Vacheron Constantin’s beloved icon returns to reclaim the spotlight.
For collectors, Vacheron Constantin (vacheron-constantin.com) is a brand that always delivers incredible quality and craft smanship, whether it’s with innovative contemporary pieces or watches that nod back to the brand’s ample and rich history. The Historiques collection never disappoints, and this year’s addition to the collection, the reissue of its iconic 222, is no exception.
The 222 is so named to commemorate the 222nd anniversary of the Vacheron Constantin maison, which occurred in 1977. The watch came at a time when sportier models with integrated bracelets, designed for a luxury consumer, were becoming immensely popular.
There’s an elegant boldness to Jorg Hysek’s original 222 design, with its sharp lines and insouciantly fluted bezel. He sought to combine the robustness of a watch made for an active lifestyle with the luxurious finishing usually reserved for dress pieces—all in a manner reflecting the maison’s refined and classic aesthetic. One can argue that he did just that.
The new model, a re-edition of the Reference 44018, colloquially known as the “Jumbo,” is presented in 18K 3N yellow gold, with an in-house self-winding movement that includes the original 222 logo on the rotor. Clocking in at a 37 mm case diameter, the watch is easy to wear on a variety of wrist sizes, and the integrated bracelet feels very comfortable on the wrist.
That’s not by chance—two of the subtle changes that Vacheron Constantin included in this updated interpretation of its legendary model are a refinement to the bracelet articulations and an update to the clasp to make both more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable for the wearer.
Some additional enhancements include an increase in frequency from 19,800 vibrations per hour (vph) to 28,800 vph, or 2.75 hertz to 4 hertz, to increase accuracy; an openworked case back to reveal the movement and the specially designed oscillating weight with the 222 logo surrounded by a fluted motif that recalls the bezel; Super-LumiNova on the hands and hour markers for increased readability; and meticulous attention to detail in all of the finishing, for which the brand is known by discerning collectors.
An icon from the Vacheron Constantin vault, the new 37 mm “Jumbo” 222 is a contemporary reissue of the historical model from the ’70s.
The Historiques 222 made quite a splash at the Watches and Wonders exhibition in April, with journalists and watch enthusiasts alike declaring it to be one of the top new releases. It’s an incredibly well-executed reinterpretation of an under-the-radar part of the brand’s deep archive, and has already become a classic in the Vacheron Constantin collection.