Horological icon Vacheron Constantin is no stranger to pulling from the archive books. The oldest Swiss watch brand to have never ceased operation, Vacheron Constantin has built out a formidable catalogue of exquisitely crafted timepieces, not the least of which being the signature 222, better known by collectors as the ‘Jumbo’. Originally unveiled in 1977, the sporty number came brimming with modern appeal, highlighted by its integrated bracelet design. More than 45 years on, the spirit of that original release has been reignited. Vacheron Constantin has unveiled a new Les Historiques 222 timepiece in 18-carat yellow gold and somehow, it still looks as modern as ever.
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Revealed as part of the Swiss brand’s showing for Watches & Wonders 2022, the new Vacheron Constantin 222 takes the original design language and elevates it in stunning detail. At 37mm in diameter, the brand has refused to bow to contemporary design standards, instead, keeping the smaller proportions in line with vintage aesthetics. But despite a somewhat subdued case size, inside the new Les Historiques 222, it’s all business.
The stunning vintage revival timepiece is powered by the calibre 2455/2 movement, an in-house creation that is equipped with an oscillating weight engraved with the original 222 logo. Offering a decent, albeit far from world-beating 40-hour power reserve, the new movement does the job with effortless class. Peer through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback and you’ll note the oscillating weight playfully sweeping across the intricate components of the watch.
Far more sporty than other options in the Vacheron Constantin catalogue, the new Les Historiques 222 arrives with a serious aesthetic bang. From the yellow gold and fluted bezel to the gold-toned dial and the hour markers and signature integrated bracelet with hexagonal central links, there is a certain sparkle power to the latest iteration, but it’s not all visual. That classic bracelet has been upped with a triple-blade clasp for increased comfort, while the hands and hour markers have been coated in Super-LumiNova for greater legibility.
“Above and beyond its status as an icon, the 222 watch is a wonderful tribute to the work of our designers and engineers and an illustration of their ability to perpetuate the avant-garde spirit of our Maison,” Louis Ferla, CEO of Vacheron Constantin said.
As far as reissues go, Vacheron Constantin’s take is one of the more impressive. At a time when vintage style is being exploited and brands are merely tinkering with the process rather than actually building upon the foundations, the Swiss Maison has managed to create something that feels of a bygone era, yet is perfectly in place in 2022. The returning icon is available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques for £53,500 (approx. AUD$93,000).
Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 222 Specs
Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: Les Historiques 222
Reference Number: 4200H/222J-B935
Calibre: Vacheron caliber 2455/2
Power Reserve: 40 hours