You have to start somewhere...

Hi everyone,

First of all a great thanks to Alex for running and extending this insightful forum. I have been following for a while and have decided it is about time now for me to transition from an observer and admirer to an owner of a Vacheron Constantin. I am a great fan of vintage watches had something from the 40's or 50's in mind as a start. 

Obvisouly having read through the previous posts and as a complete rookie I am slightly concerned about falling for an inferior imitate or a Frankenwatch and thought its worth a try to ask the experts for some thoughts and advise.

I have short-listed a few models which I would be keen in acquiring and posted the pictures below. Some come with an extract from the archives others don't have a "Swiss" below the 6 on the dial but I assume that is due to the fact that they have been restorated (probably not by Vacheron directly)?  

I am looking forward to hear your thoughts guys. Any advice is appreciated! Please also feel free to add any infor on model or calibre you might have. I believe # 5,6 & 7 are ladies watches as my girlfriend is thingking about getting one as well. Thanks a lot for your help!

#1:

 

You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...  #2:  You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere... #3:  You have to start somewhere...  #4:  You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...   #5:  You have to start somewhere... You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...  #6:  You have to start somewhere...  #7:  You have to start somewhere...You have to start somewhere...   
I definitely see a pattern here :-) First of all...
08/23/2016 - 14:00

welcome to the Lounge, its good to have you with us. These watches are all very similar so it would be a question of taste and how mucg patina on the dial is OK for you. Second thing to look at is size. These tear drop lug models came in all sizes from 31mm to 36mm so make sure you're getting a larger size.

The watches with the extracts come with a bit more of ease of mind as you know at leaset that they are not frankens.

 

Let us know what you finally decide on

Not quite
08/23/2016 - 17:38

don't mean to disagree with the value of having an Extract but it doesn't protect the purchaser from acquiring a franken sad.  While it establishes the case and movement serial numbers correspond with the archival record, frankens can still have mismatched parts.  An example was recently discussed here.  I recall another with movement and case back from a T-Bird married with another case, still looking for the post.  The Certificate of Authenticity is an absolute guarantee as the watch itself is examined by VC, but the cost of this service makes it unlikely to accompany the watches our OP is targetting for his first-time V&C experience.

To our new member, welcome and may I ask if you have documented the criteria you are looking for in a V&C?

 

Welcome to THL Noctis
08/23/2016 - 14:35

It looks like you have a preference for tear drop lugs, iconic VC style. smiley

As Alex said, these watches were produced in sizes from 38mm to 31mm in diameter.  They were all men's watches when they were produced, sizes tended to be smaller in the 40s and 50s.  Now any of them can be worn equally by a man and woman.

So it would be important to confirm the sizes that you want for you and your girlfriend, two tear drop lug watches makes a very nice his and her combination.yes

Sometimes the word "Swiss" is hidden by the case, so you may want to check that if you are concerned.

Personally I like #1, but would want to look at the movement of any watch that I am considering.

Best Regards, Dan

i am in trouble
08/23/2016 - 17:53

i cannot search any discussions or articles sad

109 results,but i cannot see them?
08/23/2016 - 17:58

?

The tech guys are looking into this
08/23/2016 - 18:01

.

thank you
08/23/2016 - 18:07

smiley

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!
08/24/2016 - 17:32

@ Alex: thanks for the tip. One more question: I couldn’t help but notice that the crowns differ quite significantly between the individual models. Is this simply due to the fact that they are from different periods or have some of them been replaced while the others are the still the original part (e.g. #1 is an original I assume)?

 

@ tick-talk: I am looking for a rather simple dress watch, and was somehow love-struck by the tear drop lugs I suppose. Ideally, it would have a second sub dial as well. Regarding the calibre, to be very frank I have limited insight so far. Of course I know that a 4178 chronograph might be much more sophisticated time piece from a technical perspective but as the title already mentions you have to start somewhere and hopefully this won’t be my last V&C acquisition J

 

I am very happy for ideas though if somebody knows a specific model that could be a good match, it seems like you guys have quite a decent understanding of what I am after!

 

@ Dan Shao: Got it, thanks. Was the Swiss/Swiss Made engraved on all V&C models? I.e. if it is missing does that entail that the watch is an imitate or has the dial simply been replaced? #5 for example has just been completely restored I was told but the Swiss is missing somehow (see picture below). The Geneve also looks suspicious to be somehow. 

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

You might find this link useful
08/24/2016 - 18:17
Very useful post!
08/25/2016 - 12:15

Thanks a lot tick-talk. Very helpful indeed

One last question: If the seller tells most parts of the movement are original but the main spring has been replaced, is that something that should concern me? I would assume this is a rather common replacement part, correct?

Mainspring replacement
08/25/2016 - 17:19

Should be OK, a common service item for vintage watches.  Just keep an eye out for related problems.  Dirt and rust typically affect the mainspring and may have a knock-on effect on other components.  You'll have to trust the watchsmith found the correct size and length.

I believe this picture is of a refinished dial
08/25/2016 - 12:27

Tick-talk created a very informative post about spotting these things to look for with vintage VCs.  The link is in a post under this thread.