This Vacheron Constantin Patrimony has a rare mushroom coloured Sigma dial that really makes it stand out in its 18k gold case. Reference number 44203.
HOW DO WE DATE THIS WATCH?
We ordered an Extract from the Archives directly from Vacheron Constantin, and they have stated the year of manufacture as 1977.
The Patrimony is Vacheron Constantin’s dress watch. Vacheron are up there with Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe as the ‘big 3’, and this is because they never skimp to make a cheap watch. Quality comes foremost every time, hence the prices. A new Patrimony with automatic movement and calendar, in a 36 mm case, would be £21,900.
To find one from 1977 is also rare. This was the time of the quartz crisis, where the market was hit two ways. One was the influx of cheap quartz movements, that drove down prices. The less well understood reason was the price of gold had shot up thanks to World markets. In 1972, an ounce of gold cost £18.97. Just five years later that had increased to £86.41 an ounce – gold cases had just increased 4.5 times in cost. So buying an 18k gold watch with automatic movement in 1977 was not a straightforward choice, and only the elite could afford such a thing from Vacheron Constantin.
Vacheron Constantin survived the quartz crisis when many fell, but VC have survived since 1755 so that was no surprise. To do so they introduced a new model, in steel, called the 222 (a reference to the companies age in 1977). The original buyer of this piece though could afford the premium to buy a gold watch. Inside this was is a 36 jewel calibre 1121 movement, which is described as the most exclusive automatic movement in this article here, which also has an excellent technical breakdown of how this is made. The colour of the dial on this watch is most unusual – we are describing it as Mushroom, but everyone we asked came up with different answers! There are a couple of small dents on the dial, and the dial is also known as a sigma dial – the small symbols σ either side of the word Swiss are the Greek letter Sigma, and this was used in the 1970’s (and occasionally beyond) to say the hands and indices on the watch are also gold. You can read more about sigma dials here. The strap shown in the photos and video is from Patek Philippe, but this is being replaced with a new crocodile strap. The buckle marked 750 for 18k gold.
This watch will be supplied with the Extract from the Archives and our Certificate of Authenticity.
Please see the HD video for more detail. All photos and videos are part of the description and are of the actual watch unless mentioned. We do not photoshop any pictures, and the images are copyright of birthyearwatches.com and should not be used without permission.
Width with crown 34.9 mm
Width without crown 33.2 mm
Between lugs 17 mm
Lug to lug length 37.4 mm
Case Thickness 6.5 mm
All sizes are approximate.
Included with this watch is a 6 month guarantee and free delivery to UK addresses. If you live outside the UK we can still deliver to most countries. Please see our Worldwide Shipping information, or Contact Us. Payment can be made by most credit or debit cards, bank transfer or PayPal.
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