Any collectible object’s monetary value is determined by its excellence, uniqueness, authenticity, creativity, and state. But there’s a sixth crucial factor to consider: hype. The hype takes a while to build but once there, it just doesn’t stop. In the realm of collectible watches, the power of hype has undoubtedly worked its magic, as evidenced by the fame and desirability of models like the Heuer Monaco, Omega Speedmaster, Rolex Cosmograph, and now the Vacheron Constantin 222.
The magnificent reappearance of the Vacheron Constantin 222 was the most anticipated Watches & Wonders release this year. The new Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 will undoubtedly reignite interest in this luxurious sports watch.
The Vacheron Constantin 222, as some of you may know, belongs to a prestigious collection of 1970s premium sports watches. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was first introduced in 1972, followed by the Patek Philippe Nautilus in 1976. IWC released the Genta-designed Ingenieur the following year, completing Gérald Genta’s classic trinity of premium sports watches. The Vacheron Constantin 222, the fourth iconic luxury sports watch, was designed by Genta, according to some watch lovers. In actuality, this extraordinary Vacheron Constantin classic was developed by a teenage Jörg Hysek.
The Jörg Hysek Design Of The 222
The barrel-shaped case, exceptional bezel, and Vacheron Constantin’s iconic Maltese Cross recessed into the case at the 5 o’clock position distinguish this watch. It also has a unique hexagonal-link bracelet that is elegantly integrated. The bracelet and bezel identify the watch and make it an icon; they were the prototype for the modern-day Vacheron Constantin Overseas. The similarities between the current Overseas generation and the one debuted in 2016 are obvious. This makes the 222 “Jumbo” significant not only to the surge in popularity of luxury sports watches in the 1970s, but also to the coveted Overseas.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Vacheron Constantin released the 222 in three sizes. The first was a 24 mm women’s shoe, the second was a 34 mm mid-size shoe, and the third was a 37 mm “Jumbo” shoe. Today, the latter is the most popular and desired. Vacheron Constantin made around 700 pieces of the 37-mm 222 “Jumbo” in stainless steel and 18K yellow gold between 1977 and 1985, making it an uncommon timepiece.
The New Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 Re-Issue
This new re-issue is reminiscent of the original Vacheron Constantin 222 “Jumbo” from the 1970s. The new Historiques 222, on the other hand, is slightly thicker than the original watch. The original 222 was only 7 mm thick in 1977, but this new version is 7.95 mm thick. The cause for this is the movement’s recent upgrading. It also has a sapphire crystal display case back that allows you to view the movement working. The thin calibre 1121 was used in the original watch, but Vacheron Constantin chose to employ their in-house automated calibre 2455/2 for this new edition. It benefits from a contemporary, high frequency of 28,800 vph, as well as a quick-set date and a stunning finish.
The new 222 is a huge improvement over the previous clock in terms of overall execution. The case and bracelet are stunning. For the new edition, the lume on the hands and indices has been changed from tritium to Super-LumiNova. Overall, this is the ideal modern reissue of a timeless classic.
Vacheron Constantin is brilliantly grabbing the moment with the debut of the new Historiques 222, bringing an iconic classic back into the spotlight of the watch market. Vacheron is taking advantage of the fact that the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A is no longer available to give a classic release that many watch fans would covet. Despite the fact that the watch will only be available in 18-karat yellow gold, I’m confident that the bright new version of the 222 will be in high demand. When it is released in stainless steel, even more, watch enthusiasts will flock to Vacheron Constantin to get one.
“The idea was really to incorporate the 222 in the Historique collection while being faithful to the original design. Two main improvements or changes have been carried out – the movement that has been replaced from 1977 with a contemporary one namely Calibre 2455. The newer movement has higher frequency, better accuracy and three-positioned crown as compared to the older 222 which had a two-positioned crown. Now coming to the bracelets – the biggest improvement in my opinion. When compared with the 1977 model, we’re stepping into newer bracelets which is a great achievement from the manufacturing and design point of view. When you put the new 222 on your wrist it almost feels like a second skin which is just phenomenal. For the jumbo 222 we did a steel, a yellow gold and a mix of steel gold version, so yes we do have space to develop other versions. However after seeing the love we received on the 222 in yellow gold, we do not see the need to come out with new iterations. Also the 222 yellow gold is not a limited series and will be manufactured continuously in the years to come”, Christian Selmoni, Style and Heritage Director at Vacheron Constantin.
With the Vacheron Constantin 222 as a model for the current Overseas, watch collectors around the world will have another reason to covet one of these modern luxury sports timepieces. With everything that’s going on here, 2022 might very well be the year of Vacheron Constantin.