Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Until I found the article “A look at VC’s coin watch production” by Alex Ghotbi, I didn’t have any idea about the long history VC had in creating watches with coins. I decided that I wanted a 20$ coin wrist watch for my VC collection and ended up with a ref 6510.

Since then I have tried to see what I could find out about the VC coin wrist watches by checking the ref numbers given by Alex in his article. My conclusions are based on the information I could get from books, catalogues, auctions etc. I have tried out of my best intentions to give an overview of VC’s coin wrist watch production. If you are considering buying one, then this list might give you an impression of the different kinds there are out on the marked and an idea of the rarity. Please feel free to criticize the way I have done my research or add/correct information I have shown or conclusions I have come to.

Before I start out I would like to thank Alex for the tremendous work he did in finding all the coin watches in his article.  

It might be a good idea to open another window where Alex’s article is.  Here is the link: http://www.thehourlounge.com/thread/view/a-look-at-vc-s-coin-watch-production_39874_39874.html Then you will have pictures of the watches if they are represented.

According to Alex’s article the timeline is like this with wristwatches:

1938: 1st wrist watch”. As you can see there is not much information in the description. The coin and the movement aren’t described. No picture either. I tend to believe that it’s a special order and that only one exists. If there is somebody out there who owns this watch, please post it.

1960: Ref 6510. Wrist watch in a $20 dollar coin from 1880, 1881, 1904 and 1910 (cal 1003)” This ref has been produced for many years. I have found one dating from around 1973 meaning that they have produced these for at least 13 years and that’s a long time for VC: Maybe Alex can tell when VC stopped the production of the ref 6510?
I believe that the Ref 6510 is the most common of the coin wrist watches from VC, but still made in relatively small numbers. I have in my collection the VC catalogue/book from 1966, and here it isn’t represented; however in my catalogue from 1967, it’s back. I tend to conclude that Ref 6510 wasn’t represented in VC catalogues from 1960-1973 on a regularly basis, but from time to time, though you could probably always order one.
Here is a short description of the ref 6510. The case size seems to differ from coin to coin depending on which year they were made:
Coin from 1880-1881: Diam. 34 mm.
Coin from 1895: Diam. 34.5 mm.
Coin from 1904: Diam. 35 mm.
Coin from 1910: I haven’t been able to find one.
I have found two other watches looking exactly like ref 6510, but with $20 coins from 1891 and 1900. The years of these coins are never mentioned in any of the ref numbers in the article.
The height is in general 4 mm. The coin that’s used on the front and the back of the watch is gold of 21.58K. The side of the case is 18K pink gold. Inner case is 18K yellow gold. The dial is engraved champagne dial with markers. I have seen some listings where ref 6510 is shown with integrated bracelet and a case that seem a bit more yellow.

1965: Ref 7095: Wrist watch in a 1946 50 Mexican Pesos coin (cal 1003)”. I have only been able to find two pieces. The case size is: Diam. 38 mm. Height: Haven’t been able to obtain any information. On the side of the watch case is written “Independencia y Libertad”. The front and the back of the coin is 21.5K. The case is 18K red gold and the inner case appears to be the same. The dial is different in each case.
1: Dial is Champagne dial with four Arabic numerals and painted markers.
2: Dial is engraved champagne dial with markers made for Türler.
Both of the watches are made around 1965-1966. None is in the catalogues from 1966 and 1967.

1967 ref 7321: “Wrist watch in a 20 Mexican Pesos coin (cal 1003)”. I haven’t been able to find any except the one Alex shows in the article. Could it be unique?

1967 ref 7322. Wrist watch in a 1913 $10 coin (cal 1003)”. I can only find one $10 coin watch. However it’s not possible to see if the coin is from 1913. It could also be a Ref 33050 since it looks exactly like the same watch. Diameter is 30 mm. In the auction they concluded that it was made around 1973. Only a movement number is shown in the auction listing, but I think it belongs in the period from 1970-1974. That means that there must be at least two out there (the one Alex has shown and the one from the auction), but they seem to be pretty rare.

1968 ref 7818: “Gold bracelet wrist watch in a $20 coin from 1897 and 1899 (cal 1003)”. There is no picture in Alex’s listing either. I haven’t been able to locate one. However since a coin from 1897 and 1899 is being mentioned, there must be at least two out there.

When VC reach somewhere around ref 8000 they decide to start using lower four digit numbers. The next coin ref numbers are 2026, 2041 and 2078.  Around the mid-seventies, VC decided to go for a 5 digit number. Some pieces from this period actually have two ref numbers. E.g.: Ref 2215 is also called ref 42001. It would be interesting to hear why VC made that decision of choosing a lower four digit number before they went for the 5 digit number. If anybody has seen or written an article on the subject, then please send a link to me.

1970 ref 2026: “Gold bracelet wrist watch in a 1947 50 Mexican Pesos coin (cal 1003)”. I haven’t been able to find any except the one Alex shows in the article. Could be rare.

1971 ref 2041: Wrist watch in a 1943 50 Mexican Pesos coin (cal 1120)”. This is a watch with the cal 1120 automatic movement. I have searched, but none appears. However there is a picture in the listing so one must exist. I was wondering if it is a cal 1120 in the watch or it should have been a cal 1003. I think it’s interesting with the cal 1120 that VC haven’t used it in other coin watches. I guess that it must be really rare if it is as described.

1973 ref 2078: Gold bracelet wrist watch in a 1904 coin (cal 1003)”. It seems to be a ref 6510 in a yellow case with an integrated bracelet.
I have found a quite similar watch from the auction ”The Art Of Vacheron Constantin” but it’s made in 1972 and is called Ref 7814 (not included on the list). The bracelet is different and the coin is from 1889, but otherwise it’s the same watch.

Now the ref numbers change from four digits to five digits.
I can’t find any of the next two references in the post by Alex, and there aren’t any pictures listed in the article. They are not shown in the catalogue from 1976. Maybe they are special orders or listed in the catalogue from 1977? I have a wild guess: could it be that VC was just renaming the old ref numbers / reserving a new number in case that VC should decide to make a similar model again?

1976 ref 33018: “Gold bracelet wrist watch in a 1904 $20 coin (cal 1003)” 
1976 ref 33019: Wrist watch in a $20 coin (cal 1003)”

Then the next two are a bit problematic, as indicated no production year is shown (19xx).

19XX ref 33049: Wrist watch in a 20 Mexican Pesos coin (cal 1003)”. As far as I can see it’s the same picture as we saw in the ref 7321. Could it again be that VC reserved a new number for this watch with 5 digits in their archive in case that they later wanted to produce one, or is it a special order?
19XX ref 33050: Wrist watch in an $10 American coin from 1913 (cal 1003)”. Here I presume that it might be the same case as in the one listed above. However the picture seems to be different form the one that’s shown in ref 7322.

19XX ref 33528: Wrist watch with gem set lugs and case sides in an American coin from 1895 (cal 1003)”. I haven’t been able to find any except the one Alex shows in the article. Could be rare.

I have found a model with Ref 33519 (not listed in the article). It has a 1904 20$ coin and diamonds around the case. It’s indicated at Christie’s Auctions that the watch is from 1965, but the Movement number and case number seems to be from the late 70s. Case diameter is bigger because of the diamonds. Diam. 37 mm.

1976 ref 33059 SQD: Wrist watch with skeletonised movement in a $20 coin from 1896 and 1904. (cal 1003)”. This one is actually the predecessor of the one in the VC catalogue from this year (2012). There has been some changes to the way VC finish the movement. I would actually think that this Ref number could have been given a new number due to the change on the movement. Anyway it was sent out in 1976 and then there is a long time where we don’t hear about it. It is not represented in the following catalogues of mine from 1976, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2007, 2008-2009 (I do not have a complete set of catalogs and it might have popped up in some of the numbers I don’t have).  It does appear in the catalogue 2000, 2001-2002, then it disappears but is back from 2010 and is still being produced. I have found a couple of this ref number made in the 90s and in the beginning of 2000 being sold on auctions.

1977 ref 33517SQD: “Skeleton wrist watch with gem set bezel and case side in a $20 coin (cal 1003)”. There is no picture in the listing. I can’t find any. Could it be a special order?

1977 ref 33063: “Gold bracelet wrist watch in a 1000 Filipino Peso (cal 1003)”. There is no picture in the listing. I can’t find any. Could be a special order.
 
The pictures listed below are of my ref 6510. The first thing that you will probably notice is the gap on the left side of the front of the watch. It’s a damage unfortunately sometimes seen on vintage coin watches. The watch was sent to Vacheron Constantin where they polished and fixed the case. They did a wonderful job, but you can still easily see the gap. Obviously there isn’t much to do about that. Otherwise I’m pleased with the watch and think it looks great being from around 1963-64.

The pictures I have taken have been taken with a Macro-lens. I realized when the pictures were enlarged that every little detail stood out (dust, shadows, micro scratches, etc.). Because of that I have chosen to edit these pictures.
I love all the little details in my watches, so I always take a lot of close up photos that I edit, then I put the pictures on the phone and hours of fun is waiting when studying small details. The last three pictures were taken by my watchmaker. No editing here, and I guarantee to give you a thrill with the last picture. 

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watchRef 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

Ref 6510 $20 coin watch

don't tell me you actually took the watch apart?! Thank you for a
08/20/2012 - 14:17
an excellent addition, your post is going straight to the Recommended Threads section yes And congratulations on your watch. Do you actually wear it?
Thanks for putting it to the Recommended Threads section.
08/20/2012 - 17:47
I’m  honored and it is a bit of a dream that comes true. Splitting a watch into atoms is way beyond my powers… One of my watchmakers started to take pictures of my watches during the process of cleaning them. He realized I was very devoted to my time pieces, so he wanted me to have the pictures.  And I was thrilled. I have more photos,  including a half-hunter watch and a ref.  7409 from around 1968 with cal. 1120. They will of course be posted in due time. I do wear the coin watch though often accompanied by a second wrist watch or a pocket watch. Maybe a bit flamboyant, but I do actually find the coin watch very beautiful and it is a pleasure to wear. However for the purpose of watching the time it is very problematic.   I do also use the coin watch as a desk clock from time to time.
Almost everything i wanted to know about coin VC coin watches
08/20/2012 - 16:44
Well, maybe not everything, but between this and Alex's posts, we are in excellent shape.  What a great post this is .  Thank you! The photos of your watch are really beautiful. It sounds as if you have a very impressive collection of VC catalogues as well.  So, is the gap that you mentioned to be common on coin watches due to the way that the case opens or is it there due to some other cause?  Best, Robert
Thanks Respo for the comments about the article and
08/20/2012 - 17:49
I am truly happy that you like the pictures. I didn’t make the gap myself, so I don’t  know how to do it. Don’t really want to have that experience myself if I can avoid it. I have a couple of theories.  I think that the coin / lid should be as stable as a hunter watch, but maybe because of the size and lack of thickness of the coin watch, it seems more fragile. When I bought mine I consulted The Secrets of Vacheron Constantin book,  and on page 243 they show two coin watches from the front and both have the same damage. So I thought if VC can live with it, then so can I.  I have two guesses: 1.       The mechanism that opens the watch stops  functioning and a watch owner / watch maker gets brutal in the attempt to open it. 2.       I guess if you open the lid while you are wearing the watch, your sleeves might fall down and push/ get caught the lid and thereby twist it when you try to pull it free of the shirt- sleeve.
Cool watch KBS!
08/21/2012 - 08:54
I've tried on the skeletonized version at the Boutique in Shanghai before. It is a fun watch, but I don't think I would wear it to anything but a VC Event.  What I am looking for though is the pocket watch version of the skeleton coin watch - that is near the top of my list right now. Best Regards, Dan
Thanks Dan, it sounds as though it must be the
08/21/2012 - 22:50
1977 ref 53005SQD: Skeleton pocket watch in a $20 coin from 1899 and 1904 (cal 1003)” or “2005 ref 53011 SQD: Skeleton pocket watch in a Ukrainian coin.” Maybe you have found some models that weren’t listed in the article ? Or… are you going for the extras such as this one with diamonds 1978 ref 53505: Pocket watch with gem set case side in a 1900 $20 coin (cal 1003)? By the way I notice on another forum that you have a – and I quote: “cal 466/3B, I like the funky regulating system”. I can see you choose the caliber for the exact same reason as I did. I have a ref 4730 with that movement. Its half-sister/ brother is a quite famous ref 4730 with cloisonné dial. However mine is the plain one with “ordinary” dial. My case number is only two numbers different. Last number of the case is 78 and the 4730 with cloisonné dial is 80. So close and yet so far away....crying
I was referring to ref 53005 SQD, the simpler one withouth Diamonds
08/22/2012 - 07:28
The watch that my 466/3b goes into is a simple Ref. 4310 from 1953. It has a simple guilloche dial that I posted below in the Guilloche Dials topic. The watch actually belongs to my wife, it is her only VC - for now.  (But she already has her eyes on another, modern, one wink) Best Regards, Dan