$605,000: record sale at Christie's for a platinum minute repeater watch

June 2016

$605,000: record sale at Christie's for a platinum minute repeater watch

The first ultra-thin Vacheron Constantin platinum minute repeater wristwatch (model 4261) fetched $605,000 at Christie's New York: a world record for a Vacheron Constantin watch of this type. Manufactured in 1951, the property of an American gentleman and fresh to the market, this extremely refined and ultra-rare watch with its platinum case and silver-toned vertical satin-finish dial signed Vacheron Constantin embodies the very best of 20th century watchmaking and represents the ultimate trophy for collectors.

The reference 4261 is one of the rarest and most desirable trophies in today’s collector’s market, and this watch does not fail to impress on every level. Accompanied by a Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity dated March 10th, 2016, and a Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1951, the reference 4261 was found late last year in the United States. According to Vacheron Constantin archives, this watch is the first platinum version of reference 4261.

Due to the extreme cost and complexity of minute repeater wristwatch production in the mid-20th century, only an exceedingly small number of such horological masterpieces were ever made by an even smaller number of watch manufacturers. With the creation of reference 4261 in the early 1940s, Vacheron Constantin surpassed this technical challenge by adding yet another horological complexity: an ultra-thin caliber just 3,28mm thick, thus combining two complications requiring special manufacturing know-how and tremendous skills. Distinguished by its large 36 mm ultra-slim case and the stylish tear-drop lugs, this exceptional timepiece is certainly one of the most elegant minute repeater wristwatches ever made.

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Platinum minute repeater wristwatch with silver-toned vertical satin-finish dial signed Vacheron Constantin and manufactured in 1951

Platinum minute repeater wristwatch with silver-toned vertical satin-finish dial signed Vacheron Constantin and manufactured in 1951

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In the early 1940s, with the reference 4261, Vacheron Constantin created an ultra-thin caliber just 5.25 mm thick

In the early 1940s, with the reference 4261, Vacheron Constantin created an ultra-thin caliber just 5.25 mm thick 

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Fresh to the market and and of exceptional rarity and quality, the watch was accompanied by its original presentation box

Fresh to the market and and of exceptional rarity and quality, the watch was accompanied by its original presentation box