Vacheron Constantin, ‘Mercator Europe to Asia Enamel’ No. 45, 18K gold wristwatch
Ref. 43050, movement No. 798495, case No. 674013
Height 4cm, width 3.5cm, depth 0.5cm
This very fine and rare timepiece is a self-winding, water resistant 18K gold wristwatch by Vacheron Constantin, a ‘Mercator Europe to Asia Enamel’ watch in their Géographique line. With a polychrome cloisonné enamel dial face and a double sector graduated display, with 12-hour and 60-minute indications in the form of ‘compass’-style hands and black painted Arabic numerals, it is set within an 18K yellow gold deployment clasp, with a fitted box, certificate and booklet.
The design of the dial itself is by Belgian enamellers Jean & Lucie Genbrugge, whose signature is to the bottom right, and is inspired by the work and maps of the 16th century Flanders humanist, geographer, and cartography Gerardus Mercator. The dial shows Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and the 21K gold rotor segment is engraved ‘1594 – Mercator – 1994’ to mark Mercator’s quatercentenary. The movement is a Cal. 1120, rhodium plated 36 jewel straight line lever escapement, with a mono-metallic balance, a shock absorber, and a self-compensating balance spring. It was made in 1994, and first sold October 23rd, 1996.