I've spent quite some time looking for a watch for my 40th. I've always been really interested in Vacheron Constantin as a brand, with their heritage and classic designs, but had to concede that their modern watches remain outside of the spending potential of a lowly computer programmer! With that in mind, I decided to look into the vintage market, and see whether I could find something appealing.
I was quite apprehensive about the vintage market, as its a bit of a minefield, but luckily there are decent forums like this one where you can research the different references, and calibres.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found a few watches for sale that I rather liked. They were all 36mm with yellow gold cases, some were manual wind (calibre 454/5B) and others were automatic (calibre K1701). I decided pretty early on that I didn't want a date complication. One in particular stood out, a ref 6394 which still showed signs of the original linen patten on the bezel, and although I suspect that the dial has had some work done, it has been done so sympathetically.
I received the watch a couple of days ago, so here is a wrist shot.
I'm very happy with the watch, and I think my next step will be to try and get hold of an archive extract from the Vacheron Constantin boutique in London, and source a dark brown strap to replace the black strap the watch is currently wearing! Ideally, I'd like to try and find an appropriate tang buckle too, as I believe a watch from this period (mid 1950's) would have had a simple tang buckle, rather than the "half logo" buckles that adorm the more modern watches.