Rediscovering the 1912

Rediscovering the 1912

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 Rediscovering the 1912 !!)

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 Rediscovering the 1912) 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.

Rediscovering the 1912

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

Rediscovering the 1912

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 Rediscovering the 1912

Rediscovering the 1912

What a story! Alex, I could feel your emotion here (nt)
01/04/2008 - 16:28


I like that one too
01/04/2008 - 17:10

I almost bought one of the original versions, with the red "12", fixed lugs in sterling silver. It looks like a watch should look, interesting, but not ostentatious. Unfortunately, I need a seconds hand. I need to see stuff moving, so I passed.

Of all the watches that Vacheron does which are modern interpretations of old designs, this is certainly the best of the bunch.

one of the beauty of owning VC is the rediscovery part,
01/04/2008 - 17:21

i  rediscover the beauty of my les historique chrono and the 1755 jubilee each time i stare at them blankly sitting in my watch box and strapping them on, then there will be my signature stupid grin telling myself how fortunate i am. they will stay in my collection to be rediscovered over and over. that is why i always advocate my wis friends to find one VC, then they will understand why i am an ambassador for VC. the beauty of rediscovery makes them objects u take care of for the next generation.

Pure poetry Alex, you have a gift that speaks to >>>
01/04/2008 - 23:16
the very soul of the dedicated watch collector. You made my day. Best, Tim
01/04/2008 - 23:45 arze tabrike sale no, it's a beautiful watch. I had never seen this one (I am pretty new to the VC world)...I really love the shape (kinda sorta reminds one of a Frank Muller withouth the crazyness of a Muller). So you say it was called 1912 and it was limited to 1912 of'em...but is this a remake of a vintage version or is it from that time?

best regs



you are good at writing exciting stories...the blood of shahname and molana is also boiling in your veins..

kheili mamnoun Xerxes, the 1912 was launched in the late 90s as
01/05/2008 - 10:23

a replica of a model dating from...1912. It exists in rose and white gold

Re: Rediscovering the 1912
01/05/2008 - 05:57

Hi Alex,

Great watch and great story.  I tried one on a few years ago and although I loved the dial and numerals, I really was not sure about the shape.   Over time I have really come to appreciate its shape and the mobile lugs.  Looking back its one that got away

I always find if I'm wearing something other than one of my VC's, when I come back to them I really enjoy and appreciate them even more.

Great story, and waiting by the phone reminds me of when I was on a waiting list for a watch I wanted very badly.  During my work day I would regularly call my voice mail and check my home phone to make sure it was still working.  I was always afraid I'd miss the call and the watch would go to the next guy on the list.  It didn't, so that was one that did not get away. 

Best regards,


which watch was that? (nt)
01/05/2008 - 10:24


Re: which watch was that? (nt)
01/05/2008 - 18:08

The watch that I let get away was the rose gold version of the 1912. 

The watch that did not get away was the SS Rolex Daytona with Zenith based movement.

Best regars,


Re: Rediscovering the 1912
01/05/2008 - 06:52

Beautiful watch! & what a story!

Is the 1912 a large watch?

looks very substantial from the pics


it has rather "classical" dimensions: 32mm x 41mm (nt)
01/05/2008 - 10:30


Great story as usual, Alex..
01/05/2008 - 15:43

I must say you have a flare for the dramatic, and you tell stories as well as you tease.  It reminded me of when I was looking for my Jubilee 1755.

I have only seen the 1912 in pictures but it definitely is a mature piece that grows on you, and lately, having found a greater appreciation for simple, time-only pieces (thanks in no small part to finding myself enslaved by my date-complication pieces and all the setting they require), I would have half the mind to trade in my Toledo 1952 for one.....well, maybe I am just fickle and always want something new... 

BTW Alex, could you tell me more about the movement?  Is it a JLC-based hand-wound?  Round or formed?  I know the info should be available somewhere, but I just can't dig it up right now.  Thanks in advance.

All the best,


tsk tsk tsk Kazumi, the answer to your question is already
01/05/2008 - 16:17

in the text

The VC call 1132 used in the 1912 is based on a round extra flat Piguet cal 8.10 (hand wind)

height: 2.00mm diameter: 18.4mm Jewels: 20 21,600 vph 45 hour power reserve As nice as the 1912 is I wouldn't trade in your Toledo 1952 for one!

Oops! Sorry about that Alex. I read everything BUT that line...
01/06/2008 - 09:47

I thought it strange not to have anything regarding the movement, but it seems I completely overlooked that all important one liner.  Must read more slowly.

Well, I guess the Toledo and the 1912 have their own charms and are probably not mechanical equals.  However, I am wondering why you decided to let go of your Toledo while keeping the 1912 in your possession.



2 main reasons I sold the Toledo and not the 1912
01/06/2008 - 11:29

I sold because I needed to fund another purchase and the Toledo is worth twice the 1912 on the secondary market and it is also a current production watch which I could have bought back easily whereas the 1912 would only be available second hand.

Great story, Alex :-) (nt)
01/06/2008 - 14:06

Have you got other like it in your collection Alex?? ....
01/06/2008 - 16:01

Really nice pictures, and as always, a nice story