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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I may quickly be acquiring a Vacheron and Constantin watch and would like to know if anybody is familiar with the design or can tell me if it looks genuine or refinished. My educated guess would be that is is refinished, since there is no "swiss" at the bottom.

The caliber seems to be a 466. Usually I see 466/3b's. The straight 466 doesn't come along too often, it seems.

As a second question, I was wondering if you could estimate the cost Vacheron would charge to completely restore the watch. I couldn't afford a $2,000 restoration, nor would I if I could. It's just rediculous! But I also want the dial looking good again, ideally like original, and not bauched by a third party watchmaker.

Thank you,
David




 

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As far as restoration goes, the only things you need is to get the watch movement cleaned, a new crystal, and get the dial repainted if you don't like it the way it is. Any watchmaker can overhaul a simple manual wind movement like that. At worst, you may be talking about a couple hundred bucks. Not sure if I would get the dial repainted.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I contacted Vacheron and they said they will not refinish the dial and leave it at that. I can either have the entire thing restored or nothing at all.

That's why I'm concerned. I have a wonderful watchmaker that could service the movement expertly for less than $200. The problem is I don't have that option.

I'm not sure if I want it repainted either, but it's definitely on the table at this point.


,David
 

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IMHO the dial is lovely as it is. Nice high quality watch. Thums.gif
 

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Hi David: Indeed your watch dial was refinished and rather poorly as the shellac has cracked noticably. You are absolutely correct that a missing SWISS is the first sign of a redial, as well as the mssing accent in GENÈVE. I'd also question the positioning of the applied indexes! Your cal. 466 is distinguished by it's simple regulator vs the "pitchfork" style of regulator found on later versions.

466-3B.jpg

VC restorations are very expensive and you could easily exceed $2k on this watch. OTOH, they would have the archival records and photos, and perhaps even NOS dials, to make this piece like-new. Its a real problem as the simple timepieces are being scrapped for gold content due to the cost of proper restorations vs their low collector's value if anything other than entirely original. If you are soliciting advice, I would walk away from this watch and keep saving for a better example that doesn't need restoration!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi David: Indeed your watch dial was refinished and rather poorly as the shellac has cracked noticably. You are absolutely correct that a missing SWISS is the first sign of a redial, as well as the mssing accent in GENÈVE. I'd also question the positioning of the applied indexes! Your cal. 466 is distinguished by it's simple regulator vs the "pitchfork" style of regulator found on later versions.

View attachment 936131

VC restorations are very expensive and you could easily exceed $2k on this watch. OTOH, they would have the archival records and photos, and perhaps even NOS dials, to make this piece like-new. Its a real problem as the simple timepieces are being scrapped for gold content due to the cost of proper restorations vs their low collector's value if anything other than entirely original. If you are soliciting advice, I would walk away from this watch and keep saving for a better example that doesn't need restoration!
Thank you for your thorough response! Is it true that Vacheron will not touch the dial unless they give the entire watch a restoration? Or can I get them to just deal with the dial?

,David
 

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Is it true that Vacheron will not touch the dial unless they give the entire watch a restoration? Or can I get them to just deal with the dial?
VC applies a very strict ethic to restorations, and it is "take it or leave it". The result they insist upon is that any timepiece leaving the restorations department qualifies for a VC Certificate of Authenticity. The first step is to examine the watch and movement to identify any worn, damaged or unoriginal parts. Next, they provide a cost estimate in two parts; required work and optional. Required work is what they deem necessary to return or maintain the watch in authentic, original condition. Optional work is typically case polishing (if no damage was repaired, in which case it would be required), new strap and buckle, and new or restored dial (again, only if original dial is present would this be optional). So, in reality the customer is not in charge of the process. The result is marvelous, however :)
 

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It is an authentic vintage Vacheron the caliber is based on the famous Jaeger Le Coutre calibre 478 but better decorated and improved
 

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VC applies a very strict ethic to restorations, and it is "take it or leave it". The result they insist upon is that any timepiece leaving the restorations department qualifies for a VC Certificate of Authenticity. The first step is to examine the watch and movement to identify any worn, damaged or unoriginal parts. Next, they provide a cost estimate in two parts; required work and optional. Required work is what they deem necessary to return or maintain the watch in authentic, original condition. Optional work is typically case polishing (if no damage was repaired, in which case it would be required), new strap and buckle, and new or restored dial (again, only if original dial is present would this be optional). So, in reality the customer is not in charge of the process. The result is marvelous, however :)
That is the right and only way
 
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