A V&C Family Heirloom...

A V&C Family Heirloom...A V&C Family Heirloom...A V&C Family Heirloom...

First of all, I'm new to this forum and I thank you in advance for any advice/information.

This past weekend, my mother gave me a V&C ref. C3.7804.  The watch was a wedding gift from her father to mine back in 1973.  According to the certificate, my grandfather purchased the watch at an AD in Hong Kong during one of his business trips.  Although I have the reference number, I can't seem to find much information about this watch and I was hoping somebody here could tell me about it.

As for the watch itself, the case is 31mm in diameter and 3mm thick.  The bracelet and bezel are made of white gold and the crystal is flawless.  I've been testing the movement over the past couple days and to my amazement it keeps very good time.  My father, who still doesn't wear a watch to this day, only wore this watch on his wedding day and my mother stashed it away ever since.  Like I mentioned before, I do have the certificate/maintenance/warranty booklet but unfortunately the presentation box has been lost over the years.  My grandmother told me it was a beautiful box.

So I was hoping for three pieces of information:
1.  Any information about the history of this watch.  Caliber info.
2.  I've never owned a watch this old before.  Should I have it maintained even if I won't ever wear it?
3.  What is the most reliable way to get a watch like this appraised?  I'm not selling it but I'd like to know what it's worth.

Once again, thank you in advance for your responses.

What wasn't answered at Purists?
04/03/2012 - 00:12
LOL, VC is a small community so many here have already seen this post several days ago over at Purists.  Dan did a great job interpreting your certificate, which I see you haven't included (again) in this post.  Please don't disrespect others with fishing expeditions for info you already have as that is a common tactic of shilling...simply present your very nice watch for our enjoyment yes.  BTW, I just answered your questions on maintenance at the other forum, to save you from posting here again wink.
Re: What wasn't answered at Purists?
04/03/2012 - 02:19
My apologies.  My intention wasn't to shill at all.  I just wanted to see if anybody had differing information regarding the watch.  I'm obviously new to the hobby and still getting the hang of posting on these forums.  I had no idea the community was so small.  Thank you for your post on Purists.
Re: Re: What wasn't answered at Purists?
04/03/2012 - 18:22
No apologies necessary! it is a "small community" but since only two of the community responded to your Purist post, it certainly is worth a try posting elsewhere to 'fish" for more information. Take a look around this site and you will a great many fans and owners of Vacheron watches and history. Dan has covered the origin of the watch quite well. You might want to contact the VC concierge for any servicing questions or even an overhaul. Many of the folks here are quite knowledgeable and willing to share their knowledge. Stay a whiel. Im sure you will learn a lot about Vacheron. If you want any references to read to enhance your knowledge, let me or anyone here know. Good luck, JB
Re: Re: Re: What wasn't answered at Purists?
04/03/2012 - 20:34
Thank you very much, JB.  I did actually get in touch with an AD here and they said since the watch is pretty old, they'll have to send it to Switzerland for a complete tune-up.  The approximate cost of this would be $800 plus shipping costs.  I'd like to do it at some point but I'll have to wait.  I wound it for the first time yesterday morning and it's still keeping great time.  I'm just worried that the lubrication has deteriorated after so many years of staying stagnant.  Anyway, thanks again for your support and I'll definitely read up as much as I can on this site.  Best, Jim
Re: Re: Re: Re: What wasn't answered at Purists?
04/03/2012 - 23:59
$800 doesn't sound too bad. They do a great job in restoring and yours probably won't need much. But it will come back like new. The staff at VC in Switzerland and everywhere in fact have a great reverence for the older pieces. It reflects well on the heritage of the company. Regards, JB
Hi Jim, welcome to the Hour Lounge!
04/04/2012 - 04:46
Although the watch is from the early 1970s, the watch movement is still in production today. If the case, dial, and hands look to be in good shape (which they do in your pictures):  a full-maintenance of the movement may be possible at the Richemont Service Center in Texas or by the master watchmaker that resides at the VC Boutique in New York? The cost of service might not be different, but it may be faster if it does not have to go back to Geneva?  Just a thought, you would have to contact VC in NY or the RTC(Richemont Service Center).  I believe the contact information for both are available from VC's website. Best Regards, Dan
Re: Hi Jim, welcome to the Hour Lounge!
04/04/2012 - 21:38
Thank you once again, Dan.  I will give them a call directly.  The amazing thing about this little watch is that it's been keeping time as well as my brand new Panerai and an older Omega Seamaster as well as a Timex Quartz.  And this VC is nearly 40 years old!  It's no wonder VC has always been held in such high regard.  I'm going to give it a break and not wind it today to save the movement.  Thanks again! Best, Jim