Outer Box, Inner Ebony Box, Extract from the Archives,Service Receipt, Service Pouch, Original Strap with Gold Spring-bar, Leather Pad
The watch is in both excellent external and internal movement conditions throughout. Signs of oxidization on top and bottom of operable shutter with untouched case surface.
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The Myth, The Enigma and The Heritage.
Amongst the pieces we came through, there are understated and sophisticated pieces; there are apparent and attention-seeking pieces, then there are pieces which exudes a presence to be one-of-a-kind. Today we offer one of those pieces that has only surfaced less than a handful of times in the last decade worldwide.
Recognized as arguably the most historical horological house, Vacheron Constantin carries an exclusivity between heritage aesthetics, design and execution of mechanical movements. I believe the Maison has widely influenced how wristwatches are perceived over the past few generations even before the modern timepieces of the day - certainly the Les Historiques series belong to one of those echelons.
The notable chronographs ref. 47101 and perpetual calendar ref. 43031 has created much following among collectors and derived its charm towards one of the best neo-vintage complications. The Maison has kept most of its dated watchmaking equipment and formulas to date in order to restore and manufacture the exact parts of the old when necessary, reflecting a much lesser known fact that the most exclusive branch of watchmaking is in fact restoration of past grand complications.
While we travel all the way back to the last century, notable examples of rectangular wristwatches ie. Cartier Tank, Cintree, Chinoise, Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso and Patek Philippe Gondolo, Cabriolet have certainly caught its attention with references to sports, public speaking, aviation and traveling. The Vacheron Constantin ‘Jalousie’ has slept under the radar for a long-time due to its scarcity and extremely limited quantities ever produced, with suggestions that a singular watchmaker carried the demanding execution in late 1990s as a part of the Les Historiques Collection.
The reference 91002 remained as an exclusive and difficult-to-obtain model despite the wide availability of timepieces at the time. The ‘Jalousie’ was released in small iterations with white gold and pink gold engraved with hallmarks along the shutter or side of case. Discreet and mythical, the five solid gold shutters are operated via a sapphire enclosure lever at 6 o’clock controlling the vertical motion to reveal its dial. The case appears as an operable machine powered by Cal. 1017, derived from the infamous JLC 822 movement. It was known that only a very handful of quantities were manufactured and possibly under a few dozen to date.
The hallmark, indices, hands and small-seconds all displays an 18K singular tonal quality much like the shutters and case. While the production witnessed the challenging and ambitious era of integrated wristwatches in 1990s, the first inception of ‘Jalousie’ was believed to be a close collaboration between Vacheron Constantin, Gustave Verger from the notable Parisian Jeweller featuring an old shutter mechanism via turning crown at 3 o’clock. The actual model in the 1930s is still an enigma and only a few has surfaced in worldwide auction houses.
Ultimately, I believe this is an immensely attractive and understated dress-watch with a unique and utmost attention to detail mechanism ever created. The beauty is perhaps the partially enclosed dial where a full exposure could never be read and relies on the ebb-and-flow motion between the timepiece and its owner.
The piece has received a recent mechanical service in the atelier and even the original box is crafted with lacquered ebony with full leather insert. We will leave the piece to speak for its own esteem.