Vacheron Constantin 4072

Vacheron Constantin 4072

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Introduction
The Vacheron Constantin 4072 was the first vintage watch that I found stunning. And while time has passed, my feelings on this watch haven’t wavered. So if you know of one for sale, by all means please let me know

The Vacheron Constantin 4072 had an extremely long production run, from 1938 until the late 1960s [1], with 1178 pieces manufactured. Most were cased in yellow or pink gold, some in steel and gold, and well as some exclusively in stainless steel. And it is those all steel pieces that I am focused upon for the present (no gold on case/bezel or crown).

The list of known steel 4072 pieces is small, with extremely few photos publicly available. As a result, images included here are limited across all sections. The steel pieces I have found are 34mm with rectangular pushers, powered by a 13′ V295, V434 or V492. Vacheron 4072 dials vary in design, including markers (applied or printed), numerals (Roman, Arabic, or none), scales (tachymeter, telemetre, and pulsations) and color (single to 3-tone silver). Case numbers for these pieces translates into production between 1939 and 1947, though not all known pieces have a Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives or a Certificate of Authenticity with confirmed dates.

[1] Christian Selmoni in The Chronograph: a Vacheron Constantin Institution, WorldTempus, Nov 1 2019
Vacheron Constantin 4072 Case Number Project

Below is an aggregation all of the *steel* Vacheron Constantin 4072 pieces I have found. If you find others, please contact me with a link and/or images and serial number if available.

Each row in the table below is specific to a transaction or otherwise known piece. I am including all sales and offers, given there are so few pieces. As a result, the table includes multiple rows with the same piece.

The range seen, 262237 – 297749, is extremely limited due to how few of these pieces are known.

If you see any duplicates, errors, or know of other steel Vacheron Constantin 4072 to add, please let me know.

Description of pieces are generally based upon public images/video. For some detail, I do not have images and have to rely on text descriptions from the individual posting the timepiece. Some elements are often difficult to determine from pictures, including color of hands, for example if the register hands are black or blue. If I have a 50-50 guess, I leave the detail as “unknown.”

As with the rest of this Website, the following table, and data contained therein, is subject to Alpha Hands LLC Terms and Conditions

The above table, and data contained therein, is subject to Alpha Hands LLC Terms and Conditions

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Dial

I have found very few all-steel Vacheron Constantin 4072 (without any gold on case, bezel or crown). Across those found, we do not see the same dial twice. I have not found many, so I expect we will see duplicates after additional research. While I list all seen below, I would caution that it is extremely likely that some are redials.

Those seen to date, shown in order of case number, below. Differences not listed, such as rings on the outer portion of the dial or within the registers, can be seen in images.
– Tachymeter scale, Base Mile 400; 3 tone silver
– Tachymeter scale, Base Mile 400; silver
– Tachymeter scale, Base 1000; 2 tone silver
– Pulsations scale, 30; 3 tone silver
– Tachymeter scale, Base 1000; matte silver
– Minute track only; matte silver
– Minute track only; 2 tone silver
– Tachymetre (1000) and Telemetre scales (1km); 3 tone silver
– Tachymetre (1000) and Telemetre scales (1km); 2 tone silver

Steel Vacheron & Constantin 4072 Dials

Numerals are only ever seen at 12 and 6, if at all (if not, we see a pair of markers at 12 and one at 6), and are shown as as either Arabic or Roman numerals. Index markers are in nearly all cases baton, sometimes with pointed end.

I am not including an image of the dial from Vacheron Constantin’s Les Collectionneurs (serial 273565, available as of 2020) in the set above as it has been replaced from the dial at Antiquorum in 1989. You can see the piece below:

Vacheron Constantin 273565 from Les Collectionneurs (L, 2020) and Antiquorum (R, 1989)

Broadly speaking, there are two designs for the registers, one with outer tracks and one without.

Vacheron Constantin 4072 with V295 pieces will have a 45-minute counter, and those using either V434 or V492 will have 30-minute counters.

Designs follow the below pattern, though note outlier below.
Running seconds counter:
– Marks at each second
– Longer marks at the 5s and shorter thicker marks at the 10s
– Numerals on the 10s for the running seconds counter
Minute counter
– Marks at each minute
– Thicker marks on the 5s
– Numerals on the 5s
– On design with no outer tracks:
— Longer marks at either 3, 6, and 9, or, unusually, at only 3 and 6.

One piece has a design with the following differences from what we usually see:
Running seconds counter:
– Longer marks at the 5s, and thicker marks at 15s
– Numerals at the 15s
Minute counter:
– Numerals at 10, 20 and 30 only

A second piece has
Running seconds counter:
– Font/spacing on numerals I would not expect to see

Index marks
The index marks for each hour are paired in color (not necessarily shape) with the main hands. Thus we see:
– Printed black baton index markers with blued steel sword hands
– Printed black baton index markers with syringe hands
– White gold pencil index markers with white gold pencil hands (2 examples)
– Blued steel baton index markers with blued steel leaf hands
– White gold baton index markers with steel pencil hands
– Steel baton index markers with white gold pencil hands
– Gold baton index markers with gold pencil hands
– Pink gold pencil index markers with pink gold pencil hands

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Hands

With so few Vacheron 4072 seen, I have not been able to discern any pattern of when particular hand shapes are used, either how they are paired, with various dial designs, or across case numbers/manufacturing periods.

Hour and minute hands on the Vacheron 4072 range in design and material:
– Blued steel sword (subtle sword shape)
– White gold pencil
– Blued steel leaf
– Pink gold pencil
I do not see any link between the hands of a watch, and the case number or dial for the steel Vacheron 4072.

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Main Hands

The chronograph hand appears always to be a blued steel, with main shapes:
– Pencil with slight taper (wider at tail)
– Stick will ball on tail
For the few pieces seen, we also see different length chronograph hands, specifically the tail end, across both styles. As with the main hands, I see no relationship to the case number or dial. In addition, there is no obvious correlation within the steel 4072 of chronograph hand pairing with main hands.

Chronograph Hands

Register hands, as with the main chronograph hand, appear to all be blued steel.
Running second register hand shapes vary, seen with:
– Stick with tail
– Stick with ball on tail (one of the two pieces seen with this running second hand was paired with the main chronograph hand of same design)
– Leaf

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Running Seconds Hands

The minute counter hand appears nearly always to be a leaf design, with one exception of a stick hand with tail. As the stick hand is the outlier in the group, I would want to see additional examples or learn more about this piece specifically before conclusively saying it is original to the watch.

Vacheron 4072 Minute Register Hands: Commonly Seen at Left, Outlier at Right

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Case

The Vacheron Constantin 4072 was produced in a number of different case materials, though here I am focused exclusively on the all-steel (including crown) 4072. I have not measured these personally, but we see early pieces (-273534) listed at 33mm, and later (273541+) pieces at 34mm. Lugs are all downturned.

There is scattered information on production of each material/movement, which I am including below. If you have additional information on the number produced of each, please contact me. I am continuing to search for additional data.

Cal 13″ V295:
Yellow gold: 24

Cal 13″ V434
Pink gold: 252
Gold: 285

Cal 13″ V492
Yellow gold: 214

Vacheron Constantin does not provide this breakdown publicly.

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Crown and Pushers

The steel Vacheron Constantin 4072 crown is unsigned.

All steel Vacheron 4072 I have seen have rectangular pushers. Though Vacheron Constantin did produce the reference 4072 with oval-shaped pushers, I have not seen them on a steel case, so…no soup images for you!

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Crown and Rectangular Pushers

Even in the world of gold cases, oval pushers are extremely rare. Below is an example of gold case with oval pushers that was previously available from the Vacheron Constantin boutique in Paris via Monochrome Watches:

Vacheron Constantin 4072 with Oval Pushers

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Movement

Over the lifespan of the Vacheron Constantin 4072, 1938 until 1970, three movements were used, all based on the Valjoux 22 (production information listed when known):
– 13′ V295
— 24 produced in yellow gold [1]
– 13′ V434
— Under 250 produced in steel [2]
– 13′ V492

These movement were listed as ‘VZ’ instead of the correct ‘V’ (Valjoux, the supplier of the ebauche), as I show, above.

You may read that the Vacheron Constantin 4072 only utilized the 434 and 492, but the 295 was also used by this reference. The 295 will only be found in the earliest pieces, such as (262237) as seen in the Vacheron Constantin 4072 case number project. I believe that the V295 had a 30 minute register, whereas the V434 and V492 both feature a 45 minute register.

With so few pieces, I have not found any steel Vacheron 4072 movement images with the 434 or 492, so I have used examples from gold 4072 at roughly the same serial number. The Cal 295, below left, is from 262237.

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Movements: 295, 434, 492

[1] Phillips, The Geneva Watch Auction: TWO, Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015, Lot 129
[2] Vacheron Constantin marketing information, June 2020

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Advertisement

I have only thus far seen the below Vacheron Constantin 4072 advertisement from the 1940s. If you know of any others, please let me know.

Vacheron Constantin 1940s Advertisement, including the 4072

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Pre-Reference?

This discussion relates simply to whether some pieces were manufactured prior to Vacheron Constantin using reference 4072.

One steel Vacheron Constantin, with case number 262241, was sold by dealer with notes indicating a V295 movement and is listed merely as a “Chronograph” on the Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity with a manufacture date of 1938. That there is no note of reference is not overly unusual, as Vacheron Constantin introduced reference numbers only in 1938.

Although not listed as a reference 4072 on the Certificate mentioned above, the book MICRO – Royal Vacheron Constantin does refer to 262241 as a reference 4072.

Aside: this example has a sector dial, which I have not seen on any other steel Vacheron Constantin 4072 examples. Additionally curious is the font of the numerals in the two registers, which differs between each other, something we do not see elsewhere, as well as the color of the registers.

Vacheron Constantin from 1938

Case number 262237 is noted as reference 4072 by auction houses, and when sold it was noted that a Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity was included (I have not seen the certificate). I would assume that the reference was listed on the Certificate if the auction house included it on the lot notes, but of course it possible the auction house added the reference without it being specifically listed on the Certificate.

I do not yet have confirmation whether all 4072s had reference numbers, which might help provide more information on this piece. I will update if I receive that information.

Vacheron Constantin 92900

I add this overview of the Vacheron Constantin 92900 as some may mistake it for a 4072.

There are two known pieces of reference 92900, both created by special order in 1990 with consecutive case numbers (509’768 and 509’679).[1] These pieces were cased in platinum and contain the caliber 295 movement (dating from 1939) found on the early steel Vacheron Constantin 4072.

The 509’768 has been seen at auction on three occasions, in 1994, 2006 and in 2017. This piece has a screwback case and is 35mm in diameter. I have no explanation for the printing on the dial, which neither seems to be of Vacheron quality nor does the style, with greater open space on the dial than I expect to see.

Vacheron Constantin Reference 92900
Case 509’768

We know of 509’679 from Christie’s auction notes from 2006 and 2017, but I have not found images or public sale of this piece. This piece differs from the above referenced 509’768 in that it has a silvered dial and applied baton indices, with Roman numerals.

It is unclear to me whether this watch was created by Les Collectionneurs (or the predecessor). No additional information is available from Vacheron Constantin.

[1] Christie’s, Rare Watches, Geneva, 13 November 2017, Lot 116: Vacheron Constantin. An extremely fine and unique platinum chronograph wristwatch with two-tone silvered dial with black hard enamel baton and Arabic numerals