very old vacheron - help

I have a very old Vacheron watch with a serial No 10 592. Unfortunately it's not in a very good condition as you can see from the photos.


Can anyone halp me to date it and to tell me something more abut it? It is very hard to find any information about it.


It is a part of my family heritage, so I can confirm that it is original 100%.

Vacheron Geneve
05/12/2015 - 02:10

A movement picture would aid a great deal but we can surmise from the style and inscription on the brass cuvette (the back cover is missing, along with hands, bow, etc.) that your key-wind, key-set, 8-jewel cylinder escapement watch is one of numerous inexpensive Swiss cylinder watches from the late 19th century (1860-90) using the technology of the 18th century.  Unfortunately, Vacheron Geneve is not related to Vacheron & Constanin and, in fact, is not a registered trade name at all.  The cost of restoration would surpass its value many times over.  OTOH, this news should not upset your sentimental and family connection with the piece.  Seems to have led a strenuous life...if it could speak, no doubt it would tell a tale!

Re: Vacheron Geneve
05/13/2015 - 17:42

I was wondering about its origin because it is a 14k golden watch, so it wasn't so inexpensive. I have the back cover, but it is was separated from the rest of the watch. But thank you for your reply.

I believe Dean meant relative to a Vacheron Constantin of the same era
05/13/2015 - 18:58

For example, here is a Vacheron a Geneve watch from Christies.


Spoiler alert: it sold for about $2,300 and is a highly decorated example.


While not pictured, it is relatively certain this watch was in near-collectible condition, if Christie's was selling it.  So, as Dean said, the cost of restoration would indeed be more than it's "collector value".  But, all value is not monetary.  Enjoy it in health and cherish the family connection that it holds for you.

Re: Vacheron Geneve
05/13/2015 - 20:59

OTOH - Vacheron was in business before Constantin became a partner, so there is a possibility that it might be from the 18th or very early 19th century.

Frankly, the only way to know for sure is to have an expert look at it and that's not me.


Oh dear, fellows!
05/13/2015 - 22:08

We have a good stockpile of info on these pieces in our archives available through Search surprise.  The case style and inscription are indicative of the counterfeit pieces that vexed V&C from 1850 onwards.  Without seeing the movement, I can tell you it can't be pre-Constantin as 1) they did not have cylinder escapements, and 2) they did not have 5-digit serial numbers.  Again, a movement photo would complete the story.

There is an entire family of collectible watches known as the "Swiss Fakes" that were made to copy American watches, and this practice carried over to the better known Swiss brands.  The Swiss decentralized system of production made it very easy to scribe any name on your anonymous watch that would increase its value.  Some of them were very nice, I'm sure the Christie's piece was good quality, but  not genuine V&C (nor did Christie's claim it was).  Note the date of 1860 in the listing description!  It is what it is.

Here is a short history of the brand for our original poster; between 1755 and 1785, the first watches appeared in Geneva under the name "J.M. Vacheron à Genève" for Jean-Marc Vacheron.  His sons Louis Andre and Abraham followed.  Pieces signed "Louis André Vacheron" appeared briefly, but it was the younger son that carried on their father's legacy commencing in 1785 with watches signed "Abraham Vacheron".  That was to change a year later in 1786 with the introduction of a new partner and the signature"Abraham Vacheron Girod".  These watches were numbered 5000 and 6000 range.  Beginning in 1819, all pieces were signed with the familiar "Vacheron & Constantin".

Allow me to clarify, sorry.
05/13/2015 - 23:25

Apologies for being vague.

I meant EXACTLY what you said.  When I said "relative to a V&C", I meant to say that you were saying that was likely inexpensive when compared to a V&C of the same era, NOT that it WAS a relative of the V&C.  And I meant to say the Christie's was a "Vacheron a Geneve" and NOT a V&C.  So, yeah, I was agreeing with you, Dean.  Sorry for being ambiguous.  What I should have said was:

+1   See link.

No worries Jamie, hope
05/14/2015 - 00:06

I didn't come across as crabby, just a bit vexed over the proliferation of these pieces sad.  For anyone with time and interest, search using keywords "Vacheron" and "Rubis" for a dozen or more examples.  You will quickly develop an eye for spotting them.

Re: Oh dear, fellows!
05/14/2015 - 01:56

I learn; I learn...


Even V&C's second quality watches were copied!
05/16/2015 - 18:58

Here are a couple of watches attempting to copy the later Abraham Vacheron Girod line...

Even V&C's second quality watches were copied!

Even V&C's second quality watches were copied!

Re: very old vacheron - help
05/13/2015 - 23:13

Another interesting Vacheron a Geneve was lot #233 at last Antiquorum in Geneva 10.05.2015 (first they described it as VC but corrected this info).

Good catch Serge!
05/14/2015 - 00:15

I missed that info hidden in the description.  A very good case study, first to show that you cannot take auction descriptions at face value, even the big houses.  Second, on the outside it seems like a very nice watch that would be desirable on its own merits, without playing the name-game.

Good catch Serge!

Re: Good catch Serge!
05/14/2015 - 12:50

Just found another VaG watch on EBay )) Fake or true?

 Good catch Serge!

 Good catch Serge!

 Good catch Serge!

Rule of thumb
05/14/2015 - 16:14

If anyone takes something from the discussion, it should be this formula:

Vacheron + (Cylinder, Lepine) - Constantin = Fake

Re: very old vacheron - help
05/14/2015 - 18:53

Thank you everybody for your replies, I have a better picture of the watch now.

I was trying to date it to see to who it may belong to, but at least now I know it's not a Vacheron Constantin. I saw other similar watches Vacheron Geneve on the internet, but with a bit different logos.

Assuming this Vacheron Geneve was made in the second half of 19th century I can say that this ''brand'' was probably a made for the market of the Austrian empire.