This year historic watch maker Vacheron Constantin with the launch of their first boutique located at 2 Rue de la Paix in Paris, have decided to pay tribute to one of the most iconic pieces in their collection , The 1972 asymmetric watch. This watch was originally released in 1972 On June 23, in the reception rooms of the prestigious Ritz Hotel not far from 2 Rue de la Paix, the Comité de France honored the rare and coveted Prestige de la France award on Vacheron Constantin in tribute to the brand’s distinctive expertise, acquired through a desire to achieve authenticity, technical perfection, and elegance.
40 years Later, to commemorate this historic event in time, Vacheron Constantin have decided to manufacture two variations of this watch known as the Prestige in 18k white gold. They have managed to combine the modern day elements available today with the historic characteristics of 1972 which made this watch so iconic to begin with.
The first model is very true to the original and has an 18 k white gold asymmetric case with white gold hands and a very distinctive and timeless Chevron Patten silver dial. This watch is fitted on a black crocodile strap and reeks sophisticated timeless elegance with a dash of bravado. The most important part is its equipped with one of the finest most historic ultra thin manufactured in house calibre 1003 movements. This movement is even more historic than the 40th anniversary of the watch because this movement was originally released by Vacheron Constantin in 1955 to commemorate their 200 years in watch making at that point. This watch is limited and numbered to 40 pieces for the world and will retail in the neighborhood of $40,000 or 30,000 Euros. This will be available at certain Vacheron Constantin Boutiques worldwide only. The other distinguishing mark on the case back Prestige de la France is a throwback to the original made in 1972.
The second variation is also a limited edition piece but not numbered. This particular piece ca easily be distinguished from the 40th Anniversary limited piece because of the color of the dial. This piece has unique grey satin-finished sunburst dial featuring subtle chevron motifs accentuated by two 18K 5N pink gold dauphine hands and is fitted with a brown alligator leather strap. Both models are also stamped with the hallmark de geneve marking making this not only a very beautiful watch to look at but also a very technical and very well finished watch to the highest level of testing and exceptional quality.
I have always loved this incredibly fascinating timepiece because for its technical achievement with the aesthetics of its unique asymmetric case design which even by today’s standards is forward thinking. I can’t wait to try one on in the flesh but I am afraid I will have to take a mortgage out to buy it because I have to have it!
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
Caliber: 1003, ultra-thin, 18K gold Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Energy: Mechanical hand-wound
Movement diameter: 21.10 mm (9’’’ ¼ )
Movement thickness: 1.64 mm
Number of components: 117
Frequency: 2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes
Power reserve approx.: 31 hours
Case: 18K white gold “Prestige de la France” engraved on caseback
25mm x 47mm, thickness: 8.72mm
Water resistance: Tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)
Dial: Grey sunbrushed with transferred chevron pattern
Bracelet: Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with alligator leather inner shell, stitched-tip, large square scales
Clasp: 18K white gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross