VC 222 An Inside Look

 By: cazalea : December 10th, 2010-09:54
Hi All,

Today we can have a look inside a very nice 222.

This predecessor to the Offshore has many similar appearance features shared with the AP Royal Oak, PP Nautilus, and Rolex Oysterquartz.
From what I have been told by the watch's owner (it's on a long-term loan to me), Gerald Genta did not style the 222.
VC says the work was done by Jorg Hysek, best known for his desk accessories and other office items - and this watch: The Hysek Kilada

Anyway, this post started because last night I thought up a little composition for the Friday Wrist Scan.
Someday I will write about all my crazy clocks, including this nice 8-day Angelus and the LeCoultre flip-over alarm clock.

Respo asked if I could add some more info about the watch.
This one has the mid-size movement, with date and second hand. The case diameter (excluding crown) is 34 mm.

There was a 37 mm Jumbo with no center seconds,  and a 25 mm ladies model, and a square men's model.
The Jumbo says Automatic and the ladies says Quartz; neither of them have second hands.
Since the square model has a second hand, it might have the same movement as this watch.
Men's watches have lume in the hands and the ladies do not.
All seem to have the Vacheron cross on the case lower right.
I believe they were all available with SS-only case, two-tone like this, and all gold.
Now about this specific watch - I know only that my friend has had it 5-6 years, and I have lusted after it on 3 separate occasions on 2 different coasts.
I now have it on a long-term loan, which was to include cleaning it up a bit. I did that last night before the composition, but will repeat the steps for the camera.

Holding watch carefully in the hand, pull out crown to second position. Place tips of tweezers behind the crown and gently leverage. It will pop right off.

This two-piece, snap-on stem is used to allow movements to come out when you are not able to access the back of the movement to press a release button.

Using a watch tool, carefully unscrew the bezel from the front of the watch. In this case, it has o-rings for sealing.
I have already cleaned most of the grunge off from around the bezel so it doesn't fall into the case.
Eventually it will go into the ultrasonic cleaner for a thorough bath.

There's a tiny bit of discoloration on this dial, just above and to the left of the A in Automatic.

Here's the movement. It's very sweet, a JLC base I believe.

Case with stamped numbers.
Now we set the movement back in place, loosely install bezel, snap crown back on, test operation of the stem in all positions, tighten bezel, retest, finish!
Elapsed time? 5 minutes.




Interesting post and nice pics! [nt]

 By: Kazumi : December 10th, 2010-10:23
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 By: playtime : December 10th, 2010-10:58

Ah, you make it look so easy!

 By: respo : December 10th, 2010-11:05

I would not try any of that myself. LOL. 

Thanks for posting thes additional photos and information.  I really appreciate it.  I am surprised to learn that it may not have been designed by Genta -- I had thought it was.  Is there any confirmation of your friend's theory or information?

A base JLC movement inside?  Well, you know, as they say, there's a little JLC in every watch, so it would not surprise me.  In the case of your photos, there's sometimes a little JLC behind every watch, too.  I really want to find a vintage JLC desk clock of some kind...but I digress.

Well, thanks again. It is really nice to see this model and its siblings.  I was not aware of the square model at all.




222 - Hysek or Genta?

 By: cazalea : December 10th, 2010-11:30
As far as making it look easy taking the watch apart, I should have said "Please. Don't try this at home".

My info source on the design? The owner of the watch, who said "I mentioned to the editor of Watchtime that I thought Genta had designed the 222 as well as the RO and the Nautilus. They say no, that Genta did not do the 222 but that insiders at V&C tell them that it was a young Jorg Hysek."

And then a thread quoting Alex Ghotbi

V&C CEO Juan-Carlos Torres says, “When I entered Vacheron Constantin, this was the first watch project I worked on. I saw the 222 and I immediately said this watch is strong. So in the future, I might take the design cues of the 222 as the platform on which to evolve the next generation of the Overseas. It could be the perfect balance between power and elegance.”

The Evolution of Vacheron Constantin Sports Watches / Post by Alex Ghotbi
"Contrary to popular belief Genta is not the designer of the 222 but...Jorg Hysek! Recent research in the archives show that it was not Gerald Genta but 23 year old (at the time) design maverick Jorg Hysek who gave life to the 222s disruptive design."
This message has been edited by cazalea on 2010-12-10 11:39:12

That is good information to have.

 By: respo : December 10th, 2010-11:39

Thanks again for clarifying the design origins of the 222.

And don't worry, I won't be trying that at home. ;-)


Not my favourite VC, by far ...

 By: amanico : December 10th, 2010-11:16

A bit too much 70ies looking, for my taste, at least.

As for the movement, I believe it is the Cal 889.

Here is a pic of the JLC Caliber, which looks very similar, not to say identical, to the movement housed in this VC:



Thank you for the inside look, Cazalea!

 By: WHL : December 10th, 2010-14:30
The so-called Jumbo model would be the one I would consider for my collection, but I have no intention of going out of my way for the watch.

Gerald Genta was rather coy regarding the rumors that he had a hand in designing the 222: he never denied that he wasn't the designer, though he never explicitly took credit for it either!!


A lady undressed...

 By: Tick Talk : December 10th, 2010-15:48
Thanks for showing us the view underneath, it was very interesting.

Thanks for the post...enjoyed every bit of it. [nt]

 By: aboen : December 10th, 2010-21:41
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Thanks for the post, Cazalea.

 By: Goh : December 11th, 2010-05:35

Lots of good information in there.



if i may offer i suggestion...

 By: eterna-fan : December 14th, 2010-15:57
you'll notice that when you remove the bezel, you can see the split-stem. hopefully, you can see the connection where the male meets the female. it will save quite a bit of wear and tear on this piece if you align the junction so that the movement can be gently pryed directly out of the case.

may manufacturers used the split stem of course, but i'm thinking back to vintage Hamilton tech manual and this was the procedure recommended.

Thanks for the pictures.

 By: rovermark : December 15th, 2010-00:04
An all steel 222 is one of my must-have watches. One of these days the right one will come up and I'll have it. For now I'll just have to be satisfied with my Overseas.