AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS/IN-DEPTH/NEWS & RESULTS/Vacheron Constantin
NY Auction Highlight: The Vacheron Constantin Triple Calendar ‘Cioccolatone’ In Pink Gold
The 1950s was an important decade for watchmaking. They marked the end of a transformative period, defined by the growing popularity of wristwatches, and in turn, the development of smaller complications which could be worn on the wrist, and ushered in an age of serially produced calendar watches.
Back then, a triple calendar with moonphase would have been one of the ultimate watches to own for their beauty and functionality. These are watches that display the hours, minutes and seconds, and also inform the wearer of the day, date, and month. Oh, and the phases of the moon, obviously.
It’s fair to say that whoever bought a reference 4764 in the 1950s knew a thing or two about high-end horology, and who to get it from. Vacheron Constantin carried several versions of this complication, starting with the reference 4240L which was introduced in 1942, and followed by models that were almost identical in terms of shape and size.
That ended with the introduction of reference 4767 and Vacheron Constantin's decision to use the newly introduced Cioccolatone to create one of the great statement pieces of the 1950s. A new case shape, the Cioccolatone had until then only been used for time-only models. These were simple but impressive watches, measuring 43mm by 36mm. Their chocolate square shape gave them amazing presence on the wrist, but they were nothing compared to reference 4764.
This was the ultimate Cioccolatone, and it arrived just as the company prepared to celebrate its bicentenary. Vacheron Constantin produced highly limited numbers, in yellow gold, pink gold, and in platinum, all powered by the manually-wound calibre 495, a movement previously used for more traditional and much smaller watches in Vacheron Constantin’s collection.
No more than 25 examples of reference 4764 were made in pink gold, and there isn’t a finer, more well-preserved example that we know of. This one is back in an auction room for the first time since 2006, having hardly been worn.
What makes this particular example so attractive, beyond the fact that it's in pink gold and not yellow gold, is the overall condition of the watch. The case is in original condition, with crisp hallmarks on the underside of the lugs. Observers will notice some light surface and traces of oxidation where the bezel meets the dial at the corners, both of which are consistent with age.
The two-tone dial is perfectly preserved. The brushed date ring is perfectly crisp and bright, and the printing on the calendar rings remains sharp. The blue date ring pops off the dial and offers great contrast to the red day and month indications, and the overall balance of the dial is stunning.
The watch is accompanied by a brown leather Vacheron Constantin presentation box, and an extract from the Vacheron Constantin archives confirming date of manufacture in 1958.
This pink gold Vacheron Constantin Triple Calendar ‘Cioccolatone’ is lot 37 of our Winning Icons sale, and will be offered in New York on October 26.