Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

Le Chronomètre Royal
Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

credit: Noodia

some thanks
-To Berny that make it possible :) ,
- To Alex Ghotbi for all the things he shares, the infos given, and his kindness.
Thanks Alex for all collectors you help.
-Noodia for his photos, the watch deserves better thant the poor photograph that I am.
-Vacheron historical service for their infos given.

It is through a continuous education, through the net, I think to my french friends, Tac and Marv and their dedication to chronometer.
To the meeting with Mr De macedo when we talked about peseux 260 and Vacheron guillochage.
To all people sharing on the net, especially SteveG and the japanese site "Nakahiro Parfait", I looked so much your sites so many times

everything is here

A bit on P453 and P454

The legendary SteveG site on his Chronometre Royal

There were many chronometers  Peseux 260, Omega 30T2RG, lZénith 135, le Movado 126 , the rare Longines 27 chronométre and 360 and others.

But the Vacheron Constantin P1007BS et P1008BS are finished to an exceptionnal standard  and they have the balance stop, that's why they are for me the king of chronometer.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit Berny

to compare with P453 from my 4073 where it's coming from.
Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit Dje

i modified SteveG photo to show the stop second in red and the central second modification (also in P454).
Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: SteveG

Another SteveG photo to show how the small second at 6 is moved to the center, very nice little complication.

the case

The case is for me iconic of Vacheron along with the tear drop lugs design

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

credit: Noodia

Several references of this version exist
6108 small second snap on caseback
6108 central second snap on caseback
6110 small second screwed down caseback
6111 central second screwed down caseback
6161 central second with bracelet ? With screwed down caseback?
6067 central second? small second?

This is still unclear for me. I suppose that the screwed down are more around 36mm and the snap on caseback around 34mm.
What I have seen is two different Chronomètre Royal one 6111 in 36mm with a bracelet identical to mine in design but slightly larger
My 6161 in 34mm has a bracelet

You find the same kind of design on the ultra thin 6099

credit: chronollection

Funnily a Patek Philippe has also this kind of design ref 2568, tick talk has already talked about here

need to add also the 6074 and 6075 with integrated bracelet

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Antiquorum

Caseback is here a snap on with "Chronométre Royal" engraved.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Berny

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

the dial
Nearly every ChronoMètre Royal have a silver dial.

For example here

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: R.Meertz

This one has a guilloche dial which make it really exceptionnal imho.
I have already seen one by Mr De Macedo in paris and I was very impressed, never recover from it actually.
From that point I understood Alex weakness much better :D

So a full rose gold Chronométre Royal with that dial was above my dreams.

"Lance" Hands are specific.
I actually regret that they are not on the last 1907 Chronométre Royal because they are a signature of this piece.

As every other detail of this watch I love them, the pointy rear of thiese hands is something you won't see on another watch, very typical of the Chronomètre Royal

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

Index are another specific detail, 3-6-9-12 in arabic numbers, triangle faceted at 1, 5, 7 and 11, and long faceted at 2, 4, 8 and 10h. Quite unusual.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

For the dial itself,the outside ring is silvered doted for every minutes Vacheron Constantin is written on a "cartouche" and the main part is a wonderful GUilloche.
The is a kind of vertical "combing" that change direction in a V form.
This gives a 3D vision "trompe l'oeil" with some arrows that look like in depth or rising depending on the light.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

This is something to be seen for real which imho unmatched in vintage dial, the most beautiful you can get with a cloisonne enamel.
I suppose the job was done by Stern at that time, the owner of Patek, but it needs to be confirmed.

The bracelet[
Realised by Gay Frère Bracelet is typical.
The center link is like guilloche with some diamond/rhombus shape, the side link are fully polished.
Because fo the specific shape of the lugs it integrates easily the design of the watch nearly like an integrated bracelet.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

The buckle has a security system and two positions, it has a diamond guilloche like the central link.

The maltese cross
Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

Christian symbol, horlogical mechanism, Vacheron Constantin emblem hjas something fascinating.
It is not directly to be seen here, but you can still find it.

-The lugs.
Under this angle it is easer you have a branch of the cross that appears. Branch that repeats four times obviously, like the maltese cross has been dispersed around the case.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

credit: Noodia

-The dial
Index are surprising, normally index ar 1 and 2 o'clock are identical, and this is not the case.
Binding the ligne they design you can see...:

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

Actually you can do that on other watches if there are pointy index at 1 and 2 and not pointy at 3, but this detail make sense here
and I doubt that this detail is pure luck.

my opinion
This is for me the very best of what I can hope in watch by its design, its caliber, its dial and its details, everything is at the highest level.
I don't see what can be "better" by Patek or others. this is a dream come true and I got a "grail" because this is one.
I am very happy  to have got such a piece, a great moment in my young collectors life.

On the wrist you can't miss it with that dial and bracelet and see a branch of the maltese cross is a nice feeeling.
As long as you get closer you can lose yourself in that maze of details. The weight is a very nice feeling and very balanced because of the bracelet.
At first I thought I won't "dare" to wear it on the bracelet, actually, I don't see why I would not, the bracelet is such a nice piece by itself.

Two more wristshots.

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,

Thanks for reading 

Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
credit: Noodia

03/05/2013 - 17:48
03/05/2013 - 18:06
03/05/2013 - 17:58
03/05/2013 - 17:58
03/05/2013 - 18:00
03/05/2013 - 19:24
03/05/2013 - 19:29
03/06/2013 - 01:15
03/06/2013 - 15:02
03/06/2013 - 15:18
03/06/2013 - 12:11
03/07/2013 - 12:31
03/07/2013 - 02:09
03/07/2013 - 12:34
03/09/2013 - 11:06
Re: Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
03/05/2013 - 17:43
An exceptional watch, congratulations! Very lovely and a rare exzmple of the CR. Wear it in the best of health! Joseph
Thanks Joseph for your words
03/05/2013 - 17:48
I am so happy. Watching your beauties everyday on THL gave me a taste. :) cheers Francois
Francois thank you for this detailed write up and love that blinged up
03/05/2013 - 17:45
Chronometre Royal. The work on the bracelet is a work of art in itself. You really have gotten yourself a little treasure, may it time only happy momentsyes
Thanks a lot Alex !
03/05/2013 - 18:06
Since years you educated me and many other people when datas were scarce and photos of watches not so easy to find. Again I really thank you for you brought to watch lovers. I followed how your collection evolved. Some years ago I see how you fell for vintage Vacheron guilloche. Actually I was surprised. At first at thought, yes seem to be nice, but is it really that good? Isn't it a bit baroque? blush And in june last year I saw one for the first time... surpriseOH MY GOD I know it is always better live, but that was a Knockout heart. At the beginning I wanted a vintage Patek , that was for sure,simply  to complete my Lange and VC. From that point  it wasn't so much sure angel a Vacheron guilloche, possibly with a 454 would really be something angel... I didn't even dream of a Chronometre Royal with this possibility, I didn't even know that was possible. So finding one in full Rose Gold was unexpected. A little treasure yes, what a fabulous watch heart Thanks again Alex cheers Francois
Great job, Francois!
03/05/2013 - 17:58
Both on the post and getting this amazing example of the CR.  I love the lugs, the dial pattern, the markers, the hands, the bracelet -- but really everything about this watch.  And now you have one of the movements that I am also after (the 1007/BS or 1008/BS). Well done! Robert
Thanks Robert for your kind words !
03/05/2013 - 18:13
You are right everything is astonishing, so many details everywhere. A Chonomètre Royal is imho the most beautiful vintage caliber for a three hands, and every Chronomètre Royal is a fantastic watch. I wish you one too. But getting a full Rose Gold version with that dial is really exceptionnal, I feel really blessed to have caught it. cheers Francois
Great job, Francois!
03/05/2013 - 17:58
Both on the post and getting this amazing example of the CR.  I love the lugs, the dial pattern, the markers, the hands, the bracelet -- but really everything about this watch.  And now you have one of the movements that I am also after (the 1007/BS or 1008/BS). Well done! Robert
Sorry for the double post.
03/05/2013 - 18:00
Not sure how this happens except that perhaps in my excitement over seeing such a beautiful watch, I hit the "Post Reply" twice.  crying
These things don't happen overnight...
03/05/2013 - 18:36
Francois, Taking time to get things right is a great strength and that reflects handsomely on your wrist  Clearly a measured judgement!  Happiness is in the air and it's contagiousheart
Thanks Tony ! You perfectly sum it up
03/05/2013 - 19:06
You guys educated me on beautiful watches even if I know if beautiful is subjective. This piece really represents a long way of passion to watches. PS: Tony are you the same person with taht wonderful Movado 126 chronometer? cheers Francois
Your infinite love and passion towards this CR
03/05/2013 - 18:54
Permeates through this post. Congratulations and wear it proudly!
Thanks Radek !
03/05/2013 - 19:24
I am completely biased but that's just human, I am so so happy, thanks for your passion for the brand Radek. cheers Francois
Thanks for a wonderful tour of the 6161
03/05/2013 - 19:16
A great reference, and yours with guilloche dial and bracelet is even more unique.  Love the wrist shots, all the photos actually, and completely understand your romance with this piece heart  To borrow a phrase from Alex, may it time only happy moments yes.
Thanks Dean !
03/05/2013 - 19:29
Like Alex you brought so much to the VC community and I deeply appreciate your comments, thanks for all. Unique yes, a truely unique watch heart for what it is and for the effects it gives me. I have a future subject about Chronomètre Royal and references, and I am eager to see your comments, but that's not for today. cheers Francois
A brother from 1957
03/06/2013 - 01:15
Antiquorum had this 6161 with movement 509161, very close to yours!  Also thought you might enjoy a period advertisement from the internet for the Chronometre Royal smiley
03/06/2013 - 15:02
mine is the one just before, there is only one number difference from case and caliber between mine and Antoquorum. smiley Thanks for the ad, much appreciated! My next target is to get the box,  I have missed the one which was for sale on ebay some weeks ago. indecision It is also an interesting piece but I hope i will have the opportunity again.
Dear Francois, this is a true and heartfelt
03/05/2013 - 21:27
article, really caught your passion and true aficionado colors for V&C. Very nice to have this piece on The Hour Lounge and so glad you are with us! Best to all, Tim
Thanks Tim, happy that you enjoy the review :)
03/05/2013 - 22:33
How Marvelous Francois!
03/06/2013 - 03:12
I know this watch well (Berny has shared it with me in person before) heart. I'm so glad it is on your wrist, someone who obviously appreciates it for all of its amazing details + in its entirety. I am a known CR lover and share your feelings toward this series and cal 1007/BS-1008/BS. Your post is terrific, great details, pictures and passion! BR, Dan
Thanks a lot Dan
03/06/2013 - 15:18
this watch is so wonderful! I missed it when Berny showed it the first time on THL, I just saw it some weeks ago and my jaw dropped. Never seen a CR with guilloche dial before, it become cristal clear that THAT was my holy grail, everything I estimate was there. I checked then on the net and see in the Antiquorum database and saw the one Dean is showing above. I HAD TO get it. I feel so happy. You have a very similar model and the case with the maltese cross is striking. I have seen some nice vintage watch design before, I like the great classic that is a Rolex Daydate, the fantastic balance and fluidity of a Patek 2526 (met it more than 3 times, love it) , the beautiful design of an Omega Constellation Pie Pan, and this CR belings to the most amazing. I adore it, and I understand your love for this piece even better. Enjoy your beauty Dan ! Francois
Thanks Francois and
03/06/2013 - 12:11
congratulations with your new watch. It's a true beauty , the movement is fantastic ( it has been on my wishlist for some years now ) and I like that the watch has a gold bracelet. Vacheron Constantin has so many wonderfull gold bracelets and yet it seems as though its out of fashion to wear them. I hope you will keep the gold bracelet on the watch and show it of with pride. Thank's for the detailed article and for making me remembering the amazing photos from Gary G. I have listed a couple of photos of one of my gold bracelets that is placed on a Ref 7409 with cal 1120 from around 1968-69. I just love that shine in the gold......  Cheers Kent    
Thanks Kent, the bracelet is
03/06/2013 - 15:23
a wonderful piece itself. In photos I thought I won't dare, I am young and it is now very unusual to wear full gold, especially in Europe with my french roots. But once on the wrist, I changed my mind, why would I wear it another way? actually I have the choice, but I love so much that bracelet that I will wear it with the bracelet, I can't wait to adapt it to my small wrist size. cheers Francois
Kent how about a dial view if this surprising watch?
03/07/2013 - 12:59
Here we go, Alex.
03/07/2013 - 13:58
It is just a "plain" 7409 and I tend to believe one of the first one made, but I'm just guessing,  while you are the man with the hands on the archive smiley. I took those photos about a half year ago except from the last three. I have tried to make it a photo journey through the different angles of the watch and that's why I post a bit more than the requested  "Dial picture".   
Interesting how the case and bracelet are worked but the dial so clean
03/07/2013 - 14:31
If we are showing bracelets...
03/07/2013 - 17:23
I have fond memories of this CR:
there bracelets are works of art in their own right. Not sure there
03/07/2013 - 17:25
are any arisans left who can make these!!!
What a watch, must have been something on the wrist
03/07/2013 - 17:42
and agreed with Alex, taking time with these bracelet and one enjoy their real value, a beautiful work of craftmanship .
More CRs on bracelets
03/08/2013 - 02:07
This archive picture courtesy of Alex some time ago, showing the 6694 variants on bracelet.  Some stunning examples for sure!
Dean , love the batman...
03/09/2013 - 09:28
Great watch
Congrats! Very special guilloche! Does anyone
03/06/2013 - 16:38
Know the name of this type of guilloche? Please tell. Thanks for sharing the photos and the details!
Thanks, no idea about the name of that guilloche if there is any
03/07/2013 - 12:31
Re: Vacheron Chronomètre Royal 6161 ,
03/07/2013 - 01:36
Amazing watch,congratulations to the proud owners.
Thanks :)
03/07/2013 - 12:31
I am the only owner, but I needed a good photograph for that special watch :)
The end of a journey
03/07/2013 - 02:09
Great post! Your passion for Vacheron Constantin deserved such an exclusive and sophisticated watch: design, lugs, bracelet, movement, dial. The 50s are the golden age of chronometry and the Chronometre Royal is one of the golden references of that time. This watch is an important step in the journey of a VC lover. Congratulations!
Merci beaucoup Christophe.
03/07/2013 - 12:34
as you say a golden watch of a golden era. everything is at its finest. You know that by heart ;) amicalement Francois
An in depth article about Chronometre Royal from 1999.
03/08/2013 - 11:18
For you, Francois, and others with an interest In the CR watches who might not have seen this article before. And a small question to Dean who might also see this text. Why did you sell that CR?    
Super interesting ! thanks for sharing
03/08/2013 - 11:49
And Wowowow p17 a 6340 with a guilloche dial, must be a fantastic stunner on the wrist !  "Wahnsinn" I am much more suspicious about that 1019 caliber. Can anyone confirme the production of 479 for the whole 1007/1008 caliber? Francois
This is great, thanks!
03/08/2013 - 14:01
I think some of the date about the CR for Watchtime's VC Special Edition magazine must have come from this article.
Fantastic, thanks for sharing!
03/08/2013 - 18:03
In gratitude for this post I will answer your impertinent question...for the money! wink
Thanks Kent...
03/08/2013 - 18:13
Good taste and good style doesn't date - that's crystal clear! Thank you so much for featuring the article - most interesting. Best wishes Tony
Congratulations Cisco
03/09/2013 - 11:06
What a great watch. I enjoyed your post and my own hunt for a CR will continue!!!
Thanks a lot hamish :) , have a good hunt
03/09/2013 - 14:32
Really Wonderful Post and Watch
03/09/2013 - 15:39
I have a real weakness for bracelets, and even though they may not be "au courant", the watch and bracelet are a perfect match and very beautiful.   Congratulations on this excellent find!
Thanks Maberlin, Gay Frères bracelet are especially beautiful.
03/09/2013 - 23:59
This one is stunning in pink gold, but there are also some splendid examples for Patek especially on the 2526 (A, C, D, G etc) , the one for Universal Genève or Jaeger LeCoultre. Bracelet maker is an art of its own where there are many things to say. Recently I think Vacheron did a great step forward when they launched the new overseas some years ago, fantastic bracelet.
How can you see that the bracelet is made by Gay Fréres?
03/10/2013 - 11:02
Do you know if there is an article somewhere about the bracelet makers showing what hallmarks they use? Cheers Kent
They are marked "GF" on the buckle. in an oval.
03/10/2013 - 12:25