If I had to pick one watch on show at Watches & Wonders 2022, it would be the re-edition of the “222”, created in 1977 to celebrate 222 years of Vacheron Constantin.
By Sandrine Merle.
“222”, the simplicity of Seventies design
This gold watch, an almost identical reissue of the 1977 Jumbo (37mm) model, chimes in perfectly with the current mood. Designed by the young Jörg Hysek (formerly with Rolex), at that time it was one of the first chic sports watches, with a refined, robust silhouette lending elegance to every occasion. With its extremely pure lines, it was designed to be genderless from the outset. “It’s technically very basic, consisting of three plates assembled with screw posts”, says expert Vincent Daveau. Its solid barrel-shaped case is integrated into the bracelet.
“222”, a watch still little known
Unlike Audemars Piguet’s “Royal Oak” and Patek Philippe’s “Nautilus”, created at the same time, the Vacheron Constantin “222” is a rare species, because the factory stopped producing it seven years later. As we know, the Swiss watch industry was then going through a distinct slump, largely due to the arrival of quartz. In the vintage market now, there are barely 520 in the steel version, and under 150 in each of the gold and gold/steel versions.
“222”, the ideal investment product
All this makes “this €62,000 watch an ideal investment product, as it will maintain and even gain value,” says Vincent Daveau, who views it as calibrated for a new clientele of collectors high up in the world of finance and start-ups. For Pierre Gisclard, founder of thewatchobserver, “it is quite simply perfect”. As the waiting lists for a “Nautilus” or a “Royal Oak” are endless (several years, at least), the way seems open for the “222”.