$20 for $20K


     I would like to request info, advice, history, comments concerning a VC $20 Gold Coin Skeletonized wristwatch (1003) that I placed on order several months ago.  This is a very difficult watch to research, at least with my skills.  Or, perhaps I'm just hungry for more.  Is this watch an anachronism?  Desirable?  I notice it doesn't hold well in Antiquorum, but I like it and that's enough justification for me.  I do know it's an older (JLC) caliber.  Is it modernized and (relatively) reliable?  (Though I generally don't wear watches to tell time, is that odd?)  Or maybe I meant durable, as it looks very fragile.

     Anyway, thank you to anyone who answers or was able to follow my rambling train of thoughts,


I find it amazing what they have managed to do with cal 1003
07/24/2007 - 18:30

which as you say was made by JLC in 1955 but as far as I know only licenced to VC and AP.

The skeleton work is just amazing, I had the pleasure of seeing this watch at an exhibition a few years ago and I was mesmerized, I just wonder how the engraver at VC can work on such a thin movement without damaging it!!!

Is the caliber 1003 reliable? Yes no doubt, it has been around for over 50 years so if wasn't reliable VC wouldn't still be uing it  as for Antiquorum results? Who cares this watch is definately not mainstream and can't really appeal to the larger "masses" therefore making it less liquid at auctions.

But believe me if I had such an awsome watch I would want it on my wrist, not on auction!!

the ref 33059 sketelon $20 coin watch is actually inspired by a
07/24/2007 - 19:54

pocket watch VC made in the late 40s based on the same principle

In the late 50s (as soon as the caliber 1003 was available and being at the time the world's thinest manual wind movement only 2.5mm thick!) VC created their first wrist watch where the watch was actually placed in a $20 gold coin. I don't know exactly the reason behind the choice of the $20 coin but would guess that it had the right size for a wrist watch!

New references were created in the 60 throughout the 80s but always on the same principle (a small amount of watches placed in a 50 Mexican Pesos coin were also produced). In the 80s a number of pocket watches were also launched.

In the 80s other brands started creating coin watches such as Piaget and Corum but as far as I know the movements were not as thin as the 1003.

In the late 90s early 2000 VC decided to complicate things and created a model based on the same principle but skeletonized and, as it was said in the previous post to your question, skeletonising sich a thin movement is a feat and a challenge.

I particularly like the construction of this timepiece which looks as if you're wearing a coin on the wrist (!) even the crown is hidden in the coin and I like the way the top of the coin unhinges and the watch is lifted to reveal itsself.

Its a lovely piece and one worth the wait. Please do post scans once you recieve it.

BTW who said watches were made to tell time? You have your cell phone for that

Dear Gentleguys,
07/25/2007 - 02:04

You guys, (true gentleguys, I'm sure) are amazing.  Thank you so much for your responses.  They are just the tonic I needed to help me through the next months of waiting.  When it arrives, you'll each be the first to know.

Best regards,


looking forward, watch this space as I may have more info soon :-) (nt
07/25/2007 - 13:07


the case construction is quite interesting two $20 coins are
07/26/2007 - 20:09

necessary, the first is drilled and the movement subsequently fitted into it, serving as a regular "case" a second coing is then cut and fitted atop the case and acts as the cover!

This explains the reason that $20 gold coins were used because the fulfilled 2 necessities: they had the necessary size and thickness as to serve as a "watch case" and were available in sufficent numbers as to create the watches.

Hope this helps and please do post scans when yours arrives

Re: the case construction is quite interesting two $20 coins are
07/27/2007 - 00:21


     Thank you, again, so much.  You are obviously extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic.  (This is not a surprise, as I have followed your posts for some time.)  I truly appreciate your insight and I'm looking forward to future posts.  I'll look forward, equally, to sending in the first photos.  No real ETA, yet.