I've railed about the infamous Bulgarian frankenmasters before, but its always worth exposing their craft of trickery for Loungers. At least for the giggle...
These creations are concurrently on fleabay. Fleabay is degenerating fast and while they may have different seller names, I'm willing to bet they are one and the same fabricant. Also note that fictitious sellers shill-bid for each other so woe be to the poor soul engaged in a bidding war with one of these phantoms.
"1888 Imperial Russian cigarette case with Charles Vacheron". So what do you do with a old silver case and a collection of brass pins? Why solder up an Imperial Russian cigarette case. The shame is that a scrapped Charles Vach movement was involuntarily recruited into the scam. FWIW, the Chas. label appeared on V&C watches in 1869-70.
Similar Bulgarian creations to be found on fleabay at present are a "Mega Rare" V&C pill box and this "Rare Early Vacheron Geneve" for the Chinese Market.
Aside from having the most brutally banged-out balance wheel I've ever seen, this piece o'junk doesn't follow V&C format for the cuvette inscription. Most elementary, the serial 5581 would place it well before the era of their echappement horizontal.
Poor Charles is maligned once again with this "Memento Mori" calendar watch:
The provenance is strong. To quote our Bulgarian vendor: "This unique piece comes directly from the famous Skulls collection ofo Dr. Atanas Karamanov, who was the personal physician to King Ferdiand I of Bulgaria." And it goes on; "Dr. Karamanov was also a member of the first Bulgarian Regular Masonic Lodge named Balkanska Zvezda c1890s. His collection contain over 1200 skull watches, skull goblets, skull victorican (sp.) jewelry etc..."
Aside from the magazine clipping lacquered onto the back of the case and the printed plastic dial, hand-colored by the maker's grandmother no doubt, we have a oddity waiting inside.
Unmarked Continental verge and fusee movement. Puzzling, as we know Charles Vacheron produced his watches in 1869 when the Swiss lever ruled at V&C. A few cylinders were also kicking around the Manufacture, but the fusee was gone. Pure skullduggery.
Best for last. "Museum Memento Mori" V&C calendar watch with an amazing surprise inside for the astute collector:
Doesn't the box just add to its authenticity? As does the genuine Appraisal Certificate, and its from the seller's Private Collection!
To quote from the hype: "This is the earliest known to exist Vacheron Constantin calendar watch with verge fusee movement". Well indeed, Jean Marc Vacheron was the first Vacheron circa 1750-60, and you'll find pictures of the only known example of his work on pgs. 8 and 20 of Secrets of Vacheron Constantin by Cologni, but Constantin didn't come onto the scene until 1819 so the dial is an obvious fiction. Aside from the silliness of the whole package (note the hands don't even fit their dial holes), its still insidious how our Bulgarian has attempted to forge the movement so diligently.
The moral of this story? Beware Bulgarians selling Vacherons!