Vacheron Constantin Triple Calendar Calender Complete Moonphase Movements

Collector GuideVacheron Constantin Triple Calendar Movements of the 20th Century – A Complete Catalog of Serially-Produced Complete Calendars With and Without Moonphase

This guide is a one-stop reference for Vacheron Constantin’s serially-produced triple-calendar wristwatch movements of the 20th century. As such, this guide should help the collector of vintage Vacheron Constantin dress watches which were, to use the era’s lingo, intended for gentlemen.

Triple Calendar With and Without Moonphase

A classic complication, the triple calendar – also called a complete calendar – indicates hours, minutes and seconds along with the date, day of week, and month. Many triple calendars also include a moonphase complication, forming a classic gentleman’s watch of the 20th century.

Vacheron Constantin produced highly regarded – and now highly collectible – triple calendar wrist watches beginning in the 1940s and running into the 1960s. Interestingly, Vacheron Constantin doesn’t appear to have produced triple calendars during the 1970s and 80s. This aligns with the styles of the time, with Vacheron releasing hip integrated bracelet watches like the 222 in the 1970s. This time frame also aligns with the Quartz Crisis, which pushed mechanical watch brands to innovate rather than rely on traditional complications.

The Vacheron Constantin 4240L (L) with moon phase and 4240 with sub-seconds are highly collectible references which began production in the early 1940s. Their movements are detailed below.
The Vacheron Constantin 4240L (L) with moonphase and 4240 (R) with sub-seconds are highly collectible references which began production in the early 1940s. Their movements are detailed below.

Vacheron Constantin’s revival of the triple calendar in the 1990s reveals the brand’s alignment with the mechanical watch revival that began in the mid 1980s. The Historiques collection announced at 1989’s edition of Baselworld saw Vacheron Constantin returning to traditional styles and traditional mechanical complications, including the triple calendar, with and without moonphase.

The Era of Serial Production With Jaeger-LeCoultre

Well into the 1920s, Vacheron Constantin produced unique wrist watch movements by hand. Parts could not be interchanged between any two movements. Many of these carry the “AR” caliber reference and derive from pocket watch calibers.

Starting around 1928, Vacheron Constantin began serial production of wrist watches by using ébauche (or base) movements from Jaeger-LeCoultre. This collaboration allowed Vacheron Constantin to use interchangeable movement parts for the first time and to increase annual production from around 1000 to over 10,000 pieces per year. In 1938 Vacheron and Jaeger-LeCoultre formalized a joint venture that ran into the 1990s.

When Vacheron joined the Vendôme Luxury Group, a subsidiary of Richemont, in 1996, Vacheron’s movement production began to move in-house. The movements included in this guide were largely phased out before the dawn of the 21st century.

With Vacheron Constantin, upgraded movements are indicated by the caliber number followed by /1, /2, and so on; sometimes you’ll see /5B for example. We do not catalog those upgrades in detail (yet), and most collectors accept that the upgrades were typically small tweaks.

Please note that this guide will be updated whenever we learn of new details or obtain more accurate information. If you happen to know how we might improve this guide, please let us know.

The base calibers referenced below are explained in our Collector Guide – Vacheron Constantin Time-Only Movements of the 20th Century – A Complete Catalog of Serially-Produced Large-Format Round Calibers. We will link to that article where relevant.

Go Directly to Specific Calibers
V495 | P495 | V485 | P485 | 1126 | 1126/1

Vacheron Constantin Triple Calendar with and without moonphase complications.

The Early Triple Calendars from Vacheron Constantin (1940s – 1960s)

Largely viewed as Vacheron Constantin’s best era for dress watches, the triple calendar movements are long-lasting machines that, with proper maintenance, can run with exceptional precision. Those new to these complications may need instruction on setting them.

First, one sets the day of the week by rotating the hands. The small recessed pusher at 2 o’clock sets the date on the outside of the dial, and the pusher at 4 o’clock sets the month (which you will need to advance at the end of the short months). You could use a toothpick to actuate the pushers. Never adjust any functions while the hour hand is near 12; rather, set the watch closer to 6-o’clock when adjusting to be safe.

V495 Triple Calendar (1940s – 1960s)

Vacheron Constantin Calibre V495
  • based on Vacheron cal. 453 time only movement, which is derived from Jaeger LeCoultre cal. 450
  • triple calendar functions – weekday, date, month
  • 12”’½ (28.8mm wide x 4mm thick)
  • Glucydor balance with timing screws adjusted for temperature
  • self-compensating Breguet balance spring 
  • Most versions include a swan neck regulator, more common on later iterations
  • in-line lever escapement
  • nickel plating on bridges (early iterations) or rhodium (a majority of later iterations)
  • 18,800 VPH

P495 Triple Calendar (1950s)

Vacheron Constantin Calibre P495
  • P indicates the inclusion of a pare-choc-absorption system on balance, and is otherwise majorly the same as the V495 above.
  • It remains unclear whether the shock absorber became standard in the V-series after time. We will update this as we learn more.

V485 Triple Calendar Moonphase (1940s – 1960s)

Vacheron Constantin Calibre V485
  • based on Vacheron cal. 453 time only movement, which is derived from Jaeger LeCoultre cal. 450
  • triple calendar (weekday, date, month) and moon phase functions
  • 12”’½ (28.8mm wide x 4mm thick)
  • Breguet balance spring (overcoil)
  • in-line lever escapement
  • rhodium plating and perlage engraving on bridges
  • 18,800 VPH
  • In the photo above, you’ll notice that this specific V485 uses a standard regulator lever. Other examples use a swan-neck regulator, such as the P485 below. These inconsistencies are difficult to pin down, so be sure to take a close look at the specific watch you’re collecting. Most prefer the swan neck regulator, which makes regulating more precise and is broadly considered an upgrade.

P485 Triple Calendar Moonphase (1950s)

Vacheron Constantin Calibre P485
  • P indicates the inclusion of a pare-choc-absorption system on balance, and is otherwise majorly the same as the V495 above.
  • It remains unclear whether the shock absorber became standard in the V-series after time. We will update this as we learn more.
  • Also notice in the photo above that this P485 has a swan-neck regulator where the above V495 uses a standard lever regulator. These inconsistencies are difficult to pin down, so be sure to take a close look at the specific watch you’re collecting. Most prefer the swan neck regulator, which makes regulation more precise.

1990s Historiques Triple Calendars & The Caliber 1126

Vacheron Constantin announced the Historique collection at the 1989 edition of Baselworld, and these vintage-inspired models went to retail in 1990. This is when we see the triple calendar with and without moonphase return to Vacheron Constantin’s catalog.

During the 1990s, Vacheron Constantin was still working with Jaeger-LeCoultre base movements. Many of the complications in the Historique collection were built from Vacheron Constantin’s 1120 ultra-thin auto-winding caliber, which was based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre auto-winding cal. 920.

Caliber naming conventions tended to simply use 112x. The triple calendars with and without moonphase both carry the 1126 numeral. 

However, the 1126 caliber number gets confusing. Less ordinary calendar complications from Vacheron Constantin also carry the 1126 caliber number, such as the 1126QS (Quantiem Calendar) which puts the weekday on a sub-dial at 9-o’clock, the date at 3-o’clock, and includes a moon phase but no month, or the 1126AT which features a retrograde date and weekday, but no moon phase.

Vacheron Constantin References 47009 and 47245 from the 1990s.
(L) Reference 47009 houses the 1126QS. (R) Reference 47245 houses the 1126AT. Neither are triple-calendars. Images: Christy’s.

So what we glean from all this is that the 1120 formed the base for the 1126 which, in turn, formed the base for a few different calendar complications, including the triple calendars with and without moonphase that concern us here. The salient point to keep in mind is that whether a Vacheron Constantin triple calendar movement from the 1990s has a moonphase or not, it will carry the 1126 caliber number.

Caliber 1126

Vacheron Constantin caliber 1126
  • hours, minutes, seconds, day of week, date, month
  • dual-direction auto-winding mechanism
  • Rhodium-plated bridges with fausses côtes engraving
  • 33 jewels
  • shock absorber mechanism
  • straight-line lever escapement
  • monometallic balance adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions
  • self-compensating flat balance spring
  • 21K gold rotor insert
  • day of week set via the winding crown.
  • pusher at 2 and 4 set the month and date respectively
  • pusher at 7 adjusts the moon phase when included

Caliber 1126/1

Vacheron Constantin caliber 1126/1
  • ups the beat rate to 28,800 for claimed increase in precision
  • this higher-rate base was notably used in Vacheron Constantin’s COSC-certified Chronometre Royal models, but can be found in many triple calendars with and without moonphase from the 1990s onward.