Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

As promised:
 

                                        Vacheron Constatin “222” Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Costantin 222 was born in 1977 to celebrate the 222th year of continual watch’s production: it was created by Gerald Gentà, author of other 3 “jumbo”.


Audemars Piguet 5402


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Patek Philippe 3700


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

IWC 1832


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

And other beautiful watches…

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review


All together!

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

(In the last two photos Royal Oak is a Jubilee, not a 5402. But I think they forgive me!)




222 was made in 3 version: 37, 34 and lady version: each one was realized in 3 different materials (steel, gold, steel/gold). Its production lasted until 1985.




                                                              222 “Jumbo”



Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review




Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 6 mm
Movement: VC 1121


“222” on steel was made in 500 pieces. This’s confirmed by number or reference we (me and other Italian owner) have filed (from 5220XX to 5224XX).There were 3 different types of dial.
It’s possible that steel versione was made only in 1977, for anniversary. Infact all serials found are between 5220XX and 5224XX.


“222” have 3 different dials: black, rosee and argentee

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review


“222” on gold was made in 100 pieces; version in steel/gold on 120 pieces (we have just one serial for steel/gold version, 5367XX, anyone for gold!).


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review


Case is built in a unique block: its bottom (in which is engraved watch’s name) screws directly on ring nut. Crow is “baionetta” type (I don’t’ know english translation), and to remove it, it’s sufficient to pull (see last picture).

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review


“222” is antimagnetic and waterproof until 120 m. Bracelet is integrate with case. Clasp is not settable, and sealed with Maltese cross.


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Box contained, as well as watch and warranty, a moneyclip on the same metal of watch.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review



Jumbo’s calibre is the fantastic VC 1120 (today still on AP 15202!)

Designed and manufactured (but not finished) by Jaeger LeCoultre as the caliber 920, JLC has, itself, never used the movement in a watch of its own. First available in 1967, the 920 is used to this day by Audemars (calibers 2120/2121/2122) and Vacheron (1120/1121/1122). Patek Philippe, while attempting to produce a reliable, flat automatic design of its own, introduced the Nautilus in 1970 with the 920 (Patek caliber 28-255), and kept the watch in production for 10 years (then switching to the caliber 335SC).
Errata corrige: today only Audemars Piguet can use this movement.

In simplest form, the 920 is a diminutive 2.45 millimeters with an overlying, full-sized winding rotor. (The Patek caliber 240, with inset micro-rotor, is 2.4 millimeters.) With the addition of simple date function, the caliber 920 thickens to 3.05 millimeters. With date and center seconds, the thickness grows still further to 3.40 millimeters. This last figure suggests most of the reason for the 920's relatively limited use. There are several thinner automatics that provide date and center seconds, including JLC's own caliber 889 (at 3.25 millimeters). But, in its day, the 920 was a remarkable engineering accomplishment. No contemporary Swiss automatic, regardless of thinness, exhibits the refined--and expensive--construction of the 920. And, inarguably, this caliber is among the most beautiful wristwatch movements ever produced. A photographic tour of the Vacheron version of the movement (caliber 1120), beginning with the completely stripped main plate, tells the story. The caliber (in all iterations) is a 12.5 ligne (26 millimeter), 36 jewel design.

12.5 ligne (26 millimeter), 36 jewel.

ESCAPMENT

From the beginning, the 1120 (as well as the Audemars and Patek iterations) were, and still are, supplied with a Gyromax balance. An adjustable mass balance with eight rotatable weights, the Gyromax allows both poising ("balancing") of the balance and rate adjustment without the use of a conventional regulator index. The illustration shows both the KIF shock protection and the engraving on the balance cock showing rate adjustment procedures. The slot in opposing pairs of weights is rotated to the outside of the balance to decrease its effective diameter and increase rate. Rotating the slot towards the center of the balance increases the effective diameter of the balance wheel and slows the rate.


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

THE WHEEL TRAIN AND AUTOMATIC WINDING SYSTEMS

The beautifully finished wheel train and (most of) the automatic winding train are shown down. Numbered parts are the (1) center wheel; (2) third wheel; (3) fourth wheel; (4) escape wheel; (5) pallet lever lower pivot; (6) balance wheel lower pivot; (7) lower pivot for first automatic winding transfer gear (mounted on the barrel bridge); (8) switching rocker for bi-directional automatic winding; (9, 10) automatic winding transfer wheels; (11) hand-winding disengagement wheel; and (12) mainspring barrel.


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

The fourth and escape wheels share a bridge. The fourth wheel pivot is shown at (2); the unusual shock protection on the escape wheel at (3). The cap jewels on the escape wheel are flat on both surfaces, and use a spring that is rotated out of position to release the jewels for cleaning.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

As illustrated the barrel bridge carries a number of the components of the automatic winding system. The bearing for the winding rotor (1) is bushed rather than jeweled for flatness. A ball bearing transfer gear is used (2). Transfer from the top of the barrel bridge to the underside is handled by a semi-floating double gear suspended on a large diameter center jewel and lower pivot jewel (3). This gear drives the switching rocker. Note (4) the bearing surface for the floating mainspring barrel. One generally sees some wear on this surface in movements that have not been regularly serviced. In this case, the apparent wear did not create out-of-tolerance side-shake (which would allow the barrel to cock and thus require replacement of the entire barrel bridge). The full winding train is shown in greater detail. The lower pivot for the semi-floating transfer gear is shown at (1). Depending on the direction of rotor rotation, the switching rocker (2) shifts to engage one or the other of its transfer wheels with the first intermediate wheel (3). This wheel (3) always rotates counterclockwise for winding of the barrel (4) arbor. During hand winding, wheels (5) and (6) are disconnected (they are coupled with a unidirectional ratchet) and the automatic winding train is completely disengaged. During automatic winding, wheel (6) is driven by the pinion of the brass intermediate wheel (7) and drives the ratchet wheel on the barrel via wheel (5)

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

The barrel bridge is shown installed on the mainplate. (The ratchet wheel and crown gear are not installed.)

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

An elegant detail of construction is the barrel click in the automatic winding system. The click is mounted on its own bridge and is jeweled top and bottom.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

The winding rotor of the caliber 1120 uses a 21K rim, as well as a full circle beryllium ring. Because of the low-profile, bushed center bearing, the rotor requires support around its periphery. Conveniently, the rotor is released from the movement by sliding a single clip away from the bearing.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

The peripheral support for the rotor is provided by four ruby wheels. Each runs on an axle mounted in a small plate screwed to the mainplate. The beryllium ring of the rotor is fully supported by these wheels. During rotor movement, the ring and wheels provide the caliber 1120 a sound unique among automatics.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

As seen with the rotor installed on the movement, the beryllium ring of the rotor (1) hides all but the outer edge of the wheel plates (2).

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review


THE KEYLESS WORKS

As in all great calibers, the dial side of the movement (or bottom plate) is no less beautifully executed than the top plate (left). This very thin caliber uses a design for the winding and hand setting mechanism that is both robust and elegant, utilizing many fewer parts than most designs. In the upper left hand corner, the floating mainspring barrel can be seen flush with the bottom plate.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

An examination of keyless works parts at 35 power magnification reveals perfect tooth shape and unimpeachable finish.

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

From: http://www.timezone.com/library/horologium/horologium631686780396906210, by Walt Odets

So, some other pictures of “222”!

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review






                                                          “222” 34mm

Diameter: 34 mm
Thickness:
Movement: VC 1124 (JLC 899), with central seconds.


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review



                                                                 “222” Lady

Diameter: 25 mm
Thickness: 4.5 mm
Movement: VC 1009/39 (quartz)


Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Other versions:

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review




Links:

http://www.thehourlounge.com/index.php?module=Thread&action=view&threadid=10774&id=10774

http://orologi.forumfree.net/?t=21255624&st=0

I’m very grateful to the Italian friends that have helped me to find photos. And to DOC for all informations about millesimation.

PS I’m sorry for my english!!!

Addendum (April 24, 2008)

Arrival of a NOS bracelet

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Maltese cross is different in original and new bracelet:

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

And at the end of clas new bracelet has engraved "V4" (not in the originale bracelet)

Vacheron Constantin "222" Review

Great Report Leo
04/09/2008 - 04:00

Thanks for the report and all the effort that went into it. This should go ino the recomended articles section.

Can't get enough of the 222...thanks!
04/09/2008 - 04:07

nt

Fantastic Review ...
04/09/2008 - 06:11

One can clearly see where the current Overseas came from.  I really appreciate the detail and the photographs!

Jonathan.

Absolutely a fantastic review!!! Thats one of my favorite VCs...
04/09/2008 - 06:23

Thank you so much for the excellent review.  The 222 has for years been the most underappreciated sports watch of "the big three."  Also all the pictures you posted are great.  Its very rare to get more than 2 or three pictures of a 222.  In addition, I've never seen a square 222...it doesn't appeal to me but still interesting to see (AP tried the same thing with the RO, and the square RO never really caught on either).  Actually, the last watch in the photos looks somewhat similar to the 222, but its called the 333.  The 333 was an odd looking watch in my opinion and lacks all of the strong design elements that appeal to me in the 222.  The 333 looks almost too soft or feminine (no offense to any owners).  I just like the rugged looking bezel and crisper lines of the 222 far more.  

Best regards,

Dino 

"The 222 reference article"
04/09/2008 - 09:35

This is what it should be named and saved under, for the future.

A very nice and clear overwiev of the 222.

History, development and the technical information,

are all concentraded in this, elegant and knowingly report!

You have done a great job for the 222, Hour Lounge and not least, Vacheron Constantin

Thanks

Doc

Wonderful and exceptional review Leonardo.
04/09/2008 - 10:41

Very well documented, and good description of the movement.

Alex, this must be recorded under Recommended Threads!

Congrats for owning this rarity.

CONGRATULATIONS lEONARDO.
04/09/2008 - 11:40

This is the best and more deailed watch review I have ever seen in Hl. It definatey deserves to be posted under the recommended threads.

George

great review!!
04/09/2008 - 12:29

I think there is a lack actually in the market for this kind of watches: thin, sporty and classy.

We hope VC will launch again a thin automatic "sports" watch...

Thanks Leonardo for remind us this not so well understood watch(almost for me).

Best. Kiko.

Amazing Report Leo!!!
04/09/2008 - 13:11

Very comprehensive and very interesting!!!

This is such a great report, I really enjoyed reading it!

It must have taken you quite a while to put all of this together, thank you very much for all your efforts!!!

Cheers,

Veillotron

Thanks Leonardo
04/09/2008 - 17:54

It's difficult to not want a 222 after reading your report

great informative read on yet another VC classic! nt
04/09/2008 - 20:15

Thanks!
04/09/2008 - 21:05

Thanks to all!

And I haven't finish: very soon photos of "new" bracelet (this is ok, but I have found one original and new, and I have bought it)

The most detailed review of the 222 I've seen. I'm definately putting
04/09/2008 - 21:16

this post in the Recommended threads section.

Thank you for a great write up!

Thank you very much for your work Leonardo...
04/09/2008 - 22:08

...your review/benchmark is very complete and illustrated

2 slight correction in the article Leo
04/10/2008 - 12:50

the cal 1120 family can and are still used by VC (ie the Patrimony Traditionnelle Skeleton launched last year) and the last photo in your article is of the 333 not the 222.

Thanks Alex!
04/10/2008 - 13:53

I have re-written article a lot of time, and something is "flown"

outstanding review. definitely in my "cult watch list" now. finally...
04/10/2008 - 14:28

i understand your avatar :) i really adore the maltese cross on case-front, which is your avatar. too bad they don't use this signature on the overseas anymore.

222 steel/gold 34mm owner
04/19/2011 - 12:33
thank you very much for this post excellent leonardo ps.did you receive my private message?
Re: Vacheron Constantin "222" Review
06/05/2012 - 19:30
Just one small error. Gerald Genta did not design the "222". It was a young watchmaker/engineer with the name Jurg Haysek: Best regards, watchace