Vacheron Constantin, Genève, "222" "Jumbo". Ref. 44018/411. Made in 1970's. Tonneau-shaped, self-winding, 18K yellow gold wristwatch with 18K yellow gold integrated bracelet and 18K gold deployant clasp signed "GF" for Gay Frères.
Case: Two-body, solid, polished and brushed, lobed bezel, Vacheron Constantin logo at 5. Screweddown case back.
Dial: Champagne with applied luminous yellow gold baton indexes, outer minute divisions, aperture for the date at 3. Luminous yellow gold baton hands.
Movement: Cal. 1121, rhodium-plated, 36 jewels, "fausse côtes" decorated, straight- line lever escapement, beryllium balance adjusted to 5 positions, self-compensating flat balance spring. Gold rotor.
Diameter: 37mm X 45mm Thickness: 7 mm
In 1977, to celebrate its 222nd anniversary, Vacheron Constantin created a watch aptly named the Two-Two-Two. Following on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the 222 represented the last of the celebrated manufactures to introduce a casual luxury watch to the market. The 222 was produced in stainless steel, gold, and the fashionable steel and gold combination.
The brand trusted the young designer Jorg Hysek with the project to design the watch unlike the Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe whose respective watches were designed by Gérald Genta, already a famous designer at the time. The watch shared some similarities in design with a unique shape, a combination of round display in a tonneau shape case. The watch also has an integrated bracelet and a unibody case. The movement is the same as the one used in early Royal Oak and Nautilus; the JLC 920 also known as the 2120 with AP and 28-255. This ultra thin automatic movement was reliable and quiet rare. Production lasted 8 years, the 222 was discontinued in 1985. The watch was made in two sizes 34mm and a "Jumbo" 37mm. About 100 gold "Jumbo" 222 were manufactured.
This particular watch has kept most of the desired attributes of the 222. The case appears unpolished with strong hallmark, beautiful beveled edges and a nice crisp tight Gay Frères bracelet. The watch has an untouched dial and the backcase as a strong "222" signature. The perfect watch for the sophisticated collector.