The Seventies marked the introduction of stainless-steel sport watches within the collections of famend Swiss manufacturers corresponding to Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. This was fairly a step, as each had been primarily recognized for his or her tremendous gold-cased gown watches and complex items. Whereas the Nautilus and Royal Oak grew to change into icons, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet weren’t the one Swiss manufactures that made the step to extra sportive watches in much less treasured metallic.
Enter the challenger: Vacheron Constantin. The watchmaker notably launched in 1975 its Chronometer Royal reference 2215; an oblong watch with an built-in bracelet, it considerably resembled the Nautilus. Vacheron Constantin corrected this in 1977, celebrating its 222nd anniversary with a sports activities watch that they conveniently additionally named after the event.
In contrast to what is usually thought, was the 222 not designed by Gérald Genta, however reasonably by Jörg Hysek. He penned down outstanding clear traces that mixed power and magnificence. A playful component is a Maltese cross that’s included on the underside proper of the case. It’s fascinating to notice that the 222 was powered by caliber 1120, Vacheron Constantin’s reference for the ultra-thin caliber 920 base motion that they used from sister-brand Jaeger-LeCoultre. The identical base motion could be discovered within the Royal Oak and Nautilus of that period. After eight years of manufacturing, the 222 was phased out, however its design would stay on in different Vacheron Constantin collections, just like the Abroad.
At Watches & Wonders, Vacheron Constantin determined to reinstate the 222. Not a second too quickly, for my part, as its design has solely appeared to change into higher over time. At present, the gathering is restricted to a yellow gold model within the previous ‘Jumbo’ measurement, which implies that it has a diameter of 37mm. Powered by Vacheron Constantin’s caliber 2455/2, seen by the sapphire crystal insert within the caseback, it’s a very tempting proposition and, not surprisingly, bought a heat welcome on the honest. It could be fascinating to see if Vacheron Constantin will develop the 222 assortment additional as the unique was additionally out there in stainless-steel and fairly the trailblazer in steel-gold. That being stated, Vacheron Constantin by no means made the 222 with anything however a date complication, however one way or the other I additionally assume that it’ll look superb as a chronograph. Will this ever occur? As all the time, time will inform.
Extra info on the re-issue of the 222 could be discovered on Vacheron Constantin’s web site.