We all know the story of how the big three got: their sports watches don’t we all designed by the same guy gerald genter in the 1970s. Well, that’s, not exactly true, at least not for the vacheron constantine overseas to showcase one of the latest additions to the overseas family, the perpetual calendar ultra-thin.
We take a look back and find out what really happened all those years ago, watchfinder the pre-owned watch specialist now available in france, germany, switzerland, usa and hong kong. So we can keep on making great watch videos.
I’d, really appreciate it. If you subscribed to the channel, if you already are it really does help? Thank you. It’s, easy to see why the myth that gerald genter designed the vacheron constantine 222 as it was then known, came to be.
It was a tumultuous time for the swiss watchmaking industry and it seemed that in 1972, after coming dangerously close to shutting its doors forever, odomar piguet had the answer. Like the utterly bonkers 1975 lamborghini countach, the odomapique royal oak was designed with one thing in mind: not heritage, not complication, not reservation, but excess.
It was an era of growing wealth and luxury and what better way to show it than with a handmade watch so outrageous. It probably didn’t even need a name on the dial seeing audemars piguet’s change in fortunes following the unprecedented success of the royal oaks release.
That was the same conclusion. Patek philippe came to iwc as well. Both hijacked genter’s; talents to build them the same watch as odom rpga to the same brief or basically, as close as they could get without ending up in court being the oldest and most traditional brand of them all.
However, vacheron constantine remained defiant. This was a company 84 years older than patek philippe 120 years, older than odimar gay, and it had a reputation of tradition and classicism to maintain the mighty watchmaker held out as long as it could, but in 1977, not being immune to the same fate, it was Forced to yield and so released the 2-2-2.
The 2-2-2 had the same styling as odomar piguet’s; royal oak patek, philippe’s; nautilus and iwc’s, engineer sl, even the same movement, the cheshire called caliber 920. Of course, it had to have been designed by the same man gerald genter.
It wasn’t, so much a myth as a completely reasonable extrapolation, especially since the brand would neither confirm nor deny, but vacheron constantine’s, resilience forced it down a different path born in east berlin, a young georges high sex journey to Designing the 222 started when his family narrowly escaped lockdown behind the berlin wall moving to geneva in 1960.
As a student, he pursued an interest in sculpture and micro-mechanics traveling to england to attend the london academy of art he dabbled in watchmaking, but the artistry of design was where his passions lay and when he returned to geneva in 1975, he sought himself a job, but The industry he returned to was one in turmoil.
His dreams of making his mark in the sculpture of watches looked to have ended before it had even begun. There was, however, one last option: a watch so important. It would save one of the oldest watchmakers in all of switzerland project 222.
You can imagine how gawling it must have been for vacheron constantin to concede its once-mighty name to the trends of a moment. This is likely why, where odomar, piguet and patek philippe, the two comparatively younger brands, openly acknowledged their intent.
Vacheron constantine sought to veil its intentions under the cover of a name unknown: the young fresh-faced georges hysek. The 222 was built under the cover of secrecy and the details of its development.
Despite the watch’s, success remained unknown until fairly recently, even when the watch was launched, it was almost with resentment. Only a hundred gold models produced 500 total. It was barely even given a name with advertisements stating merely dussel van der devaschenko, referring to the brand’s 222 years of continuous production.
It was a hard pill to swallow for the top three but hardest of all for vacheron constantine. With hindsight, it was the watch as it was for odometer pga, and particularly both that allowed vacheron constantine to continue building on its already illustrious history.
The 222 was actually discontinued in 1985, not even a decade after launch, presumably having done its job, carrying the company through troubled times and into more favorable ones. But after another decade’s, hiatus there was something of a change of heart, despite being a blip on the company’s, otherwise gargantuan history, it was hard to discredit the importance the 222 carried for vacheron constantine, without which there may have Been no vachon constantine at all, so in 1996 the familiar shape re-emerged only this time, given a proper name of its own the overseas today.
That name is one of the brand’s, most beloved and most successful and its lines have aged gracefully. With time of the three, it is without doubt the most elegant, the most refined, having smoothed the hardest edges found on the royal oak and nautilus, clever integration of the brand’s.
Maltese cross logo into the bezel and bracelet links also adds depth to the design here, in ultra thin perpetual calendar form. It is at its most cohesive, with vacheron constantine’s two and a half centuries, plus the rest of backstory, reuniting the watchmaker’s, fame for complication and elegance with the 70s shock treatment.
That is the chunky case and integrated bracelet. The funny thing is that, although it looks like a chunker of a sports watch, it’s actually just 8.1 millimeters thick, despite carrying the caliber 1120 qp, one perpetual calendar, which in itself is just 4.
05 millimeters thick it’s, a liquid Smooth combination of classic and contemporary and despite there existing an ultra thin variant of the royal oak and nautilus, both with perpetual calendars with the odomapi gaze sizing up at a scant 6.
3 millimeters tall. The vacheron constantine approach feels more in keeping with the name on the dial. It may not be of gender origin, but in that sense it carries more of the spirit of the brand than the other way around, avoiding the pitfalls of becoming the brand itself.
It’s hidden in their details, notably in the layout of their subdials. The moon phase at six date at three day at nine and month at 12, is straight out of the pages of vacheron constantine history, not least the four year cycle month display, which is often refined in a more modern split between a single year cycle and a Separate leap year indicator here: it’s, kept as it was because well we don’t, buy these watches for what they can be.
We buy them for what they once were and it’s clear that vacheron constantine knows that even the calibre itself retains historical significance still based on that original czechoslovak 920, albeit with the addition of a perpetual calendar mechanism still carrying the name.
It bore when it first joined the vacheron constantine family in 1977, proudly wearing the hallmark of switzerland’s. Most finely decorated watches the geneva seal. All in all, it’s, actually a rather nice medley of brand collaboration.
That pays its respects to a period of vulnerability that allowed these fine watchmakers to continue existing today, if you find yourself in the rather handsome position of choosing between the 70s ultra-thin perpetual calendars from one of these three brands, first off savor the moment these are watches Born of long eras, of growing success, followed by an insanely, fast period of reinvention and all three deserve full and complete consideration.
If you want the one made by the oldest brand of them all. However, the one made by the brand that fought the good fight the longest that best honors the pages of history completed prior to its existence, then that’s, one myth busted and only one clear winner discover more exceptional watches at watchfinder.
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