as apples vs. oranges. Each is uniquely its own. They are philosophically distinct and hopefully will remain that way. If they just made the same watches with different names it would be a very sad day indeed. So thank you John for opening my eyes. You have allowed me the joy of appreciating something new and different. I am not sure I would necessarily make the same argument I made earlier. Wishing you and yours all the best and a wonderful holiday season. Michael Segal.
Re: Thanks John.
12/15/2008 - 13:50
Michael,  I enjoyed our previous discussions and look to more in the future. Until then lets all enjoy what we have. I want to wish to you and your family the same happy and wonderful holiday season. John
Congrats Mike for this beauty and exceptional watch!
12/13/2008 - 19:47
The story is so incredible that I would love to live such one and find a similar watch, which I have been trying to do for some time!!! Wear it in good health. Cheers, Patrice
Many Stories. Many Lives.
12/14/2008 - 07:45
Thank you Patrice for your kind thoughts and words. I agree the way each watch is acquired is as important as the watch itself. Every watch should have a story. I have a story for each and every one of my watches, as I am sure many others here do as well. I would love to know the story of this sixty year old watch before it became mine. Unfortunately, this is unlikely. I would love to have a story to tell about its life, starting at its birth around the end of WWII, through the cold war, through four major American conflicts, witnessing space travel, Al Gore’s discovery of the information highway, the fall of communism, the end of European colonialism and possibly the fall of the American empire. There must be something incredible that was witnessed by the owner(s) of this watch. Really, these wonderful watches we buy are from companies steeped in history, folk lore and myth. What else makes a watch worth this much? We buy not just the watch but a story to tell about it. If you bought a $20,000 Swatch what would you say? "Ummm....it's a watch company started about thirty years ago and helped to resurrect the Swiss watch industry." What would you say about a Vacheron & Constantin? "It is the oldest continuous manufacturer of watches in the world. It predates the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the USA. It predates the French Revolution. It started twenty years before the father of modern watches A.L Breguet set up shop (1775).” A much more valuable story n'est pas? The personal story is the icing on the cake. Than again maybe the personal story is the cake and the company history is the icing? Perhaps the watch is the icing and the cake is your life story! Sorry for my digression. As I see it watches tell the time of the stories of our lives. A good watch tells the time of the story for part of one's life. A great watch tells the time of the stories for MANY lives. Mike S.
well said Mike, your words hit the target and open a whole new
12/14/2008 - 10:52
perception of the story linked to a watch.
You're perfectly right.
12/14/2008 - 19:18
I also try as much as possible to get the story of the watches I buy. But it's often hard time to get details! For me, your post is not a digression as we never really talked in the forum about history and past lived by our beauties. This would also be very helpful once Doc will have decided to start The Book, n'est ce pas mon cher? Cheers
Beautifully put Michael! I agree with you 100%, story behind the watch
12/14/2008 - 22:43
is extremely important!
Re: A Real Bargain is Getting What you Love.
12/13/2008 - 23:36

What a great find and a fun story to read as well. Congratulations and wear it well! Matt