Vacheron Constantin Chronometer Royal Ref. 2215 - 42001/511A
The 1970s was the decade of the luxury steel sports watch. Audemars Piguet led the charge in 1972 with the Royal Oak. Patek Philippe swiftly responded with the Nautilus in 1976, and Vacheron Constantin brought up the rear with the reference 222 in 1977. So you may be surprised to hear that the 222 wasn’t Vacheron’s first attempt at a new, integrated bracelet defined sports watch. In fact, in 1975 Vacheron’s first crack of the whip was the Chronometre Royal 2215. This lesser-known model represents quite a departure from the typical pieces Vacheron was putting out prior to the 1970s, such was the ripple effect of the Royal Oak’s success, and of course, the impending doom known as the quartz crisis. Predominantly it was Swiss watchmakers who needed to become a little more creative and perhaps daring with their references to remain attractive to modern and evolving wrists as batteries took over. Vacheron reacted quickly to Audemars Piguet’s contribution with the 2215 sporting a rather contemporary, chunky aesthetic. One could argue that the 2215 of 1975 is actually a closer resemblance to the Nautilus of 1976 with its angular shouldered case body and alike bracelet design.
The 2215 had a short lifespan of just two years before being replaced in 1977 by its subjectively improved and more popular brother the reference 222. There is no denying the 2215 somewhat lives in the shadows of the 222, but without it, Vacheron’s landscape and participation in the luxury sports watch craze would have been completely different. Created in small numbers and very much a product of its era, Vacheron and in fact, the modern Overseas as a whole owes a lot to the true founding father of the brand’s steel sports watch.
Released at the inaugural period for luxurious takes on sports watches, this Vacheron Constantin Chronometre Royal 2215 is presented in superb condition from its clean case bevelling to each individual vertically brushed bracelet link. Right off the bat, the 2215 is here to make a statement with its elongated octagonal case shape characterised by its seemingly never-ending vertical sides and short but sweet scalloped corners. Eye-catching bevelling offsets the beautifully defined vertical brushing throughout the case; a finish that seamlessly extends to its integrated steel bracelet. Comprised of a three-link design, the 2215’s bracelet subtly tapers down to the brand’s Maltese cross-signed original folding clasp. Adding further emphasis to the quality of the external bevelling is its matching bezel complete in a high polish. Firmly set within the parameters of the case, this stepped concave bezel mirrors the overall shape of the watch whilst simultaneously reducing the perceived appearance of all the steel.
A cohesive continuation of the theme outlined by the case is found behind the crystal of this 2215. Replicating the vertical brushing mentioned previously, the brushed matt slate sigma dial of this piece blends into the whole watch effortlessly. Raised white gold hour markers are present throughout the watch varying in size and visual weight. The three and nine feature a long, thin, baton respectively, whereas the twelve doubles up those batons. Curiously, the rest of the markers are less than half the length and sit ever so slightly more central to the dial. A date aperture is present at six with a brushing texture to the window. Thin, baton-like white gold hands finished with lines of white to match the markers display the hours and minutes, as a seconds hand with large counterbalance sweeps over this mid-70s timepiece. As the text towards the lower half of the dial suggests, this piece is powered by a chronometer grade movement meeting the exacting standards outlined by Vacheron Constantin.
The Vacheron calibre 1096 is found beating behind the closed caseback of this Vacheron. This rhodium-plated brass movement, 21 jewel movement is finished with Côtes de Genève decoration and circular-graining, a annular beryllium balance and is complete with a 18h yellow gold rotor. The movement is adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and to 5 positions along with, of course, its COSC certification.
Importantly, the case and movement numbers match indicating this is a very honest timepiece.
How It Wears
A mid-sized luxury sports watch is such a compelling proposition for a wide range of wrist sizes. Despite their often aggressive styling, compact proportions and considered dial design aide wearable greatly, resulting in truly phenomenal timepieces ideal for regular wrist time. That is exactly the case with this Royal 2215 from Vacheron. Its unusual length fills the wrist nicely lengthways whilst also remaining tightly packaged horizontally. Its six o’clock date window ensures balance, and its stepped concave bezel draws the eye further in. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that integrated bracelet watches have such a harmonious relationship once attached to the wrist and this 2215 has an appealing blend of luxurious refinement and substantial presence.
This Vacheron Constantin Chronometre Royal 2215 has just been serviced by Vacheron Constantin and as such is presented in superb condition for its age. The watch is complete with an extract from the Vacheron archive confirming its provenance as well as the matching movement and case numbers, Vacheron Constantin service papers and a Vacheron Constantin Service pouch. This is a fantastic example of an important but often overlooked Vacheron Constantin.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
No stock kept on site
|Reference||2215 - 42001/511A
|Dial||Brushed matt slate
|Size (Case)||37 mm|
|Condition||Very good / Recently serviced by VC|
|Papers||Extract from Archive + service papers|