Vacheron Constantin Chronomètre Royal Ref 6105 Circa 1953
This timepiece is anything but ordinary: this is one of the elite references Vacheron Constatin submitted in 1950s for competition to see which manufacturer could produce the most accurate and stable timekeeping device.
The relatively simple case and dial design conceals the superlative movement that drives the watch: Cal. 12’’’ P1008BS mechanical movement, 19 jewels, silvered matte dial, applied gold prism and double baton numerals, outer minute divisions, center seconds, circular water-resistant case, “Maltese Cross” lugs, screw back engraved “Chronomètre Royal”, case, dial, and movement signed.
You can tell instantly that this watch is extraordinary from the heft of the piece when you pick it up. It’s heavy for a 35 mm case; and when you open the movement, you’re struck by the large balance and thick plates. Truly awesome.
The movement features hacking Cal P1008BS seconds – BS referring to Balance Stop. The movement is a highly finished adaptation of the Jaeger-LeCoultre 488/SBR, recognized as one of the most beautiful chronometer movements ever made for a wristwatch. Unlike the original Chronomètre Royal pocket watches of the early 1900s, and the JLC brethren that looked like plain tool watches inside, the movement of the VC wristwatches were beautifully finished and decorated.
Interestingly, despite its Vacheron pedigree and higher degree of finish & decoration, this watch is less expensive than the Jaeger Geophysic models of the same era.
The present watch is a fine example of a reference 6105, which featured the unusual “Maltese Cross” lugs. Originally advertised as a watch for a demanding clientele, created by the same experts who produced winning chronometers at the observatory trials, the Chronomètre Royal is a classic Vacheron Constantin dress watch with precise timekeeping ability.
This rare watch is in mint condition, with crisp engraving on the back and a beautifully aged dial and gold case. There is a mark on the upper left lug that I believe is the hallmark of watches imported into the Portuguese market.
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