My 1912 will always hold a special part in my collection for many reasons.
I remember that I bought it as a gift to myself in year 2000 when I left a big listed corporation to go work in a small start up internet company which went out of business very shortly after my arrival (I am still wondering if there was some kind of link between the 2 !!)
I have always had a soft spot for form watches and vintage Vacherons and the 1912 with its beautifully curved tonneau case and overall vintage look was a perfect mix of the two (this would be my first non-vintage VC). I first had read about it in a magazine and soon after went to try it on at my favorite dealer who…didn’t have one in stock. Gathering up my courage I headed to another dealer who with a sorry shake of his head told me that he had sold his last one a few days before but would be happy to put me on the waiting list.
Waiting list?!!! C’mon people this must be a joke! I mean the watch is produced in 1912 pieces, we’re not talking about an ultra exclusive limited edition here!!! Pfff….
So what do I do? I head for a third dealer with whom I had sworn never to do business again after an unhappy incident. But the stakes were too high and the game too important!! I put my pride in my pocket and put a handkerchief over it and walked in. I asked if they had a 1912 and the answer was no!! I was doubly humiliated, not only had I walked into that godforsaken shop but had been rejected!!!
Well, believe it or not I actually went to all the VC dealerships in my town and absolutely nothing. This was like a conspiracy. I was sure that had I not been interested in that watch the shops would be actually overflowing with 1912s in the windows and the vendors would have to grab passerbys on the arm, drag them into the store and force them to buy the watch and absolutely unreasonably low prices!
Now I was really getting heated up, my blood was boiling, smoke was coming out of my nose and I had to have that watch. I NEEDED IT!! And we’re talking about a timepiece I hadn’t even seen in the flesh yet.
I went back to the first dealer who was sorry to see me in such a state. He sat me down behind his desk, gave me a shot of vodka to calm me down and called his beautiful assistant to give me a massage (to tell you the truth you can’t really call it a massage it was more like a pat on the back ) and promised to have one very soon for me to see.
I went back home head hung low and on the verge of tears. I did not sleep that night, nor the following nights. I ate very little and desperately sat next to the phone all day frequently checking to see if it was working. Ahh let me tell you, those were tough times I went through!
Finally one magical day and after almost 700 years of waiting, the phone finally rang and I was told that a beautiful rose gold 1912 had arrived and was waiting for me. She had arrived, my precious.
I don’t know exactly how I actually got to the shop, it seems like some kind of blur, I don’t even remember how the watch ended up on my wrist but it was still on when I left the shop.
I instantly felt the watch was right for me. I did not need any time to think: I just knew. The delicately incurved case with the mobile lugs enable the watch to sit perfectly on the wrist. The, cream colored dial, the exploding Arabic numerals and the Vacheron Constantin logo in form of a semi circle (inspired by the original logo) add to the classical vintage look of the watch. But you know what I like most? Surprisingly its the hands, perfectly balanced and sized dark gray in color and mirror polished.
It uses an extra flat caliber 1132 based on a Piguet 8.10
At the time I wore the watch with great frequency but somehow it got less and less wrist time. I recently “re-discovered” this watch and fell for it once again, it has hardly left my wrist in the past weeks. Surprisingly the 1912 is a watch I rarely really miss wearing but when I decide that it needs some wrist time I always strap it on with great pleasure and the watch starts growing on me once again to a point that I hardly wear anything else for weeks.
Well, she’s on my wrist as I write, sticking out from under my shirt cuff smiling at me