Vacheron Constantin Platinum Chronograph Skeleton - Ref. 47100 - Full set
The pinnacle of traditional watchmaking is where you’ll find the likes of Vacheron Constantin playing ball. This is an area they have occupied ever since they were born in 1755 and although they have experienced plenty of hardship, their commitment to craftsmanship and watchmaking artistry prevails. The latter stages of the 20th century were turmoil times for watchmakers as the threats of battery-powered watches nearly wiped out the industry completely. With seemingly everyone’s focus on this new technology, it was starting to look like mechanical watchmaking was staggering to its grave. This was until the bounce-back both in collecting but also with traditional watchmakers who understood they have to push the boat out with new creations if they were to find success again. Vacheron was one such brand that joined the likes of Patek, Breguet and Roger Dubuis to make the most of the Lemania 2310 movement base.
And so in the beginning of the 1990s, Vacheron released the 47100 Chronograph in exceedingly low numbers. It is thought that less than 100 of these lavishly decorated chronographs were created in either yellow gold or platinum. Characterised but its excesses hand decorated and hand-engraved movement, this skeletonised watch has a staggering amount of detail.
Over the years Vacheron Constantin has produced many chronographs but there haven’t been many as special as this 47100. It’s a similar story with skeletonised watches as they have continued to have a presence in the Vacheron range, however seldom do they offer the same level of ornate detail and exuberant flair.
Typically seen configured in yellow gold fitted to a leather watch strap, the 47100 is undoubtedly a rare piece of watchmaking. Rarer than yellow gold is the platinum model also seen on a leather strap. So, what is the rarest 47100 created we hear you ask? Well, that would be this, the 47100/236. Not only is this reference made from platinum but its finely woven like integrated bracelet is also ‘PT950’...
This Vacheron Constantin Chronograph is as rare as they get. Although unconfirmed, it is believed that potentially less than 10 examples ever left the Vacheron factory in platinum with a matching platinum bracelet. A Vacheron Constantin Chronograph is a special piece to be available on the open market with an example like this one being impossibly precious.
Before jumping into the exciting dial, the case and its seamless construction deserves some attention. Measuring 38mm in width and adopting a domed bezel that steps up from the case band, it’s handmade and elegant in form with a compact rounded appearance. This is enhanced further thanks to that ‘old world luxury’ feel thanks to the bracelet which directly moulds and integrates into the case body. Its aesthetic is reminiscent of a woven pattern as many individual pieces come together to produce the final, slender bracelet.
The main event with this 47100 is of course its astonishing dial. Depth and texture are two popular techniques used by watchmakers to produce enticing and captivating watch dials. Vacheron has harnessed the same techniques here through skeletonisation of the dial. This process allows light and shadow to dynamically interact with the watch creating desirable depth. Of course, the texture comes from the vastly hand engraved and hand-finished movement. No stone has been left unturned with freehand engraving found on every conceivable free surface. In fact, even the central hour wheel has been hand-engraved. If you weren’t convinced by the magical personality of this 47100, operating the crown shows the keyless workings, barrel, minute & hour wheel as well as the clutch all working away and on display.
This is a watch with flamboyance and complexity for all to see and appreciate. Be it the mesmerising movement, seemingly floating sub-dials, its barrel-shaped hands (also produced by hand) or even its wildly special platinum bracelet; this Vacheron Constantin Chronograph 47100 is elaborate, impossibly rare and just downright gorgeous.
Vacheron’s commitment to refined watchmaking and decoration is hard to match in the world of horology and such their pedigree is masterful.
Powering this magnificent art piece is the Vacheron cal. 1140SQ which is a thoroughly finished evolution of the important Lemania 2310. This nickel-finished movement comes with 21 jewels, a self-compensating Breguet spring, a swan-neck regulator and is adjusted to 5 positions.
If you ever get bored of looking at this movement from its dial (spoilers, you won’t) then be sure to flip the watch over and enjoy it more thanks to its display sapphire crystal case back.
How It Wears
In a word, extraordinary. From the buckle to the centre of the dial, everything about this watch is details orientated with that unmissable added bonus of being made from platinum. The bracelet is slender and poised yet supremely robust and luxurious to touch. Its integration is seamless creating an incredibly unique appearance. The bracelet continues the narrative set by the hand engraving and finishing in the dial effortlessly. Measuring 38mm wide with a compact lug to lug measurement, this Vacheron is a manageable size for a range of wrist sizes.
The 47100 is a special piece indeed, suited to occasions that are equally significant.
Condition & set
This is a dream come true for a collector as the watch is presented in like-new condition thanks to a recently completed service by Vacheron Constantin in March 2021. The watch remains unworn since. The bracelet is supplied in its original full-length configuration (20cm). Also included in the sale is the Vacheron Constantin International Warranty dated 1996, instruction manual, presentation boxes (inner and outer), Vacheron Tag, Vacheron Constantin service papers from March 2021and VC Cloth. This truly is a wonderful complete collector set.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. Viewings by appointment only
We are based in Ghent, Belgium
No stock kept on site
|Size (Case)||38 mm|
|Year||Sold in 1996|