You might remember the Vacheron Constantin 222 from the watches that the Hodinkee team wore the most in 2013. The reference 222 was released in 1977 to celebrate the 222th Anniversary of the manufacture and its design is often falsely attributed to Gérald Genta. Its integrated bracelet does indeed look very much in line with the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus, Genta’s most famous creations. But the father of the 222 is actually Jorg Hysek, who eventually started and then sold an eponymous brand. Interestingly, this watch relies on the very same ultra-thin movement that can be found on both the Royal Oak and the Nautilus; all three automatic calibers come from the same Jaeger-LeCoultre ébauche, the 2.45mm-thick caliber 920 that JLC never used for itself.

While the Vacheron Constantin 222 came in three different versions (stainless steel, yellow gold, and two-tone), and in both 34m, or 37mm sizes, the 37mm stainless steel 222 with a black dial is clearly the most coveted. That’s what we have here. This example shows a nice patina, with the tritium having turned orange on the indexes and handset, although some lume is missing on the minute hand. And, very importantly, the watch still comes as a full set, with the original box and papers, something we very rarely come across.