Lot 209
  • 209

Vacheron & Constantin

28,000 - 35,000 CHF
bidding is closed


    REF 3372 MVT 416362 CASE 257268 MADE IN 1933
  • white and pink gold
  • diameter 45 mm
• cal. RA 17''' 15/12 manual winding nickel lever movement, cut bi-metallic balance, 18 jewels • three-tone silvered dial, applied baton indexes, pearled minute divisions, rotating silvered ring calibrated for 24-hours with Arabic numerals, outer ring with black enamel names of 31 world locations • 18k white gold case with pink gold band and stylised bow • case, dial and movement signed


Lambelet, C. & Coen, L., The World of Vacheron Constantin, Editions Scriptar SA/Vacheron Constantin, p.396 (illustration).

Catalogue Note

A photograph of this actual watch is illustrated in the Archives of Vacheron Constantin in Geneva, a copy of which is reproduced here. The archive photograph is numbered 3372 and is noted on the accompanying Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity. Examination of the archival image reveals the wonderful state of preservation of this watch with its superb three-tone silvered dial. The handsome, dress watch style case is made from 18k white gold that is accented with a pink gold band, pendant and bow.
The world time mechanism of this watch was made for Vacheron Constantin by Louis Cottier (1894-1966). Cottier was born in Carouge, his father, Emmanuel Cottier, was himself a watch and automata maker. As an independent watchmaker, Louis Cottier opened his own workshop in Carouge, making watches, wristwatches and desk clocks. He specialized in watches without hands, jumping digital hours and other unusual displays, as well as “angle” aviator watches and automata. In 1931 he invented the “Heure Universelle” (World Time) mechanism and made this complication for famous manufacturers such as Agassiz, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin. Made in 1933, the present watch is one of the earliest to feature Cottier’s “Heure Universelle” complication. Cottier’s complication is elegantly designed and intuitive to use: by setting the hands to the current time zone and rotating the inner bezel so that the local time zone location is shown at the 12 o’clock position, the recessed 24-hour indication adjusts automatically so that one can view the current time in 31 different locations around the world. Because the case, dial and movement are all integral to the technical function of the watch, Louis Cottier supervised the production of each element. It is interesting to note that the present example, lists London and Paris on the same time zone, Greenwich Mean Time. On June 15th, 1940, Paris converted to Central European time due to the war.