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 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′ VZ 295, VZ 434 or VZ 492. 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 Extracts from the Archvies 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

Upcoming is an aggregation all of the *steel* Vacheorn 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 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 few of these pieces available.

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

Caveats:
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 steel Vacheron Constantin 4072 (without any gold on case, bezel or crown). And across those that we see, we do not see the same dial twice. Again, 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 entirely possible, even likely, that some are redials.

Those seen to date, shown below (other differences, such as rings, can be seen from the images):
– Tachymeter scale, Base Mile 400; 3 tone silver
– Tachymeter scale, Base 1000; 2 tone silver
– Pulsations scale, 30; 3 tone silver
– Tachymeter scale, Base 1000; 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), and are shown as as either Arabic or Roman numerals.

Registers
Broadly speaking, there are two designs for the registers, one with outer tracks and one without.
In addition we see a single piece (the earliest serial known) with 45-minute counter, with the rest employing 30-minute counters.

Designs follow the below patter, 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.

Outlier:
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

Index marks
The index marks for each hour are paired in color (not necessarily shape) with the main hands. Thus we see:
– White gold pencil index markers with white gold pencil hands
– White gold baton index markers with steel pencil hands
– Pink gold pencil index markers with pink gold pencil hands
– Gold baton index markers with gold pencil hands
– Blued steel baton index markers with blued steel leaf hands
– Printed black baton index markers with blued steel sword 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 with other hands, different dial designs, or across case numbers.

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. Perhaps there is a connection that can be seen via gold case pieces.

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

[in process]
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.

Cal 295:
Yellow gold: 24

Cal 434
Pink gold: 252
Gold: 285

Cal 492
Yellow gold: 214

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 these on a steel case, so…no 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 from the Vacheron Constantin boutique in Paris from Monochrome Watches, from back in the day when Vacheron briefly sold some of their vintage pieces, fulled restored, at selected boutiques:

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 absed on the Valjoux 22:
– 13′ VZ 295
– 13′ VZ 434
– 13′ VZ 492

All three, the 295, 434 and 492, were used on the Vacheron 4072. The 295 would only be found on the earliest pieces, and we see in only one example (262237) from the Vacheron Constantin 4072 case number project.

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

Vacheron Constantin 4072 Movements: 295, 434, 492