An extremely rare and beautiful Vacheron Constantin Triple Calendar Moonphase reference 4461 in Pink Gold. This example features the rarer two-tone dial, with a silvered date wheel with fantastic original blue enamel double track and dates. The rest of the dial is a silver opaline finish adorned with wonderful gold pyramid hour markers and arabic even numerals. The pyramid hour markers refract the light, drawing in the eye. The enamel throughout is very good and original.
The case is very sharp, with well-defined lines, one of the best examples of the reference. In testament to the condition of the case, the two swiss helvetia hallmarks, one to the side of the case and one to the back of the lugs, both remain well preserved. This fantastic case was made for Vacheron Constantin by Eggly & Cie, one of the best and most celebrated casemakers of the era. The design features exciting, very large 'Cornes de Vache' or 'cow’s horn' lugs. Eggly was renowned for producing the finest quality cases with elaborate lugs such as these. The result in this watch is a case that is sculptural and beautiful, yet form-fitting with a large span that helps this piece still look relevant on the modern wrist. Although this piece has a 33mm case excluding the crown, however it's horn lugs result in a length of 42mm, meaning the watch has great stature and presence on the wrist. Being a complicated piece the watch is also nice and thick, the crown is also large, the combined result of which is a watch that looks and feels substantial and sits larger than it's case size suggests.
The piece has just been serviced, it is functioning excellently and comes with 12-months warranty.
In the era in which this fantastic Triple Calendar Moonphase was made, it is estimated that Vacheron Constantin was producing fewer than 300 pieces total per year, a testament to the quality of watchmaking of the manufacturer in the period. Such low production numbers also highlight the importance and rarity of such a fantastic complicated piece as this, especially in such fine condition. This 1949 reference 4461 was produced in very limited numbers, of which even fewer were made in pink gold such as this, fewer again received the two-tone dial as this piece did and even fewer remain in such lovely condition.
A good point of comparison is the last example to sell in auction, which was the piece which soldst year for CHF25,000 approximately $27,650.
Whilst the Phillips piece is an excellent example of a very rare watch, you will note on the Phillips piece that the case edge has been a little rounded out, where this piece retains it's nice sharp original edge. The lugs on the auction piece had been rounded out and lost the correct chamfering to the top facets of the lugs, the wonderful flat cascading top and diagonal chamfered edges, where this piece has them preserved excellently. It is also worth pointing out that the Phillips example has the single tone dial, whilst this example has the highly desirable two-tone dial with a silvered date wheel, this piece has a little patina to the dial that can be seen at some angles but it is lovely and the enamel is all original and in very good condition, whereas the Phillips example has some enamel loss to various points on the dial. It's a fantastic piece, the proportions are great with those fantastic lugs and it sits great on the wrist.