After his return from space on February 9, 1971, the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 6351 pictured above was completed in July of the same year, was presented to Edgar Mitchell ‘In the name of some Geneva citizens’, according to the engraved inscription on the case back. While the precise circumstances of its presentation remain obscure, its existence has excited watch collectors for half a decade since the discovery of a small black and white photograph of the watch, dated 1971, in the Vacheron Constantin archive. After years of investigation, Christie’s is proud to offer a watch that has been the subject of serious inquiry and curiosity.
The Vacheron Constantin ‘Apollo 14 for Edgar Mitchell’ reference 6351 has remained in its original box for decades since the present owner received it from a family member of Edgar Mitchell. The same Vacheron Constantin Ref. 6351 was made for Commander Alan Shepard, with whom Mitchell spent 33 hours on the surface of the moon, and Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, who made 34 orbits of the moon in the Kitty Hawk as part of the nine-day, one minute and 58-second Apollo 14 mission.
This watch was auctioned off by Christie’s in NYC December 6, 2016. It’s also a link to a heroic yet humble man whose talents and endeavours are destined to have an impact on the very course of human history. ‘That spaceflight was the culmination of my being,’ Edgar Mitchell told NASA in 1997. ‘I think what we’re trying to do is discover ourselves and our place in the cosmos, and we don’t know [the answer]. We’re still looking for that.’
The watch is accompanied by a Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Origin, an Apollo 14 flight badge, an Apollo 14 flight badge pin, four silver commemorative medals and a Vacheron Constantinpresentation box reading, ‘In the name of some Geneva citizens for Edgar D. Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot Apollo 14, especially made by Vacheron Constantin Geneva’.
Original auction estimates were between $50,000-$100,000. This watch sold for $62,500. Not bad for such a specific and obscure piece like this. It’s not the most handsome watch I have seen VC make but it has an interesting and unique story.