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Vacheron Constantin Asymmetrical 1972 Prestige De La France # 35202 Wristwatch
------- 1. History of The 1972 Prestige De France ------- In June 1972, France's minister of science and industry, François-Xavier Ortoli, awarded Vacheron Constantin the rare and coveted Diplôme du Prestige de la France. It was a fine summer afternoon in late June. A gentle sun shone on the squares and the boulevards of Paris. Tourists and locals alike strolled in the Jardin des Tuileries. Close by, on the Place Vendôme, a group assembled in a salon of the famous Ritz Hotel. This was where Hemingway drank martinis, where Cole Porter would pen “Let’s Do It” and where Coco Chanel lived for thirty years in Suite 302. In their business suits and ties, with the ghosts of those memories around them, the group seemed at home in the ornate setting in which they found themselves. There, on June 23, 1972, the committee of the Prestige De Frrance gathered to honor Vacheron & Constantin, the first and only watch manufacturer to ever receive the high honor: the Diplome Du Prestige de la France to date. The honor upon which the present watch is hallmarked with on its case back and displays its awarded title. The highly collectible present 1972 Vacheron & Constantin wristwatch would forever change watch making history for several key reasons; A fact which is still confirmed by the tribute and homage Vacheron & Constantin still pay to this model today. Wristwatch design has always embodied the historical competition that existed amongst the various watch brands. The invention and the ability to innovate a wristwatch's internal mechanism and external case concept frequently acted as the main driving force for the leading 20th century watch maisons. There are only a select few timepiece models ever produced which can rightfully claim their spot on the mantle of important pivotal timepieces. We are proud to offer the present timepiece, which is an Original 1972 Vacheron & Constantin Prestige Du France wristwatch, not to be confused with the modern reproduction that Vacheron Constantin offers today as a tribute to the models' engineering accomplishments. The 1972 Vacheron & Constantin Prestige Du France is historically known for its invention as the Worlds thinnest mechanical movement ever produced at 1.64mm thick and still holds this innovative record nearly 50 years later, in any category, in current production today. (See photo comparison of movement to matchstick for reference) Named the Prestige Du France, Vacheron & Constantin coined this unique innovative wristwatch model name as a result of the Honor D'iploma Du Prestige which France awarded Vacheron and Constantin for there achievement and contribution to French heritage , innovation in engineering & case concept design in 1972.. In this industry, no other watch manufacturer has ever attempted to produce a timepiece such as the present example being offered here today which is why Vacheron & Constantin is still the first and only watch manufacturer to ever receive this award. Not only does the present example have the world's thinnest movement to date, the present Vacheron & Constantin also has a case design which contains something called a golden ratio, a term used to describe a mathematically perfect design ratio. Vacheron & Constantin broke engineering history by inventing the world's the thinnest mechanical winding movement ever produced but they also pushed the limits further when they engineered it to be housed in a case designed according to the golden ratio and constructed to be be mathematically perfect.This means that the ratio between the longer side of the case, and the length of the sapphire crystal on the opposite side, equals the Golden Ratio. The golden ratio has been implemented in some of the most important works of art such as the Mona Lisa, the last supper and also some of the most important architectural designs such as the Parthenon, Stone Henge and the 7th wonder of the world, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Some of the greatest mathematical minds of all ages, from Pythagoras and Euclid in ancient Greece, through the medieval Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa and the Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler, to present-day timepiece manufacturing firms such as Vacheron & Constantin, have spent endless hours over this simple ratio and its properties. As a result and amidst the clicking of camera shutters and a smattering of polite applause, Louis Christaens, the President of the Comité de Prestige et de Propagande Nationale, presented the diploma award to Jacques Ketterer, the President and Director of Vacheron Constantin for their excellence demonstrated by the present wristwatch's design. From President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing to Nobel Laureate René Cassin, passing through a number of ministers and even to Pope Pius XII, each have been a part of this committee which consist of France's most esteemed academicians and personalities from the world of politics, arts and letters to award honors who have contributed to the prestige of France and its economic, industrial or cultural influence. ------- 2. Impact Of The Vacheron & Constantin Caliber 1003 Movement in Watchmaking History ------- While The invention of the Ultra thin mechanical watch movement left Vacheron and Constantin the winner of one competition it opened the door to the next competition, "Who could create the first and best skeletonized wristwatch?" The next major competition between the brands would ensue as a result of this new technological innovation. Never before could a movement be created that was so thin which would once again open a whole new creative avenue for case design capabilities. The Significance of the mechanism in this timepiece model lead to Vacheron Constantin's next invention in case designs which was the first ever produced : a skeletonized wristwatch. Using the same caliber movement, Vacheron & Constantin used in the prestige de France the present offered model reference, Vacheron & Constantin was able to find a movement thin enough to fit into the house of a skeletonized wristwatch case design which until now was one of the hardest achievement in the watch world. Vacheron and Constantin soon after their invention of the caliber 1003 created the very first known skeletonized wristwatch only a few years later. Without the caliber 1003 movement, which gave Vacheron the ability to produce ultra thin working movements small enough to fit into a skeletonized watch case, Vacheron & Constatin never could have produced the first Skeletonized wristwatch in 1978 one year before Patek Philippe was able to produce their own version of a skeletonized wristwatch. An example of the first known Patek Philippe skeletonized wristwatch can also be found in our storefront should you be interested in reading about that reference further. Post 1978 after Vacheron & Constantin set the new standard in skeletonized wristwatches, Patek Philippe & Audemars Piguet quickly sought to create their own version of the 1978 skeletonized Vacheron and Constantin. Having created the caliber 1003 movement, it enabled Vacheron and Constantin to produce one of the most important designs in horological history which ultimately led to the the progression of its use in the most unimaginable ,then revolutionary skeletonized case designs. Creating jumps in watchmaking history is not only a bi product of their supreme craftsmanship, but more so a heritage at the core of their long lasting foundation. ------- 3. Original Prestige De France Design vs Tribute Reproduction Design ------- The present timepiece is considered so important to Vacheron & Constantin heritage, Vacheron & Constantin officially opened its doors as a boutique in Paris, located a few steps from where it was originally awarded this rare honor as part of a homage to the Prestige De France. This is the first store of Geneva's historic brand in the French capital and in addition to creating this important boutique, Vacheron & Constantin decided to re-issue a modern version of the Prestige du France to be put back into production nearly 40 years later. The boutique was created to contain a full line of Vacheron Constantin timepieces as well as a vintage collection named "Vacheron Constantin les Collectioneurs". The collection includes a boutique exclusive of its 1972 Prestige timepieces, known for its ultra thin assymeterical shape and its 1003 movement and only 40 units were produced in the modern version. Aside from the period, the movement and case design have remained the same as both cases bare the famous Prestige De La France coat of arms. Interesting to note however, is that the modern reproductions contain the firms modern signature known as : Vacheron Constantin. In 1974, Vacheron & Constantin officially dropped the ampersand (“&”) from the company name, reflecting a change in the way their watches had been signed since sometime in the late 1950s, and thus has been styled Vacheron Constantin S.A. ever since. Perhaps this reflects permanently the change from the conjoined names of two families working together in partnership, to the brand name of the corporate entity descended from them upon which the modern reproduction version is created by. The present watch separates itself from all other Prestige De France by several factors making it more collectible then other variations in this reference even further. Several of these attributes are listed below: 18kt white gold - produced in far less numbers then 18kt yellow gold Roman numeral dial - Extremely small limited production Black Dial - produced in far less numbers then white dial Vacheron & Constantin 18kt Whtie gold mesh bracelet with Vacheron & Constantin signed maltese cross at the end of clasp - Very very few pieces were produced with the sports watch bracelet Condition Attributes The condition is immaculate. No tears to the bracelet, No discoloration to the dial, Extremely minor wear to outer case, Fully running and recently serviced watch movement with no corrosion or rust to gears or interior of the case, Clasp is firm and tight which indicates further lack of use and sharp hallmarks on the outer case and signatures on the case,dial,movement, & clasp. *For any additional questions or photos, please feel free to contact us directly and we appreciate your interest in advance. Thank you. Watch Case Measurements: 23mm across x 45m (top/down) Bracelet Length: 190mm Weight: 75 grams Thickness: 7mm Book References - The Secrets of Vacheron Constantin: 250 Years of History, Flechon, Dominique ; Cologni, Franco - A Grand Complication: The Race to Build the World's Most Legendary Watch , Perman, Stacy - Retail Market Study 2014, Riebe, Marc-Christian
- In the Style Of
- Place of OriginSwitzerland
- Date of Manufacture1970s
- WearRecently Serviced.
- DimensionsW 0.91 in. x D 1.78 in. x Dm 0.91 in.W 23 mm x D 45 mm x Dm 23 mm
- Diameter0.91 in. (23 mm)
- Length1.78 in. (45 mm)
- Seller LocationNew york, NY
- Reference NumberLU121237716741
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About the Seller
5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2018
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Located in New york, NY
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