Phillips' most exciting offering this Geneva Watch Auction: Nine has to be the Vacheron Constantin 'Don Pancho' wristwatch. Considered untraceable for the last 60 years, the Vacheron Constantin minute repeater gold wristwatch is one of only three wristwatches featuring calendar indications and a minute repeating mechanism made before the end of the 1940s – known today. The other two include one which is on display at the Patek Philippe Museum and the other made by James Schultz circa 1930.
Owned by the successful Spanish businessman, Francisco Martinez Llano “Don Pancho”, the watch was conceived in December 1935 by the Geneva-based watchmaker Vacheron Constantin on behalf of the Madrid-based retailer Brooking for a client. The order – highly unusual at the time – included a yellow gold tonneau case, a crown at twelve, a minute repeater with the lowest possible notes, a repeater trigger on the right side of the case, day, retrograde date, and his initials in blue enamel on the caseback. The two-dial watch – one with enamelled black Breguet numerals and the other with radium numerals, both with all twelve numerals and six interchangeable strap – was delivered to its future owner in January 1940.
When the philanthropist 'Don Pancho' passed away in 1947, the watch remained in a vault for over 60 years before it was rediscovered by his family and restored by the brand. Today, the Vacheron Constantin minute repeater gold wristwatch is available for auction by Phillips in association with Bacs&Russo – fully restored with a new dial and accompanied by the original unrestored dial.