Vacheron Constantin 44018 'Jumbo 222'

Imagine our surprise as Vacheron Constantin announced the reintroduction of the legendary 222 a mere weeks after we acquired a vintage original.

Museum Piece
Imagine our surprise as Vacheron Constantin announced the reintroduction of the legendary 222 a mere weeks after we acquired a vintage original.The story of the 222 goes back to the 1970s. At the time, the Swiss watch industry experienced important changes, among which the introduction of an entirely new category of watches: the stainless steel luxury sports watch with integrated bracelets. The Gerald Genta designed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that was released in 1972 was the progenitor of them all. Patek and IWC followed in 1976 with the Nautilus and the Ingenieur SL, both designed by Genta as well. Vacheron Constantin followed suit in 1977 with the introduction of the ‘222’ to celebrate the company’s 222nd birthday.Unlike the earlier three brands, Vacheron did not turn to Gerald Genta but opted to enlist Jörg Hysek, an up and coming designer, to envision a new watch. Hysek employed the same basic design language found in Genta’s designs: an ultra-thin cushion shaped steel case with broad shoulders and an integrated flat-link bracelet with large geometric center links. The distinctive serrated screw-down bezel and stamped Maltese cross on the lower-right corner of the case, however, clearly set the design apart from its Genta-designed forebears.The 222 came out in two sizes—a ‘Jumbo’ version in 37 mm and a smaller execution in 34mm—and was produced for a mere seven years. It is estimated that only 700 Jumbos were produced in steel, two-tone, yellow gold, and white gold.This sought-after Jumbo variant is in perfect condition with the original bevels still present on the stainless steel case and an exceptionally tight bracelet. The matte black dial is in mint condition as well and features applied channeled baton indices filled with tritium lume that has turned to a pleasing cream tone. Meanwhile, the marker at the 3 o’clock position is replaced with a charming framed date window.The 222 is powered by the ultra-thin caliber 1121 automatic movement, itself based on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s legendary caliber 920 that can also be found in the original Nautilus and Royal Oak references.This historically important model is sure to experience a surge of renewed interest due to its 2022 reboot. This is your chance to get your hands on an original one in amazing condition together with an extract from the Vacheron Constantin archives!