Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

In an epoch where « slim is in », where only 16 year old teenagers can slip into the ultra fitted $4000 Hedi Slimane suits, where we want our computers and TV screens to be paper thin (not to mention those having their midlife crisis who want the same to apply to their girlfriends) our watches are fed with growth hormones leaving one wondering if wearing them wouldn’t result in mad cow disease!

But let’s not forget that one of watchmakers' main goals, ever since the invention of the pocket watch, has been to make it as thin as possible for it to comfortably fit in said pocket!

It was between 1760 and 1770 that French watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lepine created a calibre which today bears his name. In this calibre he suppressed the fusee and replaced the top plate by bridges enabling the balance to be placed “in” and not on top of the mechanism leading to not only a much thinner caliber but also one which would be easier to disassemble for servicing.

Around 1840 Philippe-Samuel Meylan developed the “Bagnolet” with a cylinder escapement. This calibre was unique due to the fact that the gear train was placed underneath the dial instead of on the bottom plate (the latter gear train turning in the reverse direction) this made possible movements of just under 2mm thick!

There is no official definition or classification distinguishing thin calibres, each brand having its own terminology of extra/ultra thin/slim (no use of mega thin as of yet) but the industry more or less considers that a hand wound movement with less than a 3.5mm thickness can be considered ultra thin. According to Christian Selmoni the head of Product Development at Vacheron Constantin “a 3mm calibre is difficult to make but anything under 2mm – which functions – is a true feat which should be lauded.”

Even though the urge to flatten the watch movement seems to be a 20th century hobby, as early as 1812 Vacheron Constantin was looking to produced slimmer watches as testified in a correspondence from Jacques-Barthelemy Vacheron to Mr. Girod, the brand’s agent in Paris. In another letter from the same Jacques-Barthelemy Vacheron to François Constantin on January 27, 1829 he indicates “we have created slim timepieces and given them the utmost attention so they can be superior to those sold by our competitors.”

In 1825 and 1827 Vacheron Constantin created two gorgeous jump hour pocket watches in which the Breguet influence in terms of dial design is recognizable. Even though the calibres use a cylinder escapement they are considered to be rather thin for the time at 4.5 mm for the first and 5.20 for the second which also featured a date indication at 6 o’clock. 

click on scans for a larger view


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


In 1870 there is another example of a pocket watch with cylinder escapement with a 3.7mm thickness. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


However the war of the slim didn’t really start until the 20th century where each brand competed with the other in creating the thinnest possible movements and it’s during this century that Vacheron Constantin was not only most prolific but superior.

Vacheron Constantin’s historical records for 1911 mention 8,9 and 10 lignes calibres each measuring a mere 2.82mm thick. Followed were a 2.25mm calibre from 1917 (cased in 1920) and a 1.88mm calibre from 1924 within a rock crystal and platinum case. 




 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
1920 1924

 



1927 merged slim with astounding with a superb pocket watch with a 16-14/12 rose gold skeletonized caliber measuring only 2.6mm thick and a rock crystal and white gold case. 



 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


The same year a superb jump hour watch with day date was also presented with a calibre measuring 3.95mm including the jump hour and calendar module with a mere 3mm for the base movement. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


An impressively small 7 ligne calibre only 1.3mm thick was used in a surprise purse watch of 1928. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

A new frontier is reached in 1931 with a platinum pocket watch housing a calibre under 1mm (0.9mm) thick! As to keep the movement as thin as possible the later was not even rhodium plated as to save those precious microns! Only 3 pieces were made, and were more concept watches than destined for sale as the overall functioning remained problematic. 



 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


In 1941/1942 Vacheron Constantin created another extra slim calibre but this time a minute repeater (in two diameters 12’’ and 13’’) with a mere 3.1mm thickness, a true achievement considering the fact that the gongs and hammers need to be of a certain thickness to produce a satisfactory chime.

The reference 4261 was made in only 36 examples. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

In 1946 the brand launched a stunning worldtime pocket watch designed by Louis Cottier with a movement measuring 2.8mm in height. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


In 1951 reference 4601 is launched using a calibre only 1.31mm thick. The same year calibre 1001 is launched having a 2.94mm thickness.

One year later, in 1952, Vacheron Constantin took a decision that would change the perception of the brand for future collectors and become its signature: to make the world’s slimmest wrist watch movement. It was launched during the Basel watch fair 3 years later for the brand’s bicentenary in 1955 under the name 1003. Its 9 lignes or 21.05mm diameter and 1.64mm thickness made it at the time the world’s thinnest manual winding movement on the market. It was housed in 3 watches launched specially for the occasion, three round and one form. 




 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 6100 ref 4961

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 6099 ref 4963

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

The thinness of the watch could possibly lead to it being bent if it was tied too tightly to the wrist and therefore to prevent such damage, 2 screws higher than the others acted as safety to prevent the case from coming into contact with the movement. At a later date the movement was placed in an inner titanium cage to avoid any tension and prevent any possibility of the movement being bent. 

It is interesting to note that with the original caliber 1003 of 1955 the engineers and watchmakers had decided to do without shock protection on the escape wheel as to maintain the thinnest execution possible; however in the early 90s watchmaking techniques enabled the addition of shock protection without increasing the calibers height. 

To maintain limited thickness the pallet lever is on a lower level than the fork horn and as such the pivots and jewels are also on a lower level. 

One surprising feature of the caliber 1003 is its large sized balance. Surprising, because a large balance uses more energy and slim calibers with the size of their mainspring barrels have shorter lasting power reserves and it would have been logical to have a smaller balance which uses less power however considering the difficulties of regulation of such a slim caliber the larger balance provides better accuracy. 

Another modification as to keep the slimness of the caliber relates to the lack of impulse roller, the impulse jewel is placed directly into the balance arms. 

Extra thin watches became not only a signature of Vacheron Constantin but almost a curse! The brand was only associated with round classical extra thin watches for decades. Imagine between 1955 and 2010 there were over 850 different references (pocket and wrist watches) using this calibre! 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 63454 from 1959 ref 6395 from 1959

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 6115 from 1960 ref 6115

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

                   ref 6627 from 1962                                                  ref 6687 from 1962




 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 6290 from 1963 ref 6510 from 1964

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 7079 from 1967 ref 7079

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 7373 from 1967 ref 6290 from 1968

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 7323 from 1970

 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 33060 from 1977 ref 33060

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 33203 from 1978 ref 33203

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
no ref n°, Arlequin mosaic dial from 1978  

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 13012 from 1983 ref 33058 from 1989

 


In 1958 Vacheron Constantin launched a rectangular ultra thin 1050/52 cal with a 2.36mm thickness. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
cal 1050 - scan courtesy of Patrice

 



In 1965/1966 the calibre 1003 is presented for the first time in a skeletonised version (1003SQ) in reference 7066. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 7066

 


Where it has succeeded in creating the utmost slimness in its manual winds, Vacheron Constantin had more difficulty in giving a major diet to its automatic calibres which were all above the 5mm thickness line. However, in 1966 they started work on creating an ultra thin automatic and in 1967 the 2.45mm thick calibre 1120 was launched, with the particularity of having the rotor placed on a “rail” with the mass turning around the movement and not on top of it. That year 3 references were launche, Ref 7398 (launched in Sept 1967) ref 7399 (launched Oct 1967) and ref 7400 (launched Dec 1967). A year later a date is added to calibre 1120, renamed cal 1121 for this version. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 7398 ref 7399 ref 7400

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 44203 from 1974, diamond, onyx and aventurin mosaic dial  

 

In 1969 the brand concentrates once more on manual wind movements with calibre 1430 with a thickness of 2.9mm and with the particularity of having its crown placed on the back of the watch. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 



In 1976 in the midst of the Punk rage Vacheron Constantin added its own brick to the rebellion by beefing up the extra thin and launches the calibre 1123-4 - called “demi-plat” (half slim!) in the brand’s jargon - with a 3.25mm thickness. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 



In 1981 the calibre 1003 is turned “sunny side up” and what was visible only from the back side of the watch could now be seen form the dial side, rechristened cal 1006 the gears turn in the reverse direction for the hands to turn clockwise. Cal 1006 was available in a collection called “Structrura” which existed in round and octagonal watches and part of the Vacheron Constantin catalogue until 1990. Less than 500 pieces using the cal 1006 were ever made. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 36004 from 1989

 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 36002 from 1990  

 



A year later in 1982 the Cal 1120 is presented in a skeleton version. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 43030 from 1990

 


In the mid 70s Jean Lassale, a Swiss watchmaker, created 2 calibers which were at the time the slimmest of their kind, the manual wind cal 1200 with an amazing 1.2mm thickness obtained by suppression of the bridges and each wheel fixed to an axel driven in a micro ball bearing itself fitted to the plate and an automatic calibre 2000 only 2.08mm thick. The brand went out of business in the late 70s and was bought by Seiko but the technical rights to these calibres were bought by Nouvelle Lemania.

In the early 90s Vacheron Constantin used these movements renaming them cal 1160 (manual) and cal 1170 (automatic) used in the references 34070 and 34170. The brand rapidly stopped production due to the functioning and servicing issues: the case back could not be opened without damaging the movement meaning that when a watch was sent for servicing the movement had to be changed! 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
cal 1160 - scan courtesy of www.horlogerie-suisse.com cal 1160 - scan courtesy of www.horlogerie-suisse.com

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 34070

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
cal 1170 - scan courtesy of www.horlogerie-suisse.com cal 1170 - scan courtesy of www.horlogerie-suisse.com

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 34170

 


In the early 40s Vacheron Constantin had created one of the world’s thinnest minute repeating movements; in the late 80s in the wake of the mechanical watch revival the brand decided that it was time to recreate such a movement. One of the original movements was found, stripped apart and studied, plans were drawn, teams were set up and with the help of Duboiz Depraz (movement constructors) a new extra flat minute repeating cal 1755 saw the light of day in 1992 with a mere 3.28 mm thickness and found in the achingly gorgeous ref 30010. Only 200 of these movements were made and housed in both simple repeaters or with an added perpetual calendar module. A superb skeleton version in rose gold and platinum was also offered. 




 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
Malte Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater Cabimotiers Skeleton Minute Repeater

 



Also in late 80s ealy 90s Vacheron launched cal 1132 (based on Piguet 8.10) only 2mm thick but used in very few models (for ex Les Historiques 1912).



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 





Vacheron Constantin with its first modern era manufacture calibre decided to preserve its slim heritage by launching the slim cal 1400 with its 2.6mm thickness. Followed in 2008 with the launch of its larger and slightly thicker 2.8mm brother, the cal 4400. Both manual. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
cal 1400 cal 4400

 


The new millennium and its hypertrophied watches cast a shadow on the ultra thin calibres, the 1120 was available only either in the Mercator (which is far from being a simple time only watch) or in its skeletonized version (time only or as base for perpetual calendar watches) and the cal 1003 was available only in its skeletonised version for ladies watches (with the exception of the skeletonized $20 Gold Coin watch) and in the ref 33093 which at 31.5mm no longer could be considered as a man’s size (this watch received the best men’s watch award in the “slim” category at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix in 2002 ). 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
ref 33093

 


 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
Patrimony Traditionnelle Skeleton

 



The prayers of those wanting to see the spotlight shining once again on these calibres in non skeletonised versions and/or in a larger sized case (not that the 36mm case of the new Historiques 1955 can be considered large but its still 4.5mm larger than the ref 33093) have been answered by the gods ruling Vacheron Constantin. 

2010 sees the rebirth of these two icons: cal 1120 now comes with a very cool redesigned rotor and housed in the wonderful square case of the Historiques 1968 (inspired by a model from 1968). Looking at the case side you realise just how slim this automatic calibre is. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 



Caliber 1003 is housed in the Historiques 1955 and is now made 100% inhouse and the icing on the cake is that the plates are made in 18k 4N rose gold. The case is only 4.1mm thick case which has the particularity of being slimmer than the original watch while having a screwed back and a sapphire crystal and still remaining water resistant to 30m. 



 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 

 

Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers

 



                                      ******************************************** 

A ultra thin calibre is not a complication per se as is does not feature any additional function other than those destined to give the hours and minutes (sometimes the seconds) but considering the tolerances, the sheer thinness and size of the components which request quasi-surgical dexterity to assemble, where each micron counts and the complexity of regulation (Vacheron Constantin has a dedicated team for the regulation of calibres 1003 and 1120) it would be an understatement to call these calibres complicated!

But technical complexity of the movement and relative classism of the watches does not entail lack of design.
What do the Apple iPod (2001), the Toblerone chocolate bar (1908), Sparkman & Stephens' Swann 36 yacht (1966), Corradino d’Ascanio's Vespa scooter (1945), Le Corbusier's LC4 chaise longue (1928), the DB5 Aston Martin (1963), Vacheron Constantin's Patrimony Extra-Plate (1955), and Rubik’s Cube (1974) have in common? They all belong to a list of “999 Design Classics” published by Phaidon in 2006 as representing the 999 most symbolic objects in the history of 20th century design (Selected by a panel of experts - internationally-recognised designers, historians, architects, academics and critics – this work deals not only with the objects themselves but with their technical development, manufacturing procedures and evolution).

In Vacheron Constantin’s case it just shows that a subtle and potent mix of design and technique can make a winning combination of a timeless classic.

04/14/2010 - 23:36
04/19/2010 - 12:08
05/25/2010 - 02:54
04/19/2010 - 12:09
04/15/2010 - 07:19
04/15/2010 - 07:32
04/19/2010 - 12:12
04/19/2010 - 12:13
04/19/2010 - 12:14
Rei
04/15/2010 - 19:30
04/16/2010 - 00:28
04/22/2010 - 15:10
05/04/2010 - 01:36
Thanks for the skinny.
04/14/2010 - 23:36
LOL, couldn't resist .  Wonderful article, with so much new to learn!  First time I've seen a picture of the cal. 1050 and a few others. Can you confirm if this story is true?  As you mentioned, the earlier cal. 1003 movements didn't have shock protection.  I seem to recall reading in some literature from that time that the 1003 had "natural" shock protection as the movement parts were so small and light that they were not disturbed by shocks from normal wear. Thanks again, Alex...pure gold
spoke to a watchmaker and he tells me that no matter what the weight
04/19/2010 - 12:04
or size of a movement is it will not resist a shock.
More info
04/20/2010 - 23:56
Thanks for check that out Alex.  Here is the quote from a book article on the cal. 1003:The extreme thinness of the movement - an astonishing 1.64 mm (0.65 in) - is a technical tour de force: it includes a unique escapement and regulator innovation which dispenses with the need for the shock protection...I wonder what the "regulator innovation" was and was it really thought to protect from shocks at the time of introduction in 1955?
maybe just marketing spiel from the time to justify the lack of shock
04/21/2010 - 02:58
absorber. If this so called innovation worked VC wouldn't have added a shock protection down the line!
finally the drainpipes are getting attention! slim watches are the....
04/15/2010 - 02:43
perfect ornament for dress shirts, subtle and do not border the cuffs and have technical superiority to boast. it does tell a little of the wearer's taste, for me. Alex, thank u for the great article. again, what does it take for u to compile what u have contributed to the Vacheron library into a coffee table book for me to revisit and savour the best of VC ? i still prefer the good 'ol book to kindle for a saturday coffee with my friends to share the joy of collecting VC with my friends.
It could be a good idea to make a paper version of the articles, I'll
04/19/2010 - 12:06
see what VC thinks.
Thanks for a very good article. I like them thin and shapely!
04/15/2010 - 03:20
a
I like them lanky :-) (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:07
e
Re: Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
04/15/2010 - 04:13
Thank you for this fantastic insight.
thank you (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:08
e
Re: thank you (nt)
05/25/2010 - 02:54
Great article! Ihave a 1003 ref 6100 myself, is a fantastic watch! Gabriel
Extremally nice !!
04/15/2010 - 07:11
Thank you dear Alex!
spassiva :-) (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:09
w
Re: Thin is in
04/15/2010 - 07:19
As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I am a fan of the ultra-thin "complication".  It just shows the watchmakers savvy and dexterity.  I really hope that even more complicated watches will again be made with "thinness", wearability and elegance in mind. I only wish I can lose some inches on my own waistline too... Thanks again for the great read, Alex! Best Regards, Kazumi
after the period of "sandwich" watches as Dufour calls them its back
04/19/2010 - 12:11
to elegance
Great article, Alex!
04/15/2010 - 07:32
Thanks very much not only for the information but also for the lucid and pleasing delivery.
thank you for your kind words (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:12
e
Fantastic article, Thanks Alex !
04/15/2010 - 14:36
nt
merci :-) (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:12
e
Thanks Alex for another excellent article!
04/15/2010 - 15:43
You have done it again and now I'm sure that you will manage to do the BOOK. Wonderful watches all of them! Glad you put the surprise watch in this category, which I always have done Thanks again Doc
good to have you back with us Doc :-) (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:13
w
Excellent article Alex!
04/15/2010 - 16:11
I loved It!
thank you Carlos (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:13
e
Another articulate article
04/15/2010 - 17:31
A very good and informative read. Thanks Alex. Tony
Thanks Tony (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:14
e
Thanks Alex! Greatly researched article!
04/15/2010 - 18:22
I learned so much about VC's ultra thin history and about several calibres that I didn't know much, if anything, about before.  I'm in HK now and went to both VC boutiques, at 1881 and on Percival Road, during my 3 days here - squeezing in some fun while working   Picked up the Fall/Winter 2009 VC magazine with the 1955 Historiques on the cover and got to read through it while Daisy was shopping! BR, Dan
I heard that the Heritage is an amazing boutique in stunning
04/19/2010 - 12:15
architectural surroundings
I love the history and the photos....
04/15/2010 - 18:52

plus the introduction to some calibers with which I was not familar (though for good reason if they didn't work well!). I'm happy to see the gyromax balance on the 1120, which returns the balance to how it was originally conceived. I hope that they will use it on the skeleton watches that are part of the current catalog because I think it looks better and cleaner than a regulator. Bill

I'm glad that the Gyromax is back and as you know the next use of the
04/19/2010 - 12:16
1120 will be pretty cool
Unfortunatley, Alex...
04/19/2010 - 20:36
I really DID forget all the things that I was told me to forget.....except for what I saw regarding the vintage.............:-) Bill
I wish I were this slim!
04/15/2010 - 19:30
I suddenly have the urge to wear my Patrimony contemporaine. Excellent article as always, Sir!
Thank you Rei, wants me to get a Patrimony Contemporaine again!
04/19/2010 - 12:17
nt
Great article but now I am wondering why that world timer isn't
04/15/2010 - 23:19
out as a watch and riding on my wrist! Thanks for all the work, really took me into watchworld. Best to all, Tim
I would love to see a VC worldtimer as well (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:17
e
slim line
04/16/2010 - 00:28
avant-garde and style is V&C this is the story..... excellent article..........thanks Alex
Thank you Guiseppe (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:19
e
Thank you Alex, excellent report!
04/16/2010 - 01:30
It is certainly amazing how VC can make such thin movements today, but what amazes me even more is how they did this decades and centuries ago without all of the high technology they have today. Thank you again! Mike
I can only imagine the diffuculty of the technical drawings without
04/19/2010 - 12:20
CAD machines!
THanks Alex, very interesting article!
04/16/2010 - 09:33
"The thinness of the watch could possibly lead to it being bent if it was tied too tightly to the wrist" - makes you realise just how thin these movements can be... I never realised that the 4400 was considered an ultra-thin movement... Thanks again Alex for continuing my VC education... Cheers, Francois
well if we use the industry definition of slim as being 3.5mm then
04/19/2010 - 12:22
I guess the 4400 enters this category
Great stuff, Alex! As usual extremely precise & profound reaserch! nt
04/17/2010 - 21:30
thank you friend :-) (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:23
w
Re: Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
04/18/2010 - 17:24
Thanks, Alex. That was a terrific and very impressive article! It should be published for wider distribution. The essay and photos are very well put to gether to show a historical, technical and esthetic dvelpoment. Congratulations! You keep out-doing yourself. Best wishes, Joseph
thanks for your hear warming comments Joseph (nt)
04/19/2010 - 12:23
e
Those pocketwatches are some of the most devine
04/19/2010 - 06:01
designs I have ever seen (& the wristwatches aren't shabby either!)! Thanks, Alex!
I would love to see the jump hour, wandering hour and worldtime in
04/19/2010 - 12:24
wrist watches!
Thinking about it, I've got one extra question...
04/19/2010 - 13:30
How much of the credit should go to VC for these slim movements?  Historically, wasn’t VC sourcing its movements from 3rd party manufacturers? If this is the case, was VC responsible for the design of the movements, and then sourcing the production, or was the whole movement done by the Jaegers of that period?  I’m trying to understand for most of these watches who’s delivering the IP/Expertise, and does VC has a right to claim all the credit... Or were those movements done completely in-house?  Thanks in advance Alex for clarifying...  Cheers, Francois
I have 2 contradictory answers on cal 1003. One source says that
04/19/2010 - 18:02
it was a joint development/creation by VC and AP (with help and manufacturing from JLC) and not just these brands who asked JLC to design an extra thin caliber. Another source says that it was a VC development who sold it also to AP to amortize costs (as VC was not ordering sufficient numbers to bear the production costs alone). The question on cal 1120 remains unanswered as well. Was it a joint development between VC, AP and PP or just VC and AP? Furthermore it seems that VC was the first to use it in 1967 followed by AP in 1972 and PP in 1977.
Thank you Sir for the info! (nt)
04/22/2010 - 17:17
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thank for your great article: how about...
04/19/2010 - 14:51
...creating a (printed) newsletter with your articles for the V&C customers ? All the best to my fellow loungers, Berny
I'll see if this is a possibility for VC (nt)
04/19/2010 - 18:07
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I know I am late but
04/22/2010 - 15:10
thanks for this excellent primer for the ultra-thin masterpieces. I appreciate the information on the Lassale movements most and would love to read even more on them. Best, Magnus
always a pleasure to see you here :-) don't know more about
04/22/2010 - 15:31
Lassale, the y still have  a web site but with very little info.
Thanks for the walk through VC's history
05/02/2010 - 18:26

Very elegant watches and almost a bygone era. - SJX

thanks SJX, always a pleasure to "see" you here :-)
05/03/2010 - 13:31
e
US Pricing/ Availability
05/04/2010 - 01:36
Hello All! Any word on US Pricing and Availability for these two "new" beauties...? Thanks!
Hi and welcome: I don't have exact price but they should be in
05/12/2010 - 20:27
the $20k plus range and available this fall
Re: Slim is In: A look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin calibers
04/03/2014 - 12:21
In my eyes ultra slim = ultra classy.