Sixty Eight Years in the Making

I've been waiting for over a year to get this back from Geneva.  All I can say is that it was worth the wait.  Born in 1945 - reborn in 2013.

Here's a little something to whet your appetite while I take some more photos:

Sixty Eight Years in the Making
03/09/2013 - 05:09
03/09/2013 - 19:58
03/09/2013 - 10:43
03/09/2013 - 11:15
03/11/2013 - 05:34
03/09/2013 - 23:20
03/10/2013 - 18:15
03/09/2013 - 13:59
03/09/2013 - 14:31
03/09/2013 - 20:20
03/12/2013 - 11:49
Outstanding MIchael!
03/09/2013 - 02:40
These Triple Dates are quite Iconic VC watches IMO. Glad to hear it will be in your hands soon, and on your wrist! BR, Dan
Thank you Dan - You know I will! (nt)
03/09/2013 - 19:52
Well worth the wait, Michael!
03/09/2013 - 05:09
A fantastic watch, a real icon and the epitome of Vacheron design in that period. Congratulations! WEar it in the best of health. Here's a cousin from the same page in "Secrets of VC"
Nice Joseph!
03/09/2013 - 19:58
Perhaps we should assemble a mini-catalog of all the 1940s triple calendars among THL members.  Aside from the the different cases, there are dozens of different dials, making for an almost endless number of variations.
An iconic VC, can't wait to see more scans!
03/09/2013 - 08:55
Gorgeous watch, Michael.
03/09/2013 - 10:43
One year is a long time waiting, will you reveal what work was done on the watch? (I hope, I ain't being "impertinent" with this question / a new word I have just learned from Dean smiley) I hope you will share some detail pictures of this beauty with us.    Cheers Kent
03/09/2013 - 11:15
Congratulations JB I am looking forward to seeing more photos! Your post is of particular interest to me as I currently have two RG triple dates from the 40s in Geneva. I have received a quote to restore the first but I am waiting on the second quote. Will you be posting before and after shots? I will post a photo of both mine on Monday. Once again congratulations
Two!! Can' wait for Monday...
03/09/2013 - 18:40
Geez, I've got the paperwork but no watch crying  Check this post.
Here you go!
03/11/2013 - 05:34
Hi Dean,  These are the two watches currently in Geneva The watch above needs some TLC and like Michael's watch VC state on the repair invoice  'restoration of the dial - best possible'  This was a concern for me until I saw the wonderful job that VC did on Michael's watch. This was the first VC that I bought and when I opened the picture this morning the first thing that came to mind was the dial had been redone which I did not know when I bought the watch. This is the second watch The first watch has a coin edge and this one does not. Both are in rose gold. When I saw the second watch I had to have it. While the date dial is in Italian I will probably change it. In summary I like them both, I may keep both or I may sell the first and keep the second. I will let you know.
Kent, it is a privilege of friendship
03/09/2013 - 18:36
to be impertient cheeky on occasion.
Re: Gorgeous watch, Michael.
03/09/2013 - 23:20
Which word was it, Kent..."ain't" or "impertinent" I can understand learing "ain't" since those Western Canadians don't talk too good! But impertinent has too many syables for Dean to have known about LOL! devilwink Just kidding of course! Best, Joseph
Re: Re: Gorgeous watch, Michael.
03/09/2013 - 23:22
Sorry, my spelling was atrocious!! It's Dean's influence, of course. should be "learning", and "syllables" blush Joseph
Keep it up Joseph...
03/10/2013 - 18:15
four more posts and you'll have a "short ton" yes.
Before and Mostly After
03/09/2013 - 13:59
When I acquired this piece at auction in December of 2011, I knew that it needed some work.  The case was in reasonable shape, but there were a lot of surface scratches, the lugs were bent, and the dial was faded with a couple of small scratches (in the photo below the dial looks worse than it was due to the poor condition of the crystal, whih was really beat up). This photo was from the catalog.  The Cal. 455 movement looked pretty good, but the keyless works were not functioning properly due to a stripped clutch and the amplitude was very low.   After taking some "before" photos of the movement to resolve a question here at The Hour Lounge about the existence of a VC Cal.455 (I regret not taking some of the dial and case), I brought it to the NYC Boutique for an evaluation and repair quote.  In keeping with the policies of the forum, I won't discuss the price of the estimate that came back, but I suffered from sticker shock as it was slightly more than I paid for the watch at auction. I briefly considered having the work done by a watchmaker here in NYC (there are some good independents who do restorations), but Gary Hewitt convinced me to have VC do the work in a conversation over Martinis at Bemmelmans Bar.  (Thanks Gary! Look forward to seeing you this week and showing you the watch in person) It took over a year to complete, and I was getting impatient, so when Karolin called yesterday to let me know the watch was back, I rushed over to the boutique and was elated to see the result.  It looks like new - completely restored to its original condition: 
Michael, you've been richly rewarded for your patience...
03/09/2013 - 17:10
It's very gratifying to know that such remedial work is carried out to the highest order. No wonder you're delighted - a marvellous investment and achievement. It looks absolutely beautifulheart Tony
03/09/2013 - 18:19
thanks for sharing the story of it's rebirth, the watch looks wonderful yes.  I notice that SWISS MADE has replaced the earlier dial's singular SWISS.  Was the dial a NOS replacement, refinished or manufactured?
Re: Fascinating...
03/09/2013 - 19:09
It is the original dial, but according to the estimate/invoice the service performed was a "restoration of the dial - best possible".  I believe it was stripped down, re-slivered, reprinted with an original stencil, and then the indexes were re-applied.  I'm not sure if the "swiss made" was part of the stencil or not. Since these were made over a period of several years, it could have been a stencil from a later date than the watch, but that is just my guess.
Thanks again
03/09/2013 - 20:09
it is very reassuring to see the level of workmanship that VC can apply to that most noticeable aspect of the watch; it's beautiful face smiley
Re: Re: Fascinating...
03/10/2013 - 18:21
"Restored, refinished, replaced - whatever": This looks like it was meant to look - stunning! I understand and appreciate "Original, unrestored or refinished dials" - but what's best? This, at least for me, especially since it was your money (and lots of it) would be best! As always: Wear in good health, Miki
I don't understand Miki
03/10/2013 - 19:39
"Restored, refinished, replaced - whatever"  LOL, are you quoting yourself?  Not sure if you are suggesting some criticism implied in our very friendly and informative discussion about Mike's restoration?  Please point to any such comments!  As universally agreed, the result is astonishing and, having been done by VC, retains complete authenticity.  I, for one, appreciate Mike's synopsis of the process and his thoughts and am reassured by the level of quality at the "spa".  Dial condition and restoration has dominated many vintage discussions over the years, and rightly so, as its something we all have either gone through or are considering.  Or did I miss your point?  
Boys, Boys, Boys
03/11/2013 - 00:14
I did not notice any criticism, nor do I think that Miki implied any such criticism.   Correct me if I am wrong Miki, but I took your comment as an opinion that the process is less important than outcome.  I happen to agree with that, though I do think that a better outcome depends on who does the work.  Would the watch be worth more with a faded and scratched dial?  Perhaps, and perhaps not, but I am sure that I will enjoy it more in it's restored condition.
Mike, you are right of course
03/11/2013 - 00:23
blush enlightened angel
Re: Boys, Boys, Boys
03/11/2013 - 02:43
Thank you! You have absolutly, possitively, 100% interputed my comments correctly. Thanx-again, Miki
The dial restoration is remarkable!
03/09/2013 - 19:28
I was honestly shocked
03/09/2013 - 20:19
When I dropped it off it it was so faded that it looked like a flat beige dial.  I had no idea how great it would look with the original brushed silver finish.   My compliments to the incredible professionals at the manufacture who did this work.  The result was well worth the wait and the cost.
I can't believe it's the same watch!
03/09/2013 - 21:11
Absolutely love it. Wear in the best of health! Best, Joe
A beauty, enjoy it !
03/09/2013 - 14:31
Thanks Cisco! (nt)
03/09/2013 - 20:20
Re: Sixty Eight Years in the Making
03/11/2013 - 23:24
IMO is one of the iconic models of VC and I always want to see a triple calendar in flesh :-)) and probably a remake in near future . It is an out standing watch and I wish always shows happy hours for you and your family ;-)
Thank you vasillis! nt
03/12/2013 - 11:49
Re: Sixty Eight Years in the Making
03/16/2013 - 03:16
Hey... I saw that watch on Monday evening!! Was that you I was drinking Martinis with? G
I don't know. I was drinking with someone who wasn't wearing a VC
03/16/2013 - 15:57
But we had a damn good time anyway!
but was he wearing a hat?
03/19/2013 - 18:50
No Hat, but a nice FPJ on his wrist if I recall
03/20/2013 - 15:02
We made the rounds; Martinis at Bemelmans Bar, Rare Steaks and Napa Cabernet at Quality Meats, and a nightcap on the rooftop of the Kimberly Hotel - A real NYC evening with more than a little shop talk.